Guinée forestière (Forested Guinea) is a forested mountainous region in southeastern Guinea, extending into northeastern Sierra Leone. It is one of four natural regions into which Guinea is divided and covers 23% of the country. It includes all of the Nzérékoré administrative region.
Guinée forestière is known for its diverse ethnic population, including the Toma and Lissi groups, and also shelters a large number of refugees from the Sierra Leone Civil War, the Liberian Civil Wars and the Ivorian Civil Wars. Nzérékoré is the largest city. Both former President Moussa Dadis Camara and former Prime Minister Jean-Marie Doré are from the Guinée forestière.
Wildlife and environment
Forest Guinea possesses unique wildlife and geological diversity. It is characterized by undulating lowlands, which are frequently disrupted by suddenly rising high mountain ranges and eroded plateaux of the Guinea Highlands. In general, the lowland areas are covered by forest-savanna mosaics and lowland forests; but all ridges and plateaux are covered by montane forests above 600 meters. Remarkable sky islands are the Mount Nimba (1720 meters), Simandou Massif (1658 meters), Ziama Massif (1387 meters), Mount Tétini (1257 meters), Kourandou Massif (1236 meters), and Mount Béro (1210 meters). All of them belong to the south-eastern part of the Guinea Highlands, and remained poorly discovered by science. The most prominent protected areas in Forest Guinea are the Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve, the Ziama Massif, and the Diécké Classified Forest.
The Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve is a 12 540 hectares-large UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, which is threatened by iron-ore mining. Approx. two third of the geographically unique reserve is covered by rainforest, and it is home to more than 2 000 vascular plant species, 107 mammals species, 210 bird species, and 2 500 invertebrate species with exceptionally strong level of endemism.
The Ziama Massif is a 116 200 hectares-large Biosphere Reserve, which is considered to be a relict of the once continuous West African rainforest belt. It is home to 1 300 vascular plant species, 124 mammal species, and 286 bird species. The Ziama Massif provides shelter to the threatened West African rainforest megafauna, such as the forest elephant, the forest buffalo, the pygmy hippopotamus, the bongo antelope, and the critically endangered Western chimpanzee.
The Dicéké Classified Forest is a 64 000 hectares-large forest reserve, which is characterized by lowland and swamp forests. In fact, it is one of the least discovered protected areas of West Africa; however, some studies suggest, that Diécké is the stronghold of the pygmy hippopotamus and the critically endangered Western chimpanzee.
Guinee Forestiere travel guide from Wikivoyage
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