Malabo is the capital and largest city of Equatorial Guinea with a total population of about 100,000. It is located on the northern coast of Bioko Island and was founded in 1827. It is the administrative, cultural and economical heart of the country and for many travellers it forms a stepping stone for a visit elsewhere in the country or on Bioko Island. The city itself is not really a gem, but some colonial buildings remain and the Malabo Cathedral and Court Building are probably the most noteworthy. It has generally good facilities and some fine hotels and there are good connections by road and sea, although the city itself is best navigated on foot.
Located along the equator, Malabo has a climate typical for this region, being hot and humid. Both the mainland and the islands have high temperatures, high humidity, heavy rainfall, and much cloud around the year. Annual rainfall is around 2000 mm. December to February is the dry period with only a few days with some showers. During most of the rest of the year, rainfall is high, with some peaks in May/June and September/October. Temperatures average around or just above 30 °C during the day and well above 20 °C at night with extremely little variation. The records are 17 degrees at night and 33 at daytime.
Malabo Airport or Saint Isabel Airport (SSG) near the capital has a good number of international flights. Ecuato Guineana flies to Douala in Cameroon and Libreville in Gabon. Air France flies to and from Paris, while Iberia and Spanair fly to Madrid. Lufthansa started a Frankfurt-Malabo flight on the 1st of April 2008. London, Cotonou and Casablanca have flights as well with their respective national airlines mainly.
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