This Overland group Tour to Senegal and Gambia or private trip starts and ends in Dakar. Our expedition features the best of Senegal and The Gambia culture, history, and landscapes. We offer you a thirteen-day tour package taking you through Senegal’s capital of Dakar and 13 other destinations in West Africa.
On this Senegal and Gambia cultural tour, you will be discovering the tropical Anglo-influenced Gambia and vibrant Francophone Senegal. Compare the colonial imprints in this beautiful region on this West African adventure. Throughout this active tour of Senegal and Gambia combined, you will be escorted and fully guided at a slow pace to explore French colonial towns. You will have the opportunity to visit prolific birdlife and explore some of the region's well-preserved national parks in the Sine Saloum regions. Discover breathtaking landmarks in Senegal, like shell islands and some of the most important bird sanctuaries in the world. Enjoy a cruise on a motored canoe on the Gambia River - Cruise through the tropical forest, bamboo groves, rice paddies, and mangroves Saloum Delta and its typical fishing villages in Senegal and Gambia. Explore the river delta by traditional pirogue boat passing through mangroves looking for a range of aquatic birds. This Gambia and Senegal expedition is a cultural encounter as much as it is an adventure experience in typical West Africa exotic landscapes. Join us in the spirit to explore the best of Senegal and Gambia tours with small groups in 2022 and 2023. This tour can be customized to your liking as a private tours to Senegal and Gambia if you prefer independent travel.
welcome to Senegal and Gambia tours and discoveries. Upon your arrival at Dakar Airport, you will meet with our representative who will greet you and then transfer you to your hotel. The remainder of the day will be at leisure. Before dinner, our representative will meet with all the group guests to brief them about their tour to Senegal and Gambia activities. Our representative will be at the airport from 9:00 am so you can arrive at any time of the day. He will facilitate your transfer to the hotel. If you have free time on arrival, you may choose to take a visit to one of Dakar’s atmospheric markets. Start point Onomo Hotel, Hotel reception, Corniche West Dakar Plateau, Dakar, Senegal 18:00. We are also offering this overland tour from Tangier exploring Morocco with its Sahara treks, Mauritania Atlantic discovery, Senegal and Gambia nature and adventure expedition.
After a sumptuous breakfast, our tour leader will complete the welcome meeting before we will drive to the ferry terminal to take a ferry to Goree Island, a small and peaceful pedestrian-only island. The ferry crossing takes around 30 minutes, and on arrival, we'll drop off our luggage before starting our walking tour exploring the highlights of Goree Island. Once a busy trading outpost during the 18th and 19th centuries, the island is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With a Mediterranean flavor, the town here portrays an era of French colonization and European creed. The wrought-iron balconies, narrow streets, and brightly colored bougainvillea, whitewashed buildings all add a charm to this historic island. Our local guide will take us on an orientation tour exploring The Castel is situated on a rocky plateau with its fortifications dating back to different periods, and we'll also explore the old Slave House built originally in 1786. This evening will be free to relax.
After breakfast, we will take our ferry back to the mainland starting our overland expedition. Our first stop will be at the Lac Rose - Pink Lake. This large shallow lagoon is extremely salty and is also renowned for its pink tinge, caused by the high concentrations of minerals in the water. We'll have about half an hour to walk around the lake, then take a break for lunch. The pink hues change during the day and from season to season but no matter the time of year the locals can be seen out on the lake working hard to collect salt into baskets on their small boats. This afternoon we will drive north to St. Louis. Once the French capital city of West Africa, St. Louis is a charming cultural center, a portray of sophistication and artistic realm. Jazz music is the rhythm of the city which is now a UNESCO World Heritage, and the evening will be free to explore. For dinner, you may wish to try the local dish of Thieboudienne, a mix of fish, tomato, rice, and vegetables a St. Louis specialty.
An early start today to visit Djoudj National Park, considered to be one of the most important bird reserves in the world. This national park provides the first major water source for migratory birds after their long and grueling flight across the Sahara desert. We travel by motorized boat along with the complex network of channels leading to the Senegal River. The bird flocks can be in the millions, some species are prevalent such as pelicans - there are as many as 15,000 in the park. We may see them performing an amazing display of synchronized diving for fish and will see a breeding colony. Around three million birds pass through the park annually which includes 400 different species - including herons, white-breasted cormorants, spoonbills, jacanas, Egyptian geese, West African fish eagles, and flamingos to name but a few. You may also see crocodiles, wild hogs, monitor lizards, and water pythons. Early this afternoon we return back to St. Louis in time for lunch and some free time before starting our afternoon Horse carriage exploring this marvelous old town of Saint Louis. Enjoy the 19th-century French colonial buildings and edifices. This is the first French settlement in Africa and the Headquarters of Senegambia (the term used to describe the whole region). In the late 18th century St Louis was a busy port and trading center and was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.
Today we'll start early for our visit to the Langue de Barbarie National Park, located on a thin sandspit in the estuary of the Senegal River, and home to waterbirds such as flamingos, pelicans, cormorants, herons, egrets, and ducks. During the months from November to April, the national park also fills with many more migratory birds from Europe. We'll take a motorized pirogue across the river to access the national park. After a morning discovery of natural and wildlife viewing, the afternoon is free to relax or wander further around the town. The streets of St. Louis are narrow, dusty, and easy to navigate and are lined with old French-style villas, some of which are slowly decaying but still reminiscent of a glorious colonial French-era presence in West Africa. Dinner and accommodation will be at the hotel.
After breakfast, we will take off traveling south overland to Georgetown. Early this morning we begin our journey to The Gambia and much of the day will be spent on our overland truck with few stops for refreshments and leg stretching. We will break up the first leg of this journey with a visit to an astounding mosque in Touba, the sacred focus of the Sufi Tijani brotherhood. Their founder Amadou Bamba, Senegal's most famous and influential 'marabout' (holy man), is buried here and pilgrims visit the town all year round. If this coincides with Friday, the Mosque congregation will be overwhelming with worshippers.
Travel across the landscapes of Senegal to reach the town of Kaolack where we will cross the border to the Gambia. We will travel east following the route of the river towards Georgetown. This city was an important administrative center during the colonial period. We will arrive at our Camp this evening on the riverside to experience an African authenticity of a camp made up of simple rondavels with basic en-suite facilities. There is no main electricity but instead limited solar power and no hot water but the fantastic location offers a feel of sleeping within nature while the monkeys and birds add to the wild setting an ambiance that is worth the experience.
Wake up to a natural setting of the realm of Exotic Africa. The Gambia River flows along the entire length of the country for 300 miles from east to west into the Atlantic Ocean. The banks of the river have been inhabited since 2000 BC and trade ships once traveled along its course exporting slaves. We spend the next two days on this mighty waterway, cruising downstream in a converted groundnut boat, passing tropical forest, bamboo groves, rice paddies, and mangrove swamps. Amongst the varied fauna present in this area are monkeys, hippos, crocodiles, and of course a great number of bird species. Early this morning we will board our home for the next two nights and begin our journey down the Gambia.
On our way to board our cruise ship, we will take a detour to explore the Wassu Stone Circles. There are several circles in this area, each consisting of about 10 to 24, reddish-brown stones reach about 2.5m in height and weigh several tons. It is said that they were once burial sites dating back to 500 to 1000 AD, however very little is known about the people who were buried here and the stones are still a puzzle to archaeologists. We will overnight on board a motor cruiser. The facilities on board are simple with a western-style toilet, a small kitchen, and a bar. At night we sleep in a camping fashion on the upper deck, foam pads are provided, and during the day time can be spent relaxing on the upper deck in the sun or on the lower deck with seating in the shade. This is almost a Humphry Bogard African Queen Adventure
This morning we continue our gentle cruise downstream, with time to explore the diverse tropical flora and wildlife viewing along the river banks. Lunch today is cooked on your behalf by the boat crew. We will be arriving in the afternoon at a small settlement of Tendaba on the Gambia's south bank. Upon arrival, we leave our boat and check in to our mud rondavel style that will accommodate us for the upcoming two nights on the shores of the Gambia River. For the upcoming couple of days, we will take a break from the hectic pace and enjoy relaxing and exploring the surrounding natural environment at leisure. Our accommodation is set on the water's edge, it's a great chance to explore the natural surroundings, take a swim in the pool and spot the resident birdlife. Take advantage of your hot shower and electricity while it is running as the outage is expected at night to save energy. Also, give you the natural exposure to experience sounds of the beauty of the jungle at night. Dinner and accommodation will be at our Lodge.
After a sumptuous breakfast, We will take off to Kiang West National Park. One of the largest protected areas in The Gambia. This natural reservation shelters the largest and most diverse animal population in The Gambia. You will be exploring man-grove trees, grass, and woodland. For wildlife, we'll be looking for baboons, colobus monkeys, warthog, marsh mongoose, and bushbuck. We'll return to the camp for lunch. Later this afternoon we make another excursion by boat to explore the woodland, salt marshes, and mangrove forests of nearby Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve. A tributary of the Gambia River, the Bao Bolong is most famous for its birdlife with more than 250 species in the area, including the impressive martial eagle and the bateleur. On our way back to camp, there will be time to relax and have a sundowner as the sun sets over the river.
This morning we begin with a garnished breakfast and hopping in our truck to head back to Senegal. We'll drive for around 90 minutes to a river crossing where we'll take a ferry to Farafenni before continuing to the Senegal Border. Once we've crossed we'll then continue to Toubakouta, where we will overnight. Today's journey will take around 5 hours in total but could be longer depending on how long it takes to cross the border. The afternoon is at your leisure to relax, have a dip in the pool, or explore the local area. Our accommodation is rondavels set within the lush grounds of the hotel set on the river bank. This evening we offer an optional collective ride where you can join other guests on an optional boat excursion.
This morning we will leave our Lodge for a cruise north along the Sine-Saloum Delta by motorized hydrofoil boat for approximately 4-5 hours trip. We wind our way through the maze of wide channels, past mangroves, open forests, sand islands, and oyster shells built dwellings villages. We may also spot flocks of pelicans and flamingos. After a packed lunch on board, we'll arrive in Ndangane, our destination for tonight. The afternoon will be at your leisure to reflect and enjoy the slower pace rhythm of life. Ndangane is a small fishing village often used as a refreshing stop along the Delta. The beach is lined with traditional pirogues and along the main stretch of road, there is a small number of bars and craft shops. Enjoy a relaxing night in this peaceful natural setting.
Today we depart Saloum Delta National Park to begin our journey back to Dakar. Our first stop, just a short time away is to see a giant Baobab tree. Baobab trees are the national symbol of Senegal, some trees dating back 6,000 years and can only be found in a few places around the world. We'll have a short stop here before we continue. Our next stop will be for a guided walking tour of the Fadeout Islands. This unusual destination is composed of oysters and clamshells, and the inhabitants are both Muslim and Christian who all live together peacefully. The Christian and Muslim cemeteries are built on a huge ancient shell mound and our guide will take us around to help us understand this very unique community. Later this afternoon we'll proceed on our return journey to Dakar. We will arrive in time for dinner.
The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Dakar. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Dakar at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from Blaise Diagne International Airport (DSS), which is about one hours' drive from the city center.
|TOTAL IN USD
Cost per person: $2885 USD
Single supplement: $655 USD
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