Day 1 – Dakar
Arrive in Dakar and transfer to the hotel. Overnight Hotel Teranga or similar.
Day 2 – Dakar – Lampoul Desert
Spend the morning exploring Dakar and experiencing urban West Africa, before heading out into the desert later in the afternoon, where we spend the night at a tented camp. (BLD)
Day 3 – Djoudj National Park – Saint Louis
Travel to Djoudj National Park with its incredible bird life. We discover vast flocks of pelicans, flamingos and more, then continue to the atmospheric town of St Louis, once the capital of French West Africa. Overnight Hotel La Residence or similar. (BLD)
Day 4 – Fulani Villages
Spend the morning visiting Saint Louis, exploring its streets by traditional caleche (horse and carriage). Afterwards we head out into the surrounding desert, home to the semi-nomadic Fulani people. We have the opportunity to meet them and learn about their unique culture, centred around livestock and grazing. Overnight in local huts. (BLD)
Day 5 – Touba - Thies
Drive to Touba, a stronghold of the Mourid Islamic brotherhood and considered to be a sacred town in Senegal. Spend the rest of the day exploring the town and learning about the spiritual traditions of Islam in Senegal, before continuing to Thies. Overnight tourist class hotel. (BLD)
Day 6 – Dakar
Head back to the lively capital, Dakar, and visit nearby Goree Island, once a centre of the slave trade. Explore its historic sights before boarding a ferry in the later afternoon for an overnight journey to the Casamance region. Overnight on board. (BLD)
Day 7 – Ziguinchor – Cap Skirring
By morning we enter the Casamance River and sail to Ziguinchor, through a changed landscape of lush vegetation and the culture of tribal Africa. On disembarking in Ziguinchor we head out into the surrounding countryside and continue to the unspoiled beaches of Cap Skirring. Overnight Hotel La Paillote or similar. (BLD)
Day 8 – Ziguinchor
Spend the day exploring the culture of the Dioula people, meeting the king of the oldest Dioula kingdom. With his permission we learn about the animistic customs that hold sway here and venture into a sacred forest where we may be lucky enough to see traditional rituals taking place. Overnight tourist class hotel. (BLD)
Day 9 – Varela
Cross into Guinea-Bissau and start travelling to the small town of Varela. We travel through mangrove forests that are home to the West African manatee, one of the region’s most unusual creatures, and spend the day looking for this elusive sea mammal. Overnight local hotel. (BLD)
Day 10 – Cacheu
Morning hike to villages belonging to the Felupe and Baiote people, two of West Africa’s most isolated and traditional ethnic groups. We explore their unique villages, then board a pirogue to travel through mangrove forests to the small town of Cacheu. From here we visit the villages of the local Manjaco people, known for their ancestor worship. Overnight Hotel Mar Azul or similar. (BLD)
Days 11-13 – Bijagos Islands
Sail to the Bijagos Islands, a magical and unique world of authentic tribal traditions and unusual wildlife. We spend three days exploring this area, looking for rare saltwater hippos, watching turtles laying eggs on the beach and learning about the customs of the local people, visiting the village of Okinka Pampa, a matriarchal society. We also visit Canhabaque Island, the most traditional island where young men take part in elaborate and lengthy initiation rituals. Two nights tourist class hotel, one night camping. (BLD)
Day 14 – Bolama – Bissau
Sail to the island of Bolama, once a colonial capital but now largely abandoned, its Portuguese buildings slowly being taken over by vegetation and goats. From here we board a private plane and view the archipelago from above, then land at the capital Bissau, where we have time for a quick look around the city before having dinner and transferring to the airport for your onward flight. (BL)
that the exact itinerary for these days will depend on the departure date; some dates may not include all visits.
Included in price:
- Airport transfers
- Accommodation – as listed in the dossier. The nature of the destinations that we operate may sometimes mean that we need to change hotels, but we’ll always endeavour to keep the same standards. Please be aware that as we operate in many countries where tourism is in its infancy, hotel standards may not be the same as you’re used to elsewhere.
- Guides – In most cases you will be accompanied by one guide from start to finish. However there may be occasions when this is not practical, for example if your trip covers a number of different countries. In these cases it often makes more sense to include different guides for each place, to take advantage of their specific knowledge of the destination.
- Meals – As listed within the itinerary / dossier (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner).
Entrance fees – Entrance fees are listed for those sites that we mention within the itinerary. If there are any other sites that you’d like to see, these would be at your own expense.
- Airport taxes
- International flights
- Travel Insurance