2 Weeks Cultural Discovery

Tour in The Gambia and Senegal with river cruise.

OVERVIEW:

We discover tropic Gambia and exotic Senegal ,could be a very good experience for nature lovers and historians . The tour starts in the Gambia  and we venture into Senegal through the Saloum Delta, visit to a game park in Fatala and spend the first night in Tubakuta.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Saloum Delta National Park: Wilderness delta area ,pirogue trip through the national park to  view the  birdlife
  • Fadiout Fishing Village: Entirely constructed with oyster shell and clams
  • Isle  De Goree: UNESCO world Heritage  Site.Tranquill island with mediteranian  influences
  • St. Louis: 19th century French colonial town
  • Djoudj National Park: One of the most important bird reserves in the world
  • A day cruise on the river Gambia: Great scenery ,fauna and flora and a chance to see the Chimpanzee
  • Wassu Stone Circle: Ancient burial sites
  • Drive and cross the ferry to Tendaba Camp.

BIRD WATCHING:

The Gambia and Senegal have many excellent reserves for bird watching. During the annual migration from November to April, millions more arrive from Europe. Over 650 species have been recorded. If you are keen, remember to pack a pair of binoculars and note that there are several bird books available on this area.

ITINERARY:

Day 1. DRIVE TO SALOUM DELTA

Today we cross the river to the north  ,heading to the Saloum delta via the Fatala park then to Toubakouta ,where we will spend the first night.

Day 2. IN SALOUM DELTA  WE WILL HAVE A PIROGUE TRIP  NORTH THROUGH THE DELTA

Day 3. DRIVE TO DAKAR

Day 4. CROSS THE FERRY TO THE ISLAND OF GOREE

We begin our tour by taking a ferry to Isle de Goree, a small and peaceful island without any traffic. We make a walking tour of Isle de Goree. This was a busy trading center during the 18th and 19th centuries. It is now UNESCO world heritage center colonial-style houses, wrought-iron balconies, narrow streets and brightly coloured bougainvillea. Le castel is situated on a rocky plateau from where there are good view across to Dakar. The fortifications dates back to different periods. Also worth visiting is the slave house originally built in 1786.

Day 5. FERRY TO DAKAR; Drive to St Louis.

This morning we return to the mainland by ferry and drive to Lac Rose, the pink lake. This large shallow lagoon is extremely salty and is also renowned for its pink tinge, due to the high concentrations of minerals in the water. We continue north to St.Louis.

Day 6. In St.LOUIS; Visit Djoudj National Park.

St .Louis  is a marvelous old town full of 19th century French colonial  buildings St.Louis was the first French  settlement in Africa and the headquarters of Senegambia [the term use to describe the whole region]. By the late  18th century it was a busy  port and trading center .On our second day in St.Louis  well explore and visit the Djoudj National Park. Regarded as one of the most important bird reserves in the world, it provides the first major water source for migratory birds after their long grueling  flight over the Sahara desert. We  travel  by motorized boat along the complex network of channel which lead off  the Senegal river. The bird count reaches 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: Herons, White-breasted Cormorants, Spoonbills, Jakanas, Egyptian Gees, West African Fish Eagles and Flamingos to name but a few. You may also see Crocodile, Wild hog, Monitor Lizard  and Water Python.

Day 7. In St.LOUIS;Visit Langue de Barbarie NP.

Today we plan to visit the Langue de Barbarie  National Park, home to water birds such as flamingos, pelicans, cormorants, heron, egrets and duck. From November to April they are  joined by many  more migratory  birds  from Europe .The afternoon is left free for you to follow your own interest.

Overnight  standard hotel ,include meals.

Day 8. Drive and ferry to Georgetown

Early this morning we head to the Gambia, en route we stop to view the overwhelming mosue in Touba, the sacred focus of the Mourid Islamic brotherhood. Their founder Amadou Bamber , Senegal’s most famous and influential marabout [holy man] is buried here and pilgrims visit  the town all year round. We try to pass through here  when the mosue is busy with worshipers. Continuing through the town of Kaolack, we enter the Gambia and head east following the route of the river to our night accommodation in Georgetown  which was an important administrative center  during the colonial period. It may be possible to experience local traditional dancing after dinner in the camp.

Day 9. CRUISE  ON GAMBIA RIVE. Visit river Gambia National park and Wassu Stone Circle.

The Gambia  river flows along the entire length of the country for 300 miles from east to west into the Atlantic Ocean. Slave ship once traveled  along its course exporting slaves. We spend the morning cruising  down stream, passing  tropical forest, bamboo groves, rice paddies and mangrove swamps. Amongs the varied fauna present in this area are  monkeys, hippos, crocodiles and of course  a great  number of bird species. The bank of the rive have been inhabited since 2000 bc. On the first day we will visit the stone circle  after the boat trip. There are several circles each consisting of about 10 to 24 reddisbrown stones between one and 2.5m high  and weighing several tons. These  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 stone still present a mystery to archaeologists. From there we will drive  and cross the ferry to Tendaba Camp, where we will spend two nights.

Day 10. At TENDABA ;Kiang West National Park and Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve.

Day 11. CREEK TOUR  AT TENDABA  TO BAOBOLONG WETLAND.

Day 12. BACK TO THE COAST ,BIRDING ON THE WAY.

Day 13. ABUKO NATURE RESERVE.

Day 14. FREE DAY. BEFORE GOING TO THE AIRPORT.