Flights to Bafata
Bafata is located in central Guinea-Bissau, which should not be confused with the Republic of Guinea. It’s the second largest city, after the capital of Bissau, but it is not a major tourist destination. Bafata is an older town, and you will be sharing the roads with donkeys and carts wherever you go.
There is no airport directly serving flights to Bafata, so you can arrive at the main Osvaldo Vieiro International Airport (airport code: OXB) in Bissau. It’s about 100 kilometres between Bafata and Bissau. Most flights will have 2 connections when arriving in Bissau. South African Airways will have transfers in Accra and Lisbon, and Kenya Airways goes another way through Nairobi and Dakar. A flight to Bafata with Iberia stops in Madrid and Lisbon, though this route takes you a very long way round.
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The Tourist Attractions of Bafata:
English is not commonly spoken, and even the national language of Portuguese is not that widely used. Most people speak a Creole type of Portuguese so you may need to get a guidebook for that. Other than the older colonial architecture and West African culture, there is not much to see within the city itself. Several good parks are within driving distance though.
Dulombi National Parks
The Dulombi National Park is in two parts not far from Bafata. The first one is a little closer to the south, and the other is more to the south-east. The park extends to the border with the Republic of Guinea, and is made up of grasslands and forests. You may see chimps here, and several species of parrot and other birds. On occasion, there can also be elephants, lions and hippos. These are generally only in Guinea-Bissau during the rainier months though.
Lagoas Cufada National Park
Lagoas Cufada National Park is one of the oldest protected areas in Guinea-Bissau, and is about an hour away to the south-west. Chimpanzees have been known to nest here though details are not known as to how many of them are within the park. You may also see smaller Colobus monkeys, and dozens of species of birds. There are a large number of ecosystems in Lagoas Cufada Park, including forests, savannah, flood-plains, rivers and marshlands.
The capital is about 2 hours away from Bafata by car, and the road is usually well-maintained. This is a much larger city, and you can visit the National Museum there as well as the Bissau central marketplace. You can also see the abandoned old presidential palace and the busy port area down on the water.
When Should You Visit?:
Avoiding the heat is a good idea, though most months are going to be very warm in Bafata. March, April and May are the hottest times when it will reach 30C (86F) during the day. The coolest months are December and January. It is a more pleasant 24C (75F) at that time of the year, and it is quite dry as well. It’s also cooler in August and September but you will find it rainier in those months. December and January are the best overall times to come to Bafata.