Unexplored West Africa

Senegal (Dakar, St. Louis, Touba, Kaolack, Saloum Island, Ziguinchor) Gambia (Banjul) Guinea Bissau (Bissau, Quinhamel) Guinea (Conakry, Dalaba) Sierra Leone (Freetown) Liberia (Monrovia) Ghana (Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast)

West Africa is waiting to be explored! Have a pleasant tour of the West African coast, visiting the nations of Senegal, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. Not only will you take in the vibrant atmosphere of all these countries’ capital cities, but you will also be able to visit their hidden jewels, such as Ghana’s Kumasi, center of the famed Ashanti kingdom.

The Gouro folklore

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Activity
  1. Day 1: Dakar

    Arrive in Dakar, meet assist and transfer to your hotel.

    The rest of the day is at leisure.

    Overnight at Djoloff Dakar

  2. Day 2: Dakar

    This day’s tour will take us to some of the colorful markets in Senegal including Tilen Market, famous for a variety of medicinal herbs and traditional healers. We will also visit the National Art Gallery and the picturesque district of Medina. 

    In the afternoon, visit Goree Island which includes a visit to the ethnographic museum and a lecture by the curator on the history of Goree Island. This Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the “Door of No Return” 

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Overnight at Djoloff Dakar

  3. Day 3: Dakar / Pink Lake / St. Louis

    After breakfast, you will depart Dakar for a tour of the Pink Lake, a rare phenomenon caused by a unique combination of microorganisms and a high concentration of salts which gives the lake its color. You will see the salt harvesters going about their tasks extracting and transporting salt. Interact with the “Salt Harvesters”. This afternoon, continue to St. Louis, Senegal’s former French Colonial Capital.   

    After breakfast, we drive a short distance for a tour of the spectacular Pink This lake has a pink color because of a rare phenomenon caused by Dunaliella salina micro-organism present in abundance in its salinity. 

    You will then take a walk to see some local salt harvesters at work and watch them fill their baskets with salt crystals. 

    We continue to St. Louis, the former French colonial capital of Senegal. 

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Overnight at Residence Hotel

  4. Day 4: Saint Louis

    After an early breakfast, visit Djoudj Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy a pirogue ride to better view the many species of cormorants, pelicans, ducks, flamingos, various songbirds, and more. Go on a tour of the Djoudj National Park to see crocodiles, boas, and wild boars. 

    You return to St. Louis to explore the narrow streets flanked by houses with carved wooden balconies and verandas. 

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

    Overnight at Residence Hotel

  5. Day 5: Saint Louis / Touba / Kaolack

    Following breakfast, you depart to Kaolack in the south of Senegal. Along the way, visit the city of Touba to see the Grand Mosque which is the largest and most magnificent in all of West Africa. See the tomb of Cheikh Ahmadou Mbacke the founder of Mouridism (African brotherhood or African Islamic movement) and those of his 4 sons. Spend a few minutes in the large library which holds thousands of volumes many of which were written by the mystic founder. Learn about the history of the Touba, Kaolack, and Wadiour/Keur Khaly. Touba is an autonomous city in Senegal much like the Vatican in Italy. Meet locals who live in Kaolack and learn about their daily activities and customs. You’ll also visit the nearby traditional hospital at Malango where you will meet healers from different ethnic groups and walk through the large open-air market.  

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Overnight at Le Relais de Kaolack

  6. Day 6 : Kaolack / Sine Ngayene / Banjul

    After breakfast, we’ll visit the Sine Ngayene complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site consisting of 52 circles of standing stones. There are 1102 stones at the site, about 1km east of the circles (outside the incredible property), is the quarry from which the monoliths were extracted. About 150 stones also trace their roots from there. The site was excavated in the 1970s. The single burials that were found in the region appeared to precede the multiple burials associated with the stone circle. 

    The capital city of Gambia is Banjul, which is surrounded by the beautiful scenery of tropical grassland and fascinating beaches. 

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Overnight at Atlantic Hotel, Banjul

  7. Day 7: Banjul

    After breakfast, go on a tour of the Gambia River and visit sites where the stories from Alex Haley’s Saga “Roots’’. Cruise up-river from Banjul Port and go back 200 years in time. Upon arrival at the ancient trading station of Albreda, we will observe the ruins of the Sao Domingo Church erected by the Portuguese in the 17th Century. The church is reported to be one of the oldest churches in West Africa. Albreda gained fame in the period of slavery as a result of its Flag Pole which many believed would guarantee freedom to any slave who touched it after escaping from nearby James Island. The village of Juffureh where “Kunta Kinte” of Roots fame traced his ancestry is just fifteen minutes’ walk away.  

    We will also visit the original home of Alex Haley’s great grandfather, which stands near to the mosque and is still occupied by the Kinte family. The current leader of the community is a female cousin of Alex Haley. Continue to the “Museum of Slavery where you will get a good insight of Gambian slave history. 

    We will go on a short river cruise to James Island, steeped in slave trade history. The fortress ruins tell the tale of colonial rivalries, and the beads still buried in the sand conjure pictures of the hundreds of slaves shackled together waiting to be transported to an unknown land. 

    Early in the evening, get in a boat and go back to Banjul. Sail along with black dolphins that mostly appear. 

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

    Overnight at Atlantic Hotel Banjul

  8. Day 8: Banjul / Ziguinchor

    After breakfast, begin the tour of Banjul at the National Museum where you can learn about the history of the Gambia. Have a short drive through the city and pay a visit to the bustling Central market where you can find anything from live chickens and vegetable to herbs. (We caution that care is taken with travelers’ valuables such as handbags and cameras when visiting crowded areas.)  

    Late afternoon, visit Serrekunda, the most densely populated town in the Gambia. There, you will see Tie & Dye skills and the handling of beautiful Batik cottons on display.. Afterwards, continue to Ziguinchor, stopping at Jola villages on the way where you will learn about the Jola tribe. 

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Overnight at Kadiandoumagne

  9. Day 9: Ziguinchor /Oussouye / Karabane/ Ziguinchor

    After breakfast, visit the last king of the Jola people, who will welcome you in his palace located in a sacred forest. Currently he rules 18 villages which keeps him busy doling assistance and settling disputes.  

    Continue to the historical Island of Karabane facing the Casamance river where you will have lunch. Return to Ziguinchor through Cap Skirring, known for its stunning beaches. 

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Overnight at Kadiandoumagne

  10. Day 10: Ziguinchor/Bissau

    After breakfast, depart from Ziguinchor, then cross the border into Guinea Bissau. Have an afternoon city tour. You will receive your Guinea Bissau visa at the border. 

    Visit the National Museum and the military museum and you’ll learn about the unique history of Guinea Bissau. You will see the mausoleum of Amilcal Cabral and his companion in the revolution. Stop by the Mercado Central (Central Market) known for its vibrant atmosphere, fold art and handcrafted items, and the “Centro Artistico Juvenile” where artist exhibits their wares. 

    Go to the old colonial center of Bissau Velho, Porto Pidjiguiti, and the Presidential and the Presidential Palace and Fortaleza d’Amura barracks which includes a memorial to Amilcal Cabral. Stop by the National Arts institute for a few minutes before returning to your hotel. 

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Overnight at Hotel 24 Septembro

  11. Day 11: Bissau / Quinhamel/Bissau

    After breakfast, drive to Quinhamel along with the Mar Azul (in Portuguese) meaning blue sea. Visit the Quinhamel weavers’ workshop and witness how local sugar cane rum, palm oil cashew nuts are made. This offers a great opportunity to interact with the local people. You will also visit other villages nearby and return to Bissau overnight.   

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Overnight at Hotel 24 Septembro

  12. Day 12:  Bissau / Cacheu / Bissau

    Following a good breakfast, drive to Cacheu in northwestern Guinea Bissau. Due to its strategic location on the Cacheu River, Cacheu was one of the earliest European colonial settlements in sub-Saharan. The Portuguese crown officially used Cacheu in the seventeenth and eighteenth as a landmark to ensure that duties on all exports, including humans, were paid. 

    After you arrive in Cacheu, start your city tour with a visit to the Fortress of Cacheu and the Slavery Museum, the Rua Grande, and the Nativity Church (first church built in Guinea- Bissau). 

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Overnight at Hotel 24 Septembro

  13. Day 13: Bissau/ Conakry

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Conakry. Upon arrival in Conakry, you will be met assisted and transferred to your hotel. Time permitting; begin the city tour of Conakry and vicinity. 

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Overnight at Hotel Petit Bateau

  14. Day 14: Conakry / Dalaba

    After breakfast, drive to Dabala and visit the marketplace before we continue the drive to Fouta Jalon – an interesting farming region called the African Switzerland. The area was a favorite second home for the late Mariam Makeba, the famous South African singer whose home, dating from the French colonial period is still immaculately kept. 

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Overnight at SIB Hotel Fouta

  15. Day 15: Dalaba / Kindia

    After breakfast, begin the city tour of Dalaba. Visit the palace of Sekou Touré (first President of Guinea). Visit the artisans and drive to see the waterfalls of Kinkon in Pita. Afterward, continue for dinner and overnight in Kindia. 

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Overnight at Hotel Masabi

  16. Day 16: Kindia / Conakry

    After breakfast, drive to Conakry; Enroute, visit Waterfall, Le Voile de la Mariee (Weeding Veil), you will also visit the natural swimming pool at Kilissi and view the landscape from the Valley of Labota. Arrive in Conakry and begin a tour of the city. 

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Overnight at Hotel Petit Bateau

  17. Day 17: Conakry/ Freetown

    Following breakfast, travel to Sierra Leone. Stop to admire the landscape and villages along the route. After crossing the border into Sierra, we will continue to Freetown for dinner and overnight. 

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Overnight at Home Suites Hotel

  18. Day 18:  Freetown

    After breakfast, depart to Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary. The 100 acres sanctuary which was created to save and rehabilitate chimps before freeing them, allows a close encounter with the chimpanzees. You can observe the Chimpanzees living in their natural habitat in large enclosures and feeding wild in the forest. Most of the chimpanzees live semi-wild inside large enclosures. 

    A short walking distance from the chimpanzee sanctuary you will find Charlotte Falls, a spectacular waterfall on a steep rock cliff down to a river below. 

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Overnight at Home Suites Hotel

  19. Day 19: Freetown/Bunce Island / Monrovia

    After breakfast, drive to the oldest University in West Africa, the University of Sierra Leone/Fourah Bay College at Mount Aureol. Enjoy the stunning views from the elevated location and the Botanical Gardens. Cruise to Bunce Island, which was declared a national monument in 1948 and was a famous European commercial fort built during the slave trading era. It was a location for European and African traders to meet. 

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Overnight at Bella Casa

  20. Day 20: Monrovia

    Drive through the tropical rainforest and small villages, where you’ll see Kpatawee waterfalls. There are two waterfalls, one male and one female. 

    Travel to Gbarnga in Bong County, the capital of Bong Visit a tribal chief and learn about the history and culture of the tribes. Return to Monrovia late in the evening. 

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Overnight at Bella Casa

  21. Day 21: Monrovia – Accra

    After breakfast, embark on a historical journey through the capital of Africa’s first independent Republic. This little city holds tremendous amount of antiquity. Nestled in Monrovia’s highest point, Ducor Hill is the country’s first defense facility. Fort Norris, the country’s first lighthouse, a monument honoring the first president, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, and the remnants of Liberia’s first five-star hotel (the first in West Africa), the Ducor Hotel. The Ducor Hotel. This tour will leave you stunned as the ocean scenery and the river views serve as the backdrop. 

    The Declaration of Independence for Liberia was signed at the country’s oldest and most prestigious church, The Providence Baptist Church on July 26th,1847. 

    Monrovia has historical sites including the grave of its most distinguished president, William V.S Tubman, the Centennial Pavilion, and Providence Island where Liberia’s first town was established in 1822. Monrovia’s markets are one the best places where you can observe the city’s diverse population. 

    Afterward, you will be taken to the airport for your flight to Accra. You will be met, assisted, and transferred to the hotel. 

    Upon arrival, the guide will brief you on what to expect during your stay in Ghana. 

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Overnight at La Villa Boutique

  22. Day 22:  Accra and vicinity

    Following a refreshing night and a good breakfast, we tour the vibrant city of Accra, which is a blend of historic and modern buildings, with many colonial-era buildings still evident today. Highlights include: 

    • We will first visit the W.E.B. Du Bois Centre was established in recognition of the life of the prominent Pan-Africanists who chose to live and work in Ghana. The Centre is a place for Pan-African Thought and houses a conference room, as well as a memorial/museum documenting Du Bois’ life and highlighting Ghana’s role in Pan-Africanism.  
    • We’ll continue to Independence Square, where you will see the flame of African Liberation that was lit by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in 1961. The Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, with its attractive gardens and museum, is a great place to learn about the first President of Ghana. It also serves as the final resting place for the late president, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah after his previous burial in Guinea and Nkroful, his birth town. 
    • We continue to Jamestown Community, the oldest city in Accra. It is the most historic neighborhood where history resides on every corner. Best known for its lighthouses (the first of which was constructed in 1875 by the British) as a navigational aid for trading vessels sailing through the Gulf of Guinea. The original structure was ruined but a larger and more improved lighthouse was completed in 1921.  
    • You may visit the “Brazil House” which is famous for the Afro-Brazilian history behind it. Built-in 1836 and completed 100 years after 1638, this historic house serves as a museum to showcase historic memories indicative of the previous centuries of migration to Ghana by Africans from Brazil and Portugal. 

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Overnight at La Villa Boutique

  23. Day 23: Accra/Kumasi

    After breakfast, drive to Kumasi and then go see the Bunso Arboretum. It’s a protected reserve and a home to over 120 species of birds, some of which are very rare. The Arboretum contains a garden with over 200 different species/varieties of herbs, used for food, medicine, It is a research center for Plant Genetic Resources Center.   

    After arriving in Kumasi, have a tour of the city. It begins with a visit to the Kumasi Cultural Center, where you will see the houses Prempeh II Jubilee Museum, named after a former Asantehene, Nana Osei Agyeman Prempeh II. Exhibits include the  Okomfo Anokye Sword, an important symbol of Ashanti unity that marks the spot where the Golden Stool “descended from the sky” and has been in place for 300 years. It is said that the Ashanti Kingdom would fall should the sword be removed from its sheath. 

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Overnight at Miklin Kumasi

  24. Day 24: Kumasi

    After breakfast, we will visit Manhyia Palace Museum to learn about the history and cultural heritage of the Ashanti Kingdom at the official residence of Asantehene. The museum containing treasured items relating to the Ashanti Kingdom. This is where you obtain first-hand information on the legacies of this unified monarchy. 

    Enjoy the Akwasidae Festival, the pomp, and the pageantry of the Ashanti Kingdom. The King riding in a palanquin and adorned with all his gold ornaments comes out to receive the homage of his sub-chiefs and people, it’s fascinating to watch the colorful canopies and umbrellas, the skillful drummers, dancers, horn blowers, and praise-singers at these regular festivals, held in honor of their ancestral spirits. 

    We enjoyed a drive through the city with monuments dedicated to the memory of the great Ashanti people on our way to visit the nearby Okomfo Anokye Sword site, an important symbol of Ashanti unity that marks the spot where the Golden Stool “descended from the sky” and has been in place for 300 years. It is said that the Ashanti Kingdom would fall should the sword be removed from its sheath. 

    We continue to the village of Ahwiaa which has long been known for its many talented craftsmen who fashion Royal Stools, walking sticks, and fertility dolls from wood. This thriving community is also known for producing some of the most talented artisans who create hand-carved jewelry boxes and other wood-carving items of all kinds. 

    We will also Adanwomase village, where you will witness how the local weavers work on their looms in the town center and demonstrate how the famous Kente cloth is made in a time-honored tradition passed down through generations. You may decide to purchase some of the stunning Kente fabrics on display at the center. 

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Overnight at Miklin Kumasi

  25. Day 25: Kumasi- Cape Coast

    After a hearty breakfast, we will depart Kumasi for Cape Coast. En route, we will visit the burial site of two former slaves from the U.S. and Jamaica whose remains were re-interred in August 1998 during Ghana’s first Emancipation Day celebration. You can see the ‘slave river’ where enslaved Africans were washed before being confined in the castles to await shipment to the Americas and the Caribbean. 

    Arrive in Cape Coast early afternoon and continue the tour to Cape Coast Castle and its dungeon, where you will be moved emotionally by the ‘’Door of No Return’’. 

    This evening, enjoy a picturesque tour of Elmina township, which was the first destination of Europeans in Sub-Saharan Africa. It used to be the most cosmopolitan city in tropical Africa. As you walk through the ancient town of Elmina and down to the harbor, you are greeted by colorful fishing canoes getting ready to go to sea for another night’s task of fishing. This a perfect picture opportunity for photographers. 

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Overnight at Elmina Beach Resort

  26. Day 26: Cape Coast/Accra/Depart

    After breakfast and check out, you will visit Kakum National Park in Ghana. It has one of Africa’s famous rainforest canopy walkways. This canopy walkway will be one of the highlights of your time in Ghana. Prepare to take a deep breath while you walk the suspended bridge and marvel at the breathtaking views that stretch for miles across the rainforest. There are more than 40 kinds of mammals in the park including elephants, leopards, and primates. 

    We stop for refreshment at the Hans Cottage, which is situated on a lake filled with Nile crocodiles. 

    On your return to Accra, you will stop at villages along the way to get souvenirs. Upon reaching Accra there will be an opportunity for last-minute shopping. Later you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.  

    OR EXTEND YOUR STAY IN ACCRA

    Meal(s) Included: Breakfast

Trip Includes:

  • Meeting and assistance upon arrival and departure
  • Roundtrip airport/hotel transfers and luggage handling
  • Hotel accommodation in the listed properties
  • Transportation in private vehicle
  • Experienced tour guides
  • Meals indicated
  • Admission to sites listed
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