Discover West Africa: Culture, History and Nature
Destinations: Senegal and The Gambia
Duration: 9 days
Embark on an extraordinary journey through Senegal and The Gambia, where you’ll encounter a rich tapestry of culture, history, wildlife, and stunning natural beauty. Begin in Dakar, the vibrant capital of Senegal, immersing yourself in its bustling markets and visiting landmarks like the African Renaissance Monument. Explore the haunting history of Gorée Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site tied to the transatlantic slave trade.
From the pink-hued waters of the Pink Lake to the pristine beaches of Saly, find moments of tranquility and adventure. Journey to the Bandia Reserve, where encounters with giraffes, rhinos, and zebras await.
Cross into The Gambia to visit the Kachikally Crocodile Pool and delve into the vibrant local culture. Sail along the River Gambia, home to hippos and crocodiles, and relax on the idyllic Gambian beaches. An extraordinary highlight awaits at Fathala Wildlife Reserve, where you’ll embark on a thrilling lion walk and observe other African wildlife on a game drive.
This unforgettable itinerary combines history, wildlife encounters, cultural immersion, and beach relaxation, promising an incredible adventure through these captivating West African nations.
“West Africa is a captivating tapestry of vibrant culture, rich history, and breathtaking landscapes that leaves a lasting impression on those who explore its diverse and captivating wonders.” – Chris Kinoti
Discover the vibrant capital city of Dakar, Senegal, with its bustling markets, historical landmarks, and lively atmosphere. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Gorée Island and learn about its poignant history in the transatlantic slave trade.
Indulge in comfort by staying at some of the best camps and lodges in West Africa, where every detail is designed to provide the perfect blend of comfort, style, and authenticity.
Witness the stunning landscapes and incredible wildlife of West Africa’s iconic Bandia Reserve and River Gambia National Park, from the vast savannahs and rolling hills to the winding rivers and dramatic escarpments.
Experience the thrill of a lion walk at Fathala Wildlife Reserve and witness these majestic animals in their natural habitat.
Embark on a captivating cultural journey and immerse yourself in the traditions of the Gambian people with a visit to a Gambian home. You’ll have the opportunity to interact with the locals, learn about their fascinating way of life, and gain a deeper appreciation for the rich cultural heritage that pervades this breathtaking region.
Day 1 – Your Adventure Begins!
Welcome to Senegal! Upon arrival in Dakar, the capital city, you will be greeted and transferred to your hotel. Take the day to relax and acclimate to the vibrant atmosphere of the city.
Day 2- Dakar – Exploring Dakar and Gorée Island
Embark on a city tour of Dakar, visiting its bustling markets, historical landmarks like the African Renaissance Monument, and the vibrant neighborhood of Plateau. Don’t miss a visit to the colorful and lively Sandaga Market, where you can find traditional crafts and local delicacies.
Take a boat trip to Gorée Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its dark history in the transatlantic slave trade. Explore its museums and walk through its narrow streets filled with colonial architecture.
Enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant on the island and take in the rich history and beauty of this unique place.
Day 3 – Saly, Bandia Reserve and Pink Lake
It’s an action-packed day. Get up early and head to the coastal town of Saly, known for its beautiful beaches. Enjoy some leisure time by the sea, engage in water sports, or simply relax. Later, visit the Bandia Reserve, home to a variety of African wildlife, including giraffes, rhinos, antelopes, and zebras.
In the afternoon, journey to the Pink Lake (Lake Retba), famous for its stunning pink hue caused by high salt content. Experience desert safari while dune bashing on the beach and see the iconic ending point of the Paris-Dakar rally.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and take in the beauty of the coastal line.
Day 4-5 – Fathala and Lion Walk, Shell Island, Saloum Boat Expedition
Today you will leave Dakar and take a scenic drive to Fathala. Enjoy watching the hustle and bustle of little towns and villages as you drive along. Have lunch in a local restaurant with a unique charm. Upon arrival at Keur Saloum, where you will spend the night, have some rest and relax at the pool.
In the evening take a boat ride along Salem River and watch sunset at the top of Shell Island.
Next day, start early and embark on an exciting adventure to Fathala Wildlife Reserve, located near the border of Senegal and The Gambia. Experience a thrilling lion walk, accompanied by experienced guides who will introduce you to these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Witness their grace and power up close while learning about their behavior and conservation efforts. Afterward, explore Fathala Reserve on a game drive, where you might spot other African wildlife such as elephants, giraffes, zebras, and various antelope species. Enjoy the unique opportunity to connect with nature and wildlife in this remarkable sanctuary.
Day 6 – Crossing into The Gambia, Kachikally Crocodile Pool
Cross the border into The Gambia, a small country known for its stunning beaches and diverse wildlife. Head to the coastal town of Bakau and visit the Kachikally Crocodile Pool, where you can see and even touch these magnificent creatures.
Day 7 – Experiencing Gambian Culture, Market Visit and Cooking with a Family
Immerse yourself in Gambian culture with a visit to a local village. Put on traditional clothes, interact with the friendly locals at the market while shopping for your lunch ingredients, learn about traditional crafts, and enjoy a traditional Gambian meal cooked with a local family. This is an authentic home stay experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Day 8 – River Gambia National Park
Embark on a river safari in the River Gambia National Park, a protected area famous for its diverse wildlife, including hippos, monkeys, and crocodiles. Take a boat ride along the river, enjoy birdwatching, and experience the enchanting natural beauty of the park.
Day 9 – Farewell and Flight Home
Bid farewell to The Gambia and Senegal as you transfer to the airport for your departure. Take with you cherished memories of the vibrant cultures, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality experienced during your adventure in West Africa.
- Immersive safari experience with the attentive and knowledgeable services of an experienced English-speaking safari guide.
- Comfortable accommodations and healthy meals, including unforgettable experiences of shopping at a local market and making a meal with a Gambian family.
- Vehicles stocked with refreshing soft drinks and bottled water to keep you hydrated during your safari adventure.
- Complimentary Wi-Fi at all hotels and lodges.
- All ground transportation, providing you with comfortable and convenient transfers between destinations and ensuring a seamless and stress-free journey.
- Seamless airport transfers, as well as all game park, national park, and entrance fees, allowing you to simply relax and revel in the unforgettable experiences that await you on your journey.
- Extensive safety protocols perfected by over 25 years of on-the-ground expertise.
- Close encounter with crocodiles and a walk with lions.
- An unforgettable visit to the world renown Gorée Island.