8 DAYS ROUND TRIPS
The Gambia, a former British Colony, attained political independence in 1965, one of the smallest countries in Africa, with a total landscape of about 11,000 km square with a population a little bit over a million habitants. The Gambian economy is based on agricultural, followed by tourism and fishing. The education system is identical to that of British. English is the official language. Political stable, friendly people made it to be the safest destination in the continent; the smiling coast is the heaven of Africa. About 90% of the population is Muslim and the rest are Christians and small portions are Animist. The Gambia has a tropical climate, 7 months dry season and 5 months rainy season.
Arrival transfer to Djeliba Hotel, Dinner. (25 km, 20 minutes).
An introductory half day tour around the Gambian capital city and the surrounding areas, to familiarize everyone with the main places to visit and which may be returned to later in the day if more time is needed for exploration.
We start the visit to Serrekunda, the biggest and the most densely populated town in the Gambia, taking us to a display of “TYE en DYE” factory after which we head towards Bakau, to the sacred Kachically crocodile pool, where you may be fortunate enough to see “Charlie” as featured in a British TV documentary.
Then to Banjul where we start the visit to the National Museum, showing the Gambia’s history. We then take a drive through Banjul stopping to visit the local daily market with much hustle and bustle, where anything from live chicken, fish, vegetables, herbs, clothes, shoes, wood carvings etc are sold. Dinner and overnight at Djeliba Hotel (30 km)
Depart after breakfast to Kartong snake farm, and from there proceed to our overnight nature camp for lunch. After lunch, we drive to the fishing village of Tanji, a very colorful and one of the longest fish landing sites in The Gambia, situated on the fringes of the Atlantic coast. You will see the fishermen bringing in the catch of the day. It’s very interesting to see the ladies unloading fish from the fishing boats, and how fish is dried on the tables or smoked in the smoke room. Once fish is dried or smoked, it can stay longer and can be transported to the interior of the country of even exported to land locked countries like Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. Some of the fresh fish is transported straight to the markets where it’s sold for local consumption. Fishing is one of the economic earners in the country. After this visit we drive back to the Halahin Lodge for dinner and overnight. This area of The Gambia is the Kombo West District. (60 km) (30 km)
After breakfast, we drive on to Brikama, the administrative Head Quarter of the Western Division. In Brikama, we first stop at the Brikama craft market where you barter for wood carvings. Then we take a walk inside the Brikama daily market where you see the daily activities, how it’s carried out and because of the tropical climate, it’s very difficult to preserve a lot of things like fresh fish and vegetables. Due to this, the majority of the Gambians have to go to the market daily. Then we continue out drive on the South Bank of the River Gambia into the area called Foni. First we visit Bwiam and it’s hospital, then to Kanilai Village (the home of the president) and straight to the Sindola Safari Lodge. After lunch and relaxation, we go on an afternoon safari at the Kanilai Park, where you can see crocodiles, leopards, wilder beasts, antilopes etc, taking a drive from there to different typical African villages off the main road. Kanilai Village is in the area of Foni and the major settlers are Jola. The jola’s are known to be one of the early settlers of the area, and most of the Jola’s on the South Bank of the River Gambia have been converted to Islam by Muslim warriors during the time when Muslim scholars were expanding the Muslim religion.
Before the arrival of Islam, all the natives of the area were Animist, which is the oldest religion. Jola’s are permanent settlers, they mostly settle around paddy or swampy area’s where they can cultivate rice which is the stable food. Villagers along the river provide good fishermen and women, who use the dug out canoes, to collect oysters from the roots of the mangrove or cockles form the mud banks or the river. Both oysters and cockles is work done by women and collection is done when the river is on low tide. In the evening we have dinner and village entertainment and overnight in Sindola. (100 km)
From Foni-Kanilai we depart after breakfast to Kiang Tendaba Camp. Kiang has the biggest National Park in the Gambia with animals like hyenas, baboons, mongoose, monkeys and different species of birds. The main settlers of Kiang are the Mandinka tribe, which is the biggest ethnic group in The Gambia. The Mandinkas are believed to be originated from Mali; the land lock country, east of Senegal. The region of Mali in the early days had very strong empires. Examples are the Mali Empire, The Ghana Empire,The Shonhai Empire. Mandinkas were trying to expand their empires, and spread the Muslim religion. Concerning small ethnic groups, they would settle down, rule and teach Islam which formed 90% of the Gambian population.
Arriving at Tendaba Camp, we join our jeeps to venture the Kiang West National park, passing through small villages, and hopefully see some of the above mentioned animals and birds. After lunch we will join a piroque for a trip into the mangroves. Dinner and overnight in Tendaba Camp. (70 km)
After breakfast we continue our journey to Soma, where you will experience the local market by Donkey cart. After this visit we will drive passing villages to Sapu, where you find the biggest rice fields in The Gambia.
From Sapu you will join a boat for a 3 to 4 hour boat trip to Georgetown. With the possibilities to see hippo’s crocodiles, baboons, monkeys, lots of different birds, monitor lizards and turtles. (lunch on board). Dinner and overnight in a mud hut at Sensending camp in Georgetown. (110 km)
After breakfast you will go for a tour through Georgetown. Then we will drive to Wassu to visit the famous stone circles of which we believe it was a burial place for our Kings and Chiefs in the early century.
From Wassu we will drive to Farafenni and then to the Senegalese border. After border formalities we drive to Kaolack. On the way you will see the salt lakes, proceeding your journey to Toubacouta.
Dinner and overnight in Senegal, Toubacouta. (280 km)
After an early breakfast, we leave for the Fathala Game Park (a 2.000 hectares park) with Giraffes, Rhinos, Bush Pigs, Giant Elans, Buffalows, Antilopes etc. We will go on safari through the park for about 2 hours.
After this interesting visit, we return to The Gambian boarder, to join the Ferry from Barra to Banjul. You might have the opportunity to see dolphins. Before we say goodbye we will have lunch together and from here on we proceed to either the airport for your flight back home or if you have extended your holiday, to your booked hotel. (40 km).
10 DAY BIRD WATCH ROUND TRIP GAMBIA
The Gambia truly deserves its reputation as the birdwatcher's paradise. The country's outstanding variety of avifauna offers an exciting introduction to African Bird watching and is also an ever popular destination for more experienced Birders, many of whom flock back year after year. Over 500 species are living in Gambia. During the midday sun, or even the cool evening, when the sun melts into the horizon, and the moon peeps out of the sparkling skies littered with stars, there are always sights and sounds of birds everywhere. The Gambia is a paradise for many things, most of all it is certainly a dreamland for birds and those who love watching them. Come join us so that we can listen, look and learn with the bliss of being in the country where beautiful birds of very different feathers actually flock together.
Arrival, transfer to Djeliba hotel. Dinner and overnight.
An early morning boat trip in Lamin Lodge, we take a walk through the rice fields and we visit Abuko Nature Reserve. Lunch at Lamin Lodge. In the afternoon we drive to the ponds of Cape Point, Kotu Ponds .
Dinner and overnight at Djeliba hotel.
Depart from the hotel to Tanji Bird Reserve. Lunch at Tanji Eco Lodge. In the afternoon we take a boat trip to Vijoul Island and fishing village. Dinner and overnight at Tanji Eco Lodge.
After breakfast we head inland and stop at Kuloro Bird Reserve and Pirang Bird Forrest. Lunch at Abca’s Creek Lodge, and we have some time to relax. In the later afternoon we go for a forrest walk and boat trip into the mangroves. Dinner and overnight Abca’s Creek Lodge.
Depart from Abca's Creek Lodge to Sapu Rice fields. We will have various stops at places for Bird Watching along the way. Lunch at Sensending Camp and little relaxation. In the late afternoon we go for a forest walk. Dinner and overnight at Sensending Camp.
In the early morning we depart to Bansang quarries and Basse for the Egyptian Plovers. Boat trip from Bansang to Sensending. Dinner and overnight at Sensending Camp.
Depart from Sensending Camp after breakfast to Barajaly Rice Fields and Kaur Rice Fields. Lunch at Tendaba Camp. In the afternoon a boat trip into the mangroves. Dinner and overnight in Tendaba Camp.
After breakfast we depart to Halahin, on the way we will stop at various places for Bird Watching. Lunch at Halahin. In the afternoon we will have a boat trip on the Halahin river, which divides Gambia and Senegal. Dinner and overnight at Halahin Lodge
Depart from Halahin Lodge after breakfast to the Dasilami Creeks, Marakessa Forrest and we will have lunch at Picca Laa Lodge. In the afternoon we will go and visit the creeks of Picca Laa Lodge. Lunch, Dinner and Overnight at Picca Laa Lodge.
After breakfast we will visit Makasutu Forrest, where we go for jungle walk, and a canoe trip in the creeks. Lunch at Makasutu. After this visit we will return back to our origin hotel Djeliba for dinner and overnight.