In Equatorial Guinea, the Sipopo resort with its five-star hotel and exclusive facilities rises from a tropical beach. This is a notoriously closed country that has turned to tourism to help fill its coffers.
Sipopo, a 16-kilometer drive from the capital Malabo, was carved out of an ancient forest in 2011 at a cost of 670 million, initially to host African Union summit and showcase the rise of the tiny oil-rich state.
For almost a decade, Sipopo has been the crown jewel in a strategy to lure high-end visitors to Equatorial Guinea. But the town, visited by an AFP reporter earlier this year, seemed quite empty. A worker said it was quiet year round.
The occasional visitors tend to be rich and well connected, who are mostly guests of the government. For instance, one of the villas was occupied by former Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh after he fled his country in 2017.（AFP）
carve out：動詞片語，雕出；開拓。例句：The workers carved out a path in the barren land.（工人在這塊荒地闢出一條小徑。）
high-end：形容詞，高檔的。例句：Many high-end department stores are located in the region.（許多高檔百貨公司落腳該區。）
year round：形容詞或副詞，一年到頭的。例句：The city holds many festivals all year round.（這座城市一年中舉辦多場慶典。）