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Senegal And The Gambia

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days 13 US$ 2,240 US$ 2,128
SavingUS$ 112
highlights
  • Djoudj - One of the most important bird sanctuaries in the world.
  • Gambia River - A two day cruise on the mighty Gambia River through tropical forest, bamboo groves, rice paddies and mangroves.
  • Saloum Delta - Explore the river delta by traditional pirogue through mangroves and aquatic birds.
  • Isle de Goree - A tranquil island rich in history and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Senegal and The Gambia tour starts and ends in Dakar. Senegal and The Gambia is a Cruises tour that takes 13 days taking you through Dakar, Senegal and other destinations in Senegal.

Discover tropical Anglo-influenced Gambia and exotic Francophile Senegal, and compare the colonial imprints in this beautiful region on this West African adventure. Walk through slow-paced French colonial towns, see prolific birdlife and explore some of the region's finest national parks. Djoudj - Visit one of the most important bird sanctuaries in the world Gambia River - Sleep on the mighty Gambia River and sail through tropical forest, bamboo groves, rice paddies and mangroves Saloum Delta - Explore the river delta by traditional pirogue boat through mangroves and aquatic birds
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Join the tour this evening and, depending on your flight arrival time, have a chance to meet your fellow group members and soak up the Senegalese ambience.
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
After a welcome meeting this morning with our Explore Leader, we will drive to the ferry terminal to take a ferry to Isle de Goree, a small and peaceful island without any traffic. On arrival, we'll drop off our luggage before a guided tour of Isle de Goree on foot. Once a busy trading centre during the 18th and 19th centuries, the island is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town's architecture may make you feel you have been transported in time to an old-world Mediterranean district, due to the island's charming colonial-style houses, wrought-iron balconies, narrow streets and brightly coloured bougainvillea. Le Castel is situated on a rocky plateau with its fortifications dating back to different periods, and we'll also explore the old Slave House originally built in 1786. This evening will be free to relax.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Simple guesthouse
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, caused by the high concentrations of minerals in the water. We'll have a 30 minute walk around the lake followed by free time for a lunchbreak, before we continue north to St. Louis. Tonight we'll be free to explore this colourful area which is now also a UNESCO World Heritage.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
An early start to visit Djoudj National Park, regarded as 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 gruelling flight over the Sahara desert. We travel by motorised boat along the complex network of channels 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 synchronised 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 crocodile, wild hog, monitor lizard and water python.

Early this afternoon we return back to St. Louis in time for lunch and some free time before exploring this marvellous old town by calesh (horse-drawn carriage) with a local guide. Full of 19th century French colonial buildings, this was the first French settlement in Africa and the Headquarters of Senegambia (the term used to describe the whole region). By the late 18th century St Louis was a busy port and trading centre and was inscribed a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Today we'll start early for our visit the Langue de Barbarie National Park, located on a thin sandspit in the estuary of the Senegal River, and home to water birds 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 motorised pirogue across the river to access the national park.

After a morning of exploration, the afternoon is at leisure for you to follow your own interests or perhaps try the national meal of thiebou dieune, a spiced fish and rice dish.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Early this morning we begin our journey to The Gambia and much of the day will be spent in the bus travelling. We will break up the first leg of this journey with a visit to an astounding mosque in Touba, the sacred focus of the Mouride Islamic 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, and as we pass through on a Friday the Mosque is busy with worshippers.

Continuing through the town of Kaolack we enter The Gambia and head east following the route of the river to our night's accommodation near Georgetown which was an important administrative centre during the colonial period.
Meals
  • Breakfast & Dinner
Accommodation
  • Simple rondavels
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 slave ships once travelled 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.

Today we will visit the Wassu Stone Circles by bush taxi. There are several circles each consisting of about 10 to 24, reddish-brown 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 stones still present a mystery to archaeologists. We will stay 1 night on board a motor cruiser. Facilities on board are simple with a western-style WC, a small kitchen and bar. At night we sleep on the upper deck on mattresses, whilst during the day you can relax on the upper deck in the sun or on the lower deck with seating under the shade.
Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation
  • Simple boat
This morning we continue our gentle cruise downstream enjoying the flora and wildlife of the river banks. We'll enjoy lunch on the boat before arriving in the small settlement of Tendaba on the Gambia's south bank in the late afternoon.

On arrival we leave our boat and check in to our rondavel style accommodation, home for the next two nights, on the shores of the Gambia River. The next couple of days will be a break from the hustle and bustle of normal life, as our accommodation is set on the river bank, it's a great chance to enjoy the natural surroundings, take a swim in the pool and spot the resident birdlife.
Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation
  • Standard rondavels
This morning we take a game drive in Kiang West National Park. One of the largest protected areas in Gambia it boasts the largest and most diverse animal population in the country among is mangrove, grass and woodland. We'll be looking for baboons, colobus monkeys, warthog, marsh mongoose and bushbuck. 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.
Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation
  • Standard rondavels
Today we cross the river once more to Farafenni before crossing the border to return to Senegal. We'll then continue via Keur Saloum to Toubakouta where we'll check into our rondavel style accommodation. The afternoon is at your leisure to relax or explore the local area. This evening you may wish to join other guests to visit the park on an optional boat excursion.
Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation
  • Standard rondavels
This morning we cross the Sine-Saloum Delta by motorised fibre boat for approximately 4-5 hours. We weave our way through the maze of wide channels, past mangroves, open forests, sand islands and villages built on islands constructed with oyster shells. We may also chance upon pelicans and flamingos. After a packed lunch onboard, the afternoon is free to enjoy the slow pace of Ndangane, our destination for tonight.
Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation
  • Standard rondavels
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. En-route we will also visit Fadiout, a fishing village. Built on a small island, many buildings are composed of oyster and clam shells, 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 are worth a visit. On arrival in Dakar there should be time to explore this vibrant city
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
The tour ends today in Dakar after breakfast.
Meals
  • Breakfast
what’s included
Meals
  • 12 Breakfast, 5 Lunch, 6 Dinner
Accommodation
  • 5 nights standard hotel
  • 1 night simple guesthouse
  • 1 night simple rondavels
  • 1 night simple boat
  • 4 nights standard rondavels
Transport
  • Bus, 4WD, Boat
Guide
  • Explore Tour Leader, Boat Crew, Driver(s), Local Guide(s)
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to/from Dakar are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Senegal and The Gambia tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Duration 13 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 17 participants
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends Dakar, Senegal/ Dakar, Senegal
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Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Senegal and The Gambia
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Payment

A deposit of 213 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 59 days before departure. For any departures within 19 July 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

Senegal and The Gambia tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Senegal and The Gambia tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this Senegal and The Gambia tour. You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 59 days of departure.
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