A map of Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea is one of Africa’s smallest countries. It lies tucked into the coast of Central Africa, just above the Equator. The country is made up of a mainland portion, called Río Muni, and five small offshore islands. The largest island, Bioko, is where the capital, Malabo, is situated and lies about 40 kilometres (25 miles) off the coast of Cameroon. Much of the island is rugged, covered by volcanic mountains, and it has a hot, rainy climate nearly all year round. The mainland part, Río Muni, has a slightly drier climate, with shorter rainy seasons. The land is flat at the coast, but inland it rises to wooded hills.
Nearly all Equatorial Guineans are Bantu. The largest ethnic group, the Fang, make up nearly 90% of the population. The Bubi, whose ancestors have lived on Bioko island for centuries, are a much smaller group. They have suffered waves of ethnic violence since the arrival of the Portuguese in the 15th century. Today, fewer than 100,000 remain.
During the time Francisco Macias Nguema was president of Equatorial Guinea, between 1968 and 1979, one third of the country’s entire population fled abroad.
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