West African Kingdoms: The Ultimate Tour
Day 1-3: Arrive Ouagadougou Capital City of Burkina Faso.
Tour Ouagadougou; excursion to the village of Tiebele to visit the traditional Royal Kassena Kingdom.
Day 4-7: Bobo Dioulasso
Visit the old mosque of Dioulassoba, traditional music instruments museum, and the old Kibidouwe artisans' district. An excursion to visit the Domes of Fabedougou and Falls of Kafiguila. An excursion to Lobbi villages.
Day 8: Drive Koutammakou – Nattingou
Our group travels to to Koutammakou Village, UNESCO World heritage site (in northern Togo, near the Benin border) where we see the Batammariba people whose remarkable mud tower-houses (Takienta) are a symbol of Togo.
Day 9 Abomey-Cotonou
Travel to Abomey, host town of the legendary ancient Dahomey Kingdom. Visit Royal Palace Museum (UNESCO world heritage site). Continue to Cotonou and visit the central market of Dan Togba.
Day 10: Ganvie- Ouidah
we will cross Lake Nokoué by motorized covered boat (20 minutes), to visit Ganvie (the second largest stilt village in West Africa.Residents here are members of the Tofinou ethnic group. They live in huts built on teak stilts and get around in dug-out canoes.
Afterwards, we hour to Ouidah, considered the capital of voodoo (UNESCO Cultural Site, 1996). We tour the temple dedicated to the sacred Python.visit the Port of No Return; a monument built by the Benin Government to commemorate the Africans that were taken from the Dahomey Empire during the Slave Trade.
Day 11-12: Lomé
Embark on an insightful city tour of Lomé, a city where tradition and modernism overlap. Discover this metropolis with its Musee National, Place de I' Independence, fishing harbor, and the Grand Marche - the realm of the famous “Nana Benz."
Visit the Artisans' Village and the Marche des Feticheurs (fetish market) - the heart of voodoo cult.
An excursion to Togoville, located on the north shore of Lake Togo.
Day 13: Accra
National Museum, Osu Castle, Coffin builders at Teshi township.
embark on a tour of the infamous Forts, Castles and Slave Dungeons of Ghana and learn about the slave trade in West Africa. Visit Assin Manso, the site of the “last bath” where slaves were taken for bathing before being shipped to the new world.
Day 15-16: Kumasi
a stop at Besease to see the traditional shrine of the Ashanti before arrival in Kumasi, the seat of the Ashanti Empire.
We the three craft villages in Ashanti: Ahwiaa - the wood carvers’ village, Ntonso - the home of Adinkra, and Bonwire - the Kente weaving village and attend the Ashanti Royal Festival (Akwasidae). An excursion to Lake Bosumtwi (Bosomtwe and the villages near the crater, with a combined population of about 70,000 Ashanti people.
C ôTE D’ IVOIRE
Day 17-18: Grand Bassam
En-route, stop at the Ghanaian Town of Axim, where the second oldest slave fort in the region, Fort San Antonio, is located. Visit the picturesque fishing village.In Grand Bassam, visit the old quarter built by the French during time of colonization and tour the Museum of Costumes, the Wickerwork Center, the Ceramics/Crafts Center and attend the Abissa N’zima Festival.
Day 19: Yamoussoukro-Abidjan
We tour the dazzling centerpiece of Yamoussoukro, the Basilique de Notre Dame de la Paix, (The Basilica “Our Lady of Peace) which is the biggest church in the world, after the Vatican, and is almost an exact replica of St Peter’s in Rome.
visit metropolitan Abidjan including Le Plateau, the central, high-rise commercial area, Cocody, the upscale residential section and Treichville, which is linked to Le Plateau by two major bridges; colorful markets. Also visit the north-western part of town, Abobo, where Africa’s largest outdoor launderette (laundry) is located.
Day 20-21: Freetown
Freetown tour including Victoria Park Market, Law Court building, the cotton tree (emblem of the city; more than 550 years old), Parliament Building, State House building, King Jimmy Market and the Arts Market at Big Wharf. Excursion to Taccugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
Day 22: Conakry
Tour of Conakry including the Central Mosque, Sekou Toure’s Mausoleum, fish market of Bolobineh, and the French Cathedral.
Day 23-25: Dakar
We'll enjoy visits of the various markets: Kermel, Sandaga, and the handicraft market of Soumbedioune and the Tilen market famous for its medicinal herbs and its traditional healers. Tour the Great Mosque; National Museum, French Cathedral, the President’s Palace and the Parliament House. Drive through the picturesque district of Medina and the residential district of Fann.
Embark on a cruise to the historic island of Goree. Goree Island carries the heavy burden of 300 years slave trading in West Africa. The island ranks today among the classified monuments of the World Patrimony. We will visit the House of Slaves (Maison des Esclaves) and its “Door of No Return,” a former prison for slave trade and said to be the final exit point of the slaves from Africa, now a museum and memorial.
We enjoy an excursion to Lake Retba, also known as the “Pink Lake.” You will see the “salt harvesters” with their colorful tackle, and interact with the Fulani ethnic groups living in the surrounding villages.
Day 26: St. Louis/strong>
En-route we stop at the Norflaye Turtle Conservation Farm. We explore the colonial quarters of St. Louis and visit the Langue de Barbarie Peninsula.
Day 27: Djoudj National Park-Toubacouta
A scenic drive to Djoudj National Park (UNESCO), the third largest pelican sanctuary in the world. In Toubacouta, enjoy a sunset boat ride & bird watching tour on the Sine Saloum Delta.
Day 28-30: Banjul
Banjul is one of the best examples of urban Africa. The sand-blown streets play host to colorful markets and fading colonial buildings, and a sense of history permeates every district. We have a full day exploration of Banjul and in early evening hop aboard a pirogue, a traditional wooden boat, to experience Banjul’s nature along the mangrove-lined Oyster Creek.
On the 3rd day we visit the Wassu Stone Circles (UNESCO World Heritage Site) where an explanation is given on the nature of the stone circles, their history and how they came to exist. Afterwards, we board a boat for a 4 hour boat trip along the River Gambia to Jan Jang Bureh Island. We visit the village of Janjanburreh where we may have the opportunity to meet the ALKALO (head of the village). Janjanburreh Town (formerly known as Georgetown) has a ferry terminal, a post office, a Methodist Church- which opened in 1835, a primary school, high school, police station, and a number of colonial buildings dating from the 19th and 20th centuries. Janjanburreh also had a slave building, which was converted into a warehouse after slavery was abolished in 1807.
We culminate our day with a visit to the Makasutu Forest, a tropical 1000 acre reserve encompassing five different eco systems, including gallery forest, savannah, mangroves, palm forest and wetland; and plentiful wildlife.
Day 31: Banjul-Saly
We cross by ferry to Barra and drive four hours to the resort town Saly (80 km south of Dakar) for overnight.
Day 32: Depart
Transfer to the airport.