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West Africa between Dakar and Freetown

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  • Ziguinchor
  • Dakar
  • Toubakouta
  • Bureh Beach
  • Northern Guinea
  • Kiang West National Park
  • Mamou
  • Fouta Djallon
  • Freetown
  • Cap Skirring
  • Bissau
  • Mampata
  • Tendaba Camp
  • Touba
  • Southern Guinea
  • St. Louis
  • Labé
  • Freetown Peninsular
  • Bissau

This trip takes in the highlights of Senegal and the Gambia, first exploring the Sahel region, the colonial city of St. Louis and the impressive Mouride mosque in Touba. The journey then moves to the stunning wetlands of Toubakouta and the Gambia, where there is an abundance of birdlife. We then plunge into the remarkable but lesser-visited countries of Guinea-Bissau and Guinea. We will have several days of travelling on poor roads, wild camping on the way, before we reach the Fouta Djallon highlands where we have two days of trekking through spectacular mountains and waterfalls. We then make our way south to the unique country of Sierra Leone and visit the beaches of the Freetown Peninsular, before ending our trip in the bustling capital of Freetown.

  • Day 1 Freetown

    Border information: if you are joining in Freetown, you will most likely enter Sierra Leone at Freetown Lungi International Airport (IATA code: FNA). There will be an important group meeting at 10:00am at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting. Your leader will collect your kitty and check your passport, visas, and insurance details at this meeting. The afternoon will be free to explore Freetown and it's surroundings. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Freetown before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Freetown. In Freetown we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities. The fastest and most reliable way to Freetown from the airport is by water-taxi, as Lungi is across a bay from the city. The departure times for the water-taxis are linked to each flight in and out of the airport, so there will be transport available for you when you land. Exit the airport and walk to the right, and you'll see the water-taxi office at the end - you'll have to buy your ticket there for USD40 or EUR35, and check in your large bags. You'll take a minibus for 15 minutes, then the water-taxi for 30 minutes. The boat lands at the jetty, where you hand in your luggage ticket to get your large bags back. The jetty is in the Aberdeen district of Freetown, only a 200m walk from our hotel. Just walk up the hill to the main road - the Raza Guesthouse is slightly further down and on the other side of the road.

    See the Freetown Cotton Tree, the city's most famous landmark and home to hundreds of bats that fly out at dusk - Cost: USD
    See the King's Yard Gate, where the ancestors of all modern Creole people will have passed through on their way to a free life after their rescue from illegal slaving ships - Cost: USD
    Learn about Sierra Leone's traditional history and cultures at the National Museum - Cost: USD
    Visit the Sierra Leone National Railway Museum, a remarkable collection of old trains that was hidden from destruction for 30 years - Cost: USD 5
    Take a boat to the overgrown ruins of the old slaving fort of Bunce Island, from where the ancestors of most modern African-Americans were shipped to the New World - Cost: USD 150

  • Day 2 to 3 Freetown Peninsular

    Today we leave Freetown for the stunning beaches of Freetown Peninsular, where we will spend 2 nights. There are a few different options for which beaches we could choose to visit, our favourites being Bureh Beach at the south of the peninsular and River Number 2 Beach in the western part. Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!). We will have a full day for optional activities on the wonderful beaches - we could go fishing, take a boat to explore the Banana Islands, get to know the local communities, and of course relax on the beautiful beaches! On Freetown Peninsular we will camp on the beach, with some options to upgrade to basic guesthouses.

    Relax on some of the best beaches in the world dotted along the Freetown Peninsular - Cost: USD
    Take a boat trip to explore the beautiful and overgrown Banana Islands off the coast of the Freetown Peninsular - Cost: USD 25
    Visit the orphan chimpanzees at Tacaguma Chimpanzee Sanctuary outside of Freetown, a wonderful organisation that rehabilitates rescued chimpanzees for their return to the wild - Cost: USD 15
    Head out with the locals in their traditional wooden boats to try your hand at fishing - Cost: USD 10
    Hire surfboards to take out onto the waves of Bureh Beach, one of West Africa's best surfing spots - Cost: USD 10
    Head out on a diving trip around the reefs and shipwrecks off the Banana Islands - Cost: USD 180
    Snorkel through the idyllic waters off the Banana Islands near Freetown Peninsular - Cost: USD 120

  • Day 4 Southern Guinea

    Border information: Exit Sierra Leone at Kindia, enter Guinea at Pamalap. Today we will head north from Freetown Peninsular and cross into Guinea. Our co-driver will leave the truck this evening and take local transport to Conakry in order to obtain Guinea-Bissau visas for the group at the consulate there. The rest of us will continue a short way past the town of Coyah and wild camp en route. Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

  • Day 5 to 6 Labe

    Over the next 2 days we will continue our journey north through central Guinea to reach the town of Labé, the gateway to the Fouta Djallon highland region. Our co-driver will catch up with us in Labé, with everybody's Guinea-Bissau visa obtained. In Mamou and in Labé we will stay in small local guesthouses. Estimated Drive Times - 6-8 hours each day.

  • Day 7 to 8 Fouta Djallon

    From Labé we will set off for an included 2-day excursion to the heart of the Fouta Djallon region of Guinea. On the first day we will travel in 4x4 jeeps through very remote country roads to the small rural community of Aïnguel (approximately a 4 hour drive). After lunch there will be a short 3-hour trek to a waterfall viewpoint and to the nearby 'Pont de Pierre' rock bridge where we have the change to swim in a beautiful natural lagoon. On this night we will stay in a very small and basic community-run guesthouse - please note that if the group is large, some people may need to sleep in tents just outside. On the second day there is a long 8-hour trek through the surrounding hills and villages taking in the incredible scenery. We will stop for a picnic lunch next to a stunning waterfall, where we have the opportunity to swim in the lagoon beneath. In the latter stages of the trek, we hope to be able to get to the base of a much larger and incredibly powerful waterfall, although this is dependent on the ground waters having receded enough after the rainy season to make this route passable. Upon returning after this walk, we will immediately drive back in the 4x4s to Labé to spend the night in our guesthouse there.

    Guided 2-day excursion to the stunning highland region of Fouta Djallon, with treks through the scenic hills to the incredible waterfalls and local villages, and an overnight stay in a community guesthouse

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Overland expedition vehicle, Pirogue, boats