Malabo is a city in transformation, with most government offices currently moving from the old quarter to newer accommodations up the hill in an area known as Malabo II. The government intends to preserve the older part for commerce and culture. Seeing it today is a pleasure, as it is a rare thing to be able to walk around in a functional urban environment—one that is not yet filled by Starbucks, McDonalds or the Gap. That said, anyone who invested in a legitimate coffee shop or café or plans to now would certainly do well. The burgeoning economy is attracting increasing numbers of Americans, Europeans and others.
Sightseeing: There is much to see in the old quarter. The new construction mixed with the old Spanish colonial influence makes for a charming display—one that is more reminiscent of Latin America than Africa. The city is also quite clean and well kept.
Churches: There is support for religious freedom, and thus there are a number of churches and cathedrals throughout the capital. Most prominent is Cathedral Malabo, next to the Presidential Palace and across from the Sofitel.
Mountain Tours: There are tours of the volcano in Pico Basile National Park. It is an adventurous ride up, but should be worth the trip to see one of the two volcanoes—the island’s dominant physical features. The views will depend strongly on the weather. The mountain is hidden by fog and cloud cover.
Recreational Activities: If you are looking to get outside the city and relax, Sipopo has many of outdoor activities you can enjoy such as enjoying a nice day at the beach, play golf (see picture above), rent jet skies and kayaks, explore Horatio’s Island where you’ll find local artist Charly Djikou’s sculptures, birds, beautiful paths and the famous “Horatio Giant,” Ceiba tree.
Reserve Scientifique de la Caldera de Luba: The southern part of the island is a nature preserve, where you can arrange a tour ahead of time. Ask at the major hotels. Remember to have protection against mosquitoes. Despite considerable and successful work by the government through public-private partnerships to eradicate Malaria, you must still be cautious.
International Functions: There are a growing number of embassies in Malabo, including those of the United States, Spain, France and China. Each offers events and functions that you are welcome to attend—everything from cocktail hours to cultural presentations to movie nights. If you’re spending time in the city, you should contact the respective offices for schedules and more information.