Part of the Portugese empire for centuries, Guinea-Bissau achieved independence in 1973 and also added the capital’s name, Bissau, to its country name, to avoid confusion with the other Guinea, formerly known as French Guinea.
Although a small portion of its population still speaks Portuguese, the national language is Creole. It has several ethnic groups, with the Fula and Mandinka comprising the largest share of the population. The majority of its population is Christian with those practicing Islam a close second.
Its climate is warm year-round with a terrain that is mostly formed of low coastal plains with swamps of mangroves. Its rainy season alternates with periods of hot, dry harmattan winds blowing in from the Sahara.