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Inside view of West Africa, 37 days

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Inside view of West Africa, 37 days

Day 1: Saturday – Dakar, Senegal

On arrival in Dakar you will be met, assisted and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Meal(s) Included: No

Overnight at Sofitel Teranga Dakar or Similar

Day 2: Sunday – Dakar / Goree Island

Today take a short ferry cruise to the World Heritage Site of Goree Island. The tour includes a visit to the ethnographic museum and a lecture by the curator on the history of this famous/infamous Island. This afternoon return to Dakar where you will do a tour of Dakar and vicinity. The tour will include a visit to Kermel Market, famous for a variety of medicinal herbs and traditional healers.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Sofitel Teranga Dakar or Similar

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

After breakfast, go on a tour of Pink Lake, a rare natural phenomena caused by the unique combination of microorganism and high concentration of salts which gives the lake its pink color. You may interact with the women harvesting salt. Visit the nearby Fulani village where you will be welcomed by the Chief and his wives. Explore the dunes in 4×4 Vehicle. This is the locale where the yearly PARIS-DAKAR MOTOR RALLY ends. Continue to St. Louis, Senegal’s former French Colonial Capital. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Hôtel Cap Saint-Louis or Similar

Day 4: Tuesday – St. Louis

Excursion to the Parc Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Djoudj Parc is situated on a major palearctic migratory route and is a paradise for bird enthusiasts. Enjoy a pirogue ride to better view the numerous bird species including cormorants, pelicans, ducks, flamingos, various songbirds among others. You may also see crocodiles, boas and wild boars. In the afternoon, visit old colonial Saint Louis with its narrow streets flanked by houses with carved wooden verandas. If time permits, you will visit the fishing village of Guet N’Dar.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

or Similar

Day 5: Wednesday – St. Louis / Touba / Dakar

Depart St. Louis to Dakar; while en route visit the Holy City of Touba, founded in the middle of the desert by Ahmadou Bamba, a revered Holyman who started the Mouride Brotherhood. Observe the giant mosque, 87 meters tall and visible for miles across the plains. You will stop for lunch at Diourbel before continuing to Dakar where, if time permits, you will explore the village life of the Muslim Lebu in Yoff, and Village des Arts workshops housing Senegal’s finest artists.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Sofitel Teranga Dakar or Similar

Day 6: Thursday – Dakar / Bamako

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Bamako. Upon arrival in Bamako, you will be met, assisted and transferred to your hotel.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Laico Hotel El Farouk or Similar

Day 7: Friday – Bamako

After breakfast explore this capital city. Bamako is situated on the Niger. You will visit the large art and craft center where sculptors, weavers, leather workers, jewelers and metal workers exhibit wares and skills. Another highlight of your tour is the Grand Marche, or ‘Great Market’, where you can spend hours exploring the hundreds of stalls. From carvings and cassettes, to fabrics, beads, brass and gold, the variety of goods is staggering. One area of the market is devoted entirely too traditional African medicines. Here you’ll find the freshly shrunken heads of birds, monkeys, and crocodiles, along with lizard skins and other gruesome treatments. This evening decide on your activities with the assistance of your guide.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Laico Hotel El Farouk or Similar

Day 8: Saturday – Bamako / Segou

This morning, you begin your journey eastward to Segou, Mali’s second largest city and former colonial administrative center. After checking into your hotel and having lunch, you will tour the city of Segou. Walk through the tree-lined streets just back from the riverbank and stroll to the Quai Ousmane Djiri area.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Hotel Djoliba or Similar

Day 9: Sunday – Segou / Djenne

In the morning, travel by Pirogue boat to Kalabougou Pottery Village, Farako Mud cloth village and to the village of Segou Koro. In the afternoon, travel to Djenne, Mali’s architectural jewel and Timbuktu’s ancient sister-city on the Niger River.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Hotel Campement or Similar

Day 10: Monday – Djenne / Dogon

Founded in the fourth century, Djenne has scarcely changed since the Middle Ages. You will experience Djenne on its weekly market day when Djenne is at its colorful best. The market is set against the magnificent Grand Mosque, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the largest mud brick architecture in the world. The atmosphere in the streets transports you back to Medieval times. After the market, you will visit artisan Pama Sinatou’s workshop. After lunch, you will travel three hours to Dogon country, Mali’s standout highlight and homeland of the fascinating Dogon people and their unique houses and art forms

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

or Similar

Day 11: Tuesday – Dogon

After breakfast, descend along the Bandiagara escarpment. Dogon Country, another World Heritage site, is considered one of the most extraordinary places on earth. Built up high on the narrow ledges of the cliffs are the villages of the Dogon people. In the 11th century, the Dogons fled the advancing Arabs coming from the north, and found shelter in one of West Africa’s most inhospitable areas. Embark on a walking tour of the villages of Banani, Ireli, Arou and Tireli, renowned for their rock paintings and circumcision grotto. You may even witness a traditional Dogon Mask Dance.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

or Similar

Day 12: Wednesday – Dogon

Today you will walk to the villages of Songo, Teli and Ende. After your explorations, we drive approximately one hour to Bandiagara where we will overnight.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

or Similar

Day 13: Thursday – Dogon / Timbuktu

After breakfast, we drive to the legendary city of Timbuktu. Located at the terminus of the great trans-Saharan caravan route, Timbuktu became fabulously wealthy in the 16th century. Loaded with blocks of salt and other trade goods, huge convoys of camels would spend weeks crossing the unforgiving Sahara to reach Timbuktu.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

or Similar

Day 14: Friday – Timbuktu

This morning we shall tour the city of Timbuktu, gateway to the Sahara Desert, admiring such magnificent mud-brick structures as the Djinguiraiber Mosque, the Mosque of Sankore and the Palace of Bouctou. We shall see the houses of the various 19th century European explorers who used Timbuktu as a base. We shall also visit the ethnological museum and Maison des Artisans. Continue to visit the explorers’ houses, and the market which received the salt caravans from the desert. This afternoon depart on camel into the desert to visit a Tuareg camp where you will have tea on the dune with your hosts, the princes of the desert.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at La Maison Rouge or Similar

Day 15: Saturday – Timbuktu / Mopti

This morning you leave a place whose name is synonymous with somewhere unreachable, “Timbuktu”, and drive to Mopti the Venice of Mali, nestled between the Niger and the Bani rivers. This evening enjoy a sunset sail on the Niger River in a traditional pirogue.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at La Maison Rouge or Similar

Day 16: Sunday – Mopti

During our Mopti city tour, we shall see the fascinating mix of Malian cultures: Bambara, Bobo, Bozo, Dogon, Fulani, Tuareg, Songhaï and Hausa. We shall visit the beautiful mosque, the fishing port and the bustling Marche Souguni and Centre d’Artisanat des Femmes, where gold and silver jewelry, Tuareg Leather work and Fulani blankets are sold.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

or Similar

Day 17: Monday – Mopti / Bobo Dioulasso

Depart Mali and cross into Burkina Faso. Tour Bobo Dioulasso, (“house of the Bobo merchants”), Burkina Faso’s second largest city, see the old mosque and visit the old Kibidwe artisans’ district, where you will see blacksmiths, potters and dyers at work.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Hotel Auberge or Similar

Day 18: Tuesday – Bobo Dioulasso / Ouagadougou

Depart to Ouagadougou. After morning tour of Bobo Dioulasso, travel to Ouagadougou , stopping at points on interest. Arrive in Ouaga late afternoon where you will check into your hotel.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Hotel Le Silmande Ouagadougou or Similar

Day 19: Wednesday – Ouagadougou

After breakfast drive to Gaoua, via Explore Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital city. Visit the Grand Market and the National Museum with its interesting collection of regional clothing, masks, household utensils and ancestral statues. Visit the craft market at the Artisans’ Center, where you will find basketry, batik fabrics, wooden statues and masks, jewelry, leatherwork and bronze castings.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

or Similar

Day 20: Thursday – Natitingou /Benin

Depart Ouagadougou after breakfast and drive to Fada N’Gourma, cross the BF-Benin border to Natitingou, in Somba country. Overnight in Natitingou.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Hotel Tata Somba or Similar

Day 21: Friday – Natitingou / Abomey

Visit the Natitingou Museum for an interesting overview of the Somba culture, then drive to Abomey, the birthplace of voodoo; visit Abomey’s historical Daho-Donou Museum. Overnight in Abomey.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Hotel Dako Ler Bohicon or Similar

Day 22: Saturday – Abomey / Cotonou

Visit the Royal Palace Museum, site of the ancient palaces of the twelve kings of Abomey, who reigned from 1620 through 1900; visit the artisans’ center; then depart for Cotonou where your tour of the city will include the fish market and the international Dantokpa market, with its fetish stalls and handcraft center. If time permits, this evening you may take a pirogue excursion to Ganvie, the village built on stilts over the lagoon.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Benin Marina Hotel or Similar

Day 23: Sunday – Cotonou / Ouidah / Cotonou

Travel to and tour Ouidah, an important traditional religious center and ancient slave depot, visit the Museum in the old Portuguese fort, the Voodoo Museum, the temple of pythons, the Cathedral of Notre Dame and the Kpasse sacred forest; witness a traditional voodoo ceremony featuring the spirits of departed ancestors.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Benin Marina Hotel or Similar

Day 24: Monday – Cotonou / Lome

Travel to Ouidah, an important traditional religious center and ancient slave depot. Visit the Museum in the old Portuguese Fort, the temple of pythons, the Cathedral of Notre Dame and the Kpasse sacred forest. Perhaps you will witness a traditional voodoo ceremony featuring the spirits of departed ancestors. This afternoon depart on a 2-hour drive to Lome, Togo, stopping at points of interest.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Mercure Lome Sarakawa Hotel or Similar

Day 25: Tuesday – Lome

Breakfast then depart for a full day tour of Lome Tour the city of Lome. Visit Independence Square, the national Museum, Lome craftsmen village, Lome Central market- realm of the famous Nana Benz, the fishing harbor, the fetish market, which is the traditional drugstore for many Togolese. This afternoon you may attend a real voodoo ceremony in which initiates get into trance at the rhythm of drums and ritual songs.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Mercure Lome Sarakawa Hotel or Similar

Day 26: Wednesday – Lome / Ho, Ghana

Depart to Ho, the capital of Ghana’s Volta region. Visit Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary where sacred monkeys live in harmony with the locals for centuries. Continue to Wli Waterfalls the longest in West Africa. Visit the Ho Museum, central market and Kpetoe Kente Village.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Chances Hotel or Similar

Day 27: Thursday – Ho / Kumasi

Depart to Kumasi the realm of the Ashanti Kingdom.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at  Noda Hotel or Similar

Day 28: Friday – Kumasi

After breakfast we will visit the Kumasi Central Market, the largest open-air market in West Africa, where more than 10,000 traders ply their wares. Continue with visits to the Ashanti craft villages starting with the Woodcarving Village of Ahwiaa, known for the talented craftsmen who fashion royal stools, walking sticks and fertility dolls. Our second stop is the village of Ntonso where Artisans hand-stamp patterns on cotton cloth to make Adinkra textiles that are worn for funerals and other solemn occasions. Our third village is Bonwire where the famous Kente cloth is handmade on looms, in a time-honored tradition passed down through generations. This afternoon we will visit Manhyia Palace Museum where you will get an overview of the history of the Ashanti people.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Noda Hotel Similar

Day 29: Saturday – Cape Coast

Depart to Cape Coast and Elmina, arriving early afternoon for a brief tour of the city of Cape Coast. Tour Elmina Castle, a World Heritage site where slaves were held before being sent to the New World—followed by a walk through the town of Elmina. In the evening, visit the Volta Fisherman Community, a coastal village with traditional industries and Volta style houses. Overnight in Cape Coast.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Coconut Grove Beach Resort or Similar

Day 30: Sunday – Cape Coast

Early morning departure for a drive through the historic Denkyira Kingdom to Kakum National Park, one of West Africa is surviving tropical rain forests. Extending over 360sq km, Kakum is the home to several large mammals and hundreds of bird species as well as many species of butterflies. The most popular attraction at Kakum is the Canopy walkway, which is made up of seven bridges extending over 100 feet and hanging over 100feet above the forest floor. Experience the canopy walkway. This afternoon the tour continues with a tour of Tour of Cape Coast Castle—another World Heritage Site.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at  Coconut Grove Beach Resort or Similar

Day 31: Monday – Cape Coast / Busua Beach Resort

Complete your tour of Cape Coast/Elmina then depart to for Busua Beach Resort in Ghana’s Western region. Here you may enjoy water sports and other activities.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Busua Beach Resort or Similar

Day 32: Tuesday – Busua Beach Resort

This morning visit Fort Metal Cross at Dixcove built by the British in 1697 and was later taken over by the Dutch. In the evening you may enjoy water sports or just relax at the beach.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Busua Beach Resort or Similar

Day 33: Wednesday – Busua Beach Resort

Today you will visit Fort San Antonio at Axim and Fort Apollonio at Benyin. Continue to NZULEZU, a village on stilts built entirely on the Amunsure Lagoon. The river-dwelling people of Nzulezu live a full life on the lagoon. In the evening you may enjoy water sports or just relax at the beach.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Busua Beach Resort or Similar

Day 34: Thursday – Busua Beach Resort / Accra

Travel to Accra, Ghana’s capital city and seat of the Government. Our first stop will be Kokrobrite Beach for lunch at Big Milly’s Backyard, famous throughout West Africa for its fresh fish, roasted vegetable dishes, and elevated dining area overlooking the beach. After lunch, two exciting hours of drumming and cultural dancing lessons with the experts at Kokrobrite Drumming Center. Continue to your hotel to check in.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at La-Palm Royal Beach Hotel or Similar

Day 35: Friday – Accra

Today we will explore Accra including visits to the W.E.B. Dubois Center for Pan Africanism and library. Visit Black Star Square and the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial (the tomb of Ghana’s first President). Pass by Independence Arch-Accra’s ceremonial grounds. After lunch we will visit a local casket making shop to see a collection of caskets carved in the shapes of various objects depicting traditional beliefs in life after death. The “Fantasy Coffins” of Teshie Nungua have been featured in National Geographic and can be found in museums and galleries worldwide.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at La-Palm Royal Beach Hotel or Similar

Day 36: Saturday – Accra

This morning we will visit the National Theater to see a display of traditional instruments and carvings including “male” and “female” handcrafted drums. See the traditional crafts and other ethnographic displays at the National Museum. Just how good are you at bargaining? Find out this afternoon when you visit Accra’s main Arts and Crafts market where you may test your bargaining and trading skills against the vendors. After returning to your hotel with the great bargains you have secured, prepare for tomorrow’s departure.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at La-Palm Royal Beach Hotel or Similar

Day 37: Sunday – Depart

Today is at leisure before you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast .

 

Included

  • Meeting and assistance upon arrival
  • Round trip airport to hotel transfers and luggage handling
  • Hotel accommodation in the indicated properties
  • Transportation in private  vehicle
  • Experienced  tour guides
  • Meals indicated (36 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 35 dinners)
  • Admission to sites listed
  • Domestic airfare within Africa

Not included

  • International flight to Africa
  • Travel insurance
  • Cost of visa and immunization
  • Tips to driver and guide
  • Personal Items (cell phone, laundry)

Note

You may join this tour in progress on Day 6 or 18. You may end the tour on Day 19, 26 or 37.