West African Kingdoms Tour
The Ultimate West Africa Tour

Original World’s West Africa tour is a diverse mix of visits to tribal cultures, UNESCO sites, cities, museums, lovely landscapes, historic sites connected to the slave trade, two traditional festivals and several wildlife experiences.

The West Africa tour visits nine countries: Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Gambia, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Sierra Leone, on this remarkably diverse journey of ancient historic sites and present day tribal cultures.

In order to coordinate with festival dates, the January tour starts with arrival in Lomé as described below. The November tour starts with arrival in Abidjan. Download the detailed itinerary for the exact sequence of the tour that interests you.

On each of the West Africa tours, we attend an authentic traditional festival! The annual Voodoo Festival is a highlight of the January West Africa tour. In October we attend the Ashanti Royal Festival in Kumasi.

On the tour, we visit the stilt village Ganvie. We also visit Guet Ndar, the fishing village located on the Langue de Barberie Peninsula. In The Gambia, an excursion to Makasutu Forest, a tropical 1000-acre reserve encompassing five different eco systems.

The tour will visit several markets for spontaneous interactions and fantastic photo opportunities!

NOTE: The sequence of the visits to the countries changes with each tour as we align with the festivals for each tour.

WEST AFRICAN TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Attend an authentic festival.
  • Visit Ganvie (the second largest stilt village in West Africa).
  • Enjoy a Masked Dance Ceremony.
Book This Tour banner

Akwasidae Ashanti Royal Festival

  • 1
    JANUARY TOUR
  • 2
    TOGO
    Day 1-2: Arrive Lomé

    We 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 Art Street with its craft vendors, the Artisans' Village and tour at the Marche des Feticheurs (fetish market) - the heart of voodoo cult.

  • 3
    BENIN
    Day 3-4: Ouidah - Voodoo Festival

    An excursion to Togoville, visit the old German built cathedral, the colonial area and the traditional quarter of the town.
    Visit Ouidah, the capital of voodoo (UNESCO Cultural Site). Tour the Temple of the Python, attend worship prayers, visit Port of No Return. and the Sacred Forest. Visit the historical Museum of Ouidah, that portrays Benin's role in the Atlantic Slave Trade.
    We attend the Annual Voodoo Festival where people come to dance and sacrifice animals, then offer their blood to the spirits.

  • 4
    Day 5-6: Ganvie - Cotonou

    Cross Lake Nokoué to visit Ganvie (the second largest stilt village in West Africa). The Tofinou ethnic group live in huts built on teak stilts and get around in dug-out canoes.
    Visit the Cotonou’s famous market, “Dan Togba.” Visit the ancient Kingdom of Abomey. Here we visit the Royal Palace Museum and the traditional juju market. Attend a traditional Geleden mask dance.

  • 5
    BURKINA FASO
    Day 7-8: Cotonou-Ouagadougou

    We visit the city of Cotonou, discovering its art galleries, markets and neighborhoods.
    Then fly to Ouagadougou. Visit the Grand Market and the crafts markets at the Artisans' Center, where you will find basketry, batik fabrics, wooden statues and masks, jewelry, leatherwork and bronze castings; and a walk around the city. Visit the National Museum.

  • 6
    SENEGAL
    Day 9-11: Dakar

    Fly to Dakar. In Dakar, visit the various markets: Kermel, Sandaga, and the handicraft market of Soumbedioune and the Tilen market famous for its medicinal herbs and its traditional healers. Next, visit the Great Mosque; National Museum, French Cathedral, the President’s Palace and the Parliament House.
    An excursion to Goree Island & Retba Lake. On Goree Island we 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.

  • 7
    Day 12: St. Louis

    We visit Lake Retba, also known as the “Pink Lake,” the “salt harvesters” with their colorful tackle, and interact with the Fulani ethnic groups. Visit Norflaye Turtle Conservation Farm.
    Visit St. Louis with many brightly colored buildings and beautiful balconies to be seen all around the Island (A UNESCO World Heritage site). After, we visit the Langue de Barbarie Peninsula.

  • 8
    Day 13: Excursion to Djoudj National Park

    We drive to Djoudj National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the third largest pelican sanctuary in the world. We shall cruise for a 1.5-hour trip through the mangroves of the river to see where the pelicans hatch their eggs each year.
    Return to St. Louis for overnight.

  • 9
    THE GAMBIA
    Day 14-15: Banjul & Surrounds

    Visit Banjul, the sand-blown streets, colorful markets, fading colonial buildings, and a sense of history permeates every district.
    An excursion to Makasutu Forest, on an island of the Gambia River; a tropical 1000-acre reserve encompassing five different eco systems. We cruise on the Gambia River through the mangroves lined with oyster shells.
    Visit the Royal Albert Market is an extensive emporium that comes alive with pungent aromas, lively scenes of shimmering fabrics and shining silver jewelry to fresh produce.

  • 10
    SENEGAL
    Day 16-17: Juffureh- James Island - Toubacoutta -Jowal Fadiouth-Saly

    A drive to this historic village of Juffureh which became famous in the 1970s following the film release of the bestselling book, "Roots" written by the African-American author Alex Haley, a descendant of Kunta Kinte. The film told the story of Kunta Kinte’s capture in Juffureh by slave traders.
    Afterwards, a boat ride to James Island (aka Kunte Kinteh Island), the colonial period ruins of a slavery station and the 'Portuguese chapel' of San Domingo.

  • 11
    GHANA
    Day 18: Saly - Dakar - Lome - Accra

    Early breakfast at the hotel will be arranged. We transfer to the airport.
    The rest of the afternoon/evening is at leisure.

  • 12
    Day 19: Accra

    This morning we tour Accra, the capital city of Ghana, including National Museum, Osu Castle, Coffin builders at Teshi township.

  • 13
    Day 20-21: Kumasi

    Visit the Royal Palace Museum of the Ashanti Kingdom.
    Next day, attend the Ashanti Royal Festival (Akwasidae) - pending confirmation. Akwasidee is next in importance only to the National Day celebrations.
    Later we visit Bonwireh, a nearby town where local weavers make Ashantil traditional “kenteh cloth” for Asanti dignitaries and funeral wear.

  • 14
    Day 22: Elmina

    We shall tour the infamous Forts, Castles and Slave Dungeons of Ghana and learn about the slave trade in West Africa.
    Then a visit to Assin Manso, the site of the “last bath” where slaves were taken for bathing before being shipped to the new world. Visit the Cape Coast Castle and the busy fish harbor and see the town’s pursubans--Asafo tribal shrines.

  • 15
    Day 23: Excursion to Kakoum National Park

    We visit Kokoum National Park which is famous for its amazing canopy walkway.
    Visit Elmina Castle. Built by the Portuguese in 1482, the castle was the first European structure built in Sub–Saharan Africa and is the oldest castle in Ghana on the West African slave trade route.
    Return to Elmina for overnight.

  • 16
    Day 24: Excursion: Nzulezu Stilt Village

    One-hour motorized boat trip to Nzulezu stilt village passing through a pristine series of marshes, swamp forest (the largest stand left in Ghana) and open pools rich with wildlife, including crocodiles, egret, heron and kingfishers.

  • 17
    C ôTE D’ IVOIRE
    Day 25: Grand Bassam

    Visit Grand Bassam, the old quarter built by the French during time of colonization and tour the Museum of Costumes, the Wickerwork Center, the Ceramics/Crafts Center.

  • 18
    Day 26: Abidjan

    Visit Abobo, where Africa’s largest outdoor launderette (laundry) is located. Here you will witness an unforgettable spectacle, hundreds of Fanicos (washer men, no women), together in the middle of a stream to wash clothes.
    Visit metropolitan Abidjan and Treichville. We pass by a few colorful markets; over one of the major bridges to Le Plateau to visit the National Museum of Abidjan. The museum focuses on Ivorian art showcasing statues, masks, jewelry, tools, carved doors, tom-toms and musical instruments from every region of the country.

  • 19
    GUINEA
    Day 27-28: Conakry

    A flight to Conakry and city tour visiting the Central Mosque, Sekou Toure’s Mosoleum, fish market of Bolobineh, French Cathedral.

  • 20
    SIERRA LEONE
    Day 29-30: Freetown - Excursion Taccugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary

    Freetown is the lively capital of Sierra Leone, steeped in history and culture. Free time to enjoy the beaches and beauty.
    We will visit: 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 the Taccugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

  • 21
    Day 31: Depart

    Transfer to airport.

  • 22
    OCTOBER - NOVEMBER TOUR
  • 23
    C ÔTE D’ IVOIRE
    Day 1-2: Arrive Abidjan

    Visit Abobo, where Africa’s largest outdoor launderette (laundry) is located. Here you will witness an unforgettable spectacle, hundreds of Fanicos (washer men, no women), together in the middle of a stream to wash clothes.
    Visit metropolitan Abidjan and Treichville. We pass by a few colorful markets; over one of the major bridges to Le Plateau to visit the National Museum of Abidjan. The museum focuses on Ivorian art showcasing statues, masks, jewelry, tools, carved doors, tom-toms and musical instruments from every region of the country.

  • 24
    Day 3-4: Abidjan - Yamoussouko - Grand Bassam

    Travel to Yamoussoukoro. Visit Basilica of “Notre Damme de la Paix,” the second largest cathedral in the world.
    Visit Grand Bassam, the old quarter built by the French during time of colonization and tour the Museum of Costumes, the Wickerwork Center, the Ceramics/Crafts Center.

  • 25
    GHANA
    Day 5: Beyin - Nzulezu Stilt Village

    One-hour motorized boat trip to Nzulezu stilt village passing through a pristine series of marshes, swamp forest (the largest stand left in Ghana) and open pools rich with wildlife, including crocodiles, egret, heron and kingfishers.

  • 26
    Day 6-7: Elmina

    Drive to Elmina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit Axim fishing village and the second oldest fort in Ghana. We shall tour the infamous Forts, Castles and Slave Dungeons of Ghana and learn about the slave trade in West Africa.
    Visit the Elmina Castle and the Cape Coast Castle and the busy fish harbor and see the town’s pursubans--Asafo tribal shrines.

  • 27
    Day 8: Kakoum National Park - Kumasi

    We visit Kokoum National Park which is famous for its amazing canopy walkway.
    Then a visit to Assin Manso, the site of the “last bath” where slaves were taken for bathing before being shipped to the new world.

  • 28
    Day 9-10: Attend Ashanti Royal Festival - Kumasi - Accra

    Attend the Ashanti Royal festival (Akwasidae). On this day, the Asantehene (King of Ashanti) meets his subjects and subordinate chiefs in the courtyard of the Manhyia Palace. The Golden Stool (throne) is displayed at the palace grounds in the presence of the king, and people visit in large numbers, singing and dancing.
    Drive to Accra. Afterwards, a city tour of Accra including National Museum, Osu Castle, Coffin builders at Teshi township, Makola central market, Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and the arts & craft market.

  • 29
    TOGO
    Day 11: Arrive Lomé

    We 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 Art Street with its craft vendors, the Artisans' Village and climax the morning tour at the Marche des Feticheurs (fetish market) - the heart of voodoo cult.

  • 30
    BENIN
    Day 12-13: Lomé - Togo Ville - Ouidah

    An excursion to Togoville, visit the old German built cathedral, the colonial area and the traditional quarter of the town.
    In Ouidah, considered the capital of voodoo (UNESCO Cultural Site). We tour the Temple of the Python, attend worship prayers, visit Port of No Return. Visit the Sacred Forest of Ouidah. Visit the historical Museum of Ouidah. This museum portrays Benin's role in the Atlantic Slave Trade.

  • 31
    Day 14-15: Ganvie Village - Cotonou - Abomey Excursion

    Cross Lake Nokoué to visit Ganvie (the second largest stilt village in West Africa). The Tofinou ethnic group live in huts built on teak stilts and get around in dug-out canoes.
    Visit the Cotonou’s famous market, “Dan Togba.” Visit the ancient Kingdom of Abomey. Here we visit the Royal Palace Museum and the traditional juju market. Attend a traditional Geleden mask dance.

  • 32
    BURKINA FASO
    Day 16-17: Ougadougou

    Fly to Ouagadougou. Visit the Grand Market and the crafts markets at the Artisans' Center, where you will find basketry, batik fabrics, wooden statues and masks, jewelry, leatherwork and bronze castings; and a short walk around the city. Visit the National Museum.

  • 33
    SENEGAL
    Day 18-20: Ouagadougou-Dakar

    Fly to Dakar. In Dakar, visit the various markets: Kermel, Sandaga, and the handicraft market of Soumbedioune and the Tilen market famous for its medicinal herbs and its traditional healers. Next, visit the Great Mosque; National Museum, French Cathedral, the President’s Palace and the Parliament House.
    An excursion to Goree Island & Retba Lake. On Goree Island we 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.

  • 34
    Day 21: St. Louis

    Visit the old colonial city of St. Louis. Many of the buildings hold their old character with many brightly colored buildings and beautiful balconies to be seen all around the Island. The Island was named a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the Norflaye Turtle Conservation Farm, en-route. After, we visit the Langue de Barbarie Peninsula.

  • 35
    Day 22: Excursion to Djoudj National Park

    Drive to Djoudj National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the third largest pelican sanctuary in the world. We shall cruise in a spacious motorized open-air boat, for a 1.5-hour trip through the mangroves of the river to see where the pelicans hatch their eggs each year.

  • 36
    THE GAMBIA
    Day 23-24: Banjul & Makasutu Forest

    Visit Banjul, the sand-blown streets, colorful markets, fading colonial buildings, and a sense of history permeates every district.
    An excursion to Makasutu Forest, on an island of the Gambia River; a tropical 1000-acre reserve encompassing five different eco systems. We cruise on the Gambia River through the mangroves lined with oyster shells.
    Visit the Royal Albert Market is an extensive emporium that comes alive with pungent aromas, lively scenes of shimmering fabrics and shining silver jewelry to fresh produce.

  • 37
    SENEGAL
    Day 25-26: Juffureh- James Island –Toubacouta - Jowl Fadiouth - Saly Portugal

    A drive to this historic village of Juffureh which became famous in the 1970s following the film release of the bestselling book, "Roots" written by the African-American author Alex Haley, a descendant of Kunta Kinte. The film told the story of Kunta Kinte’s capture in Juffureh by slave traders.
    Afterwards, a boat ride to James Island (aka Kunte Kinteh Island), the colonial period ruins of a slavery station and the 'Portuguese chapel' of San Domingo.

  • 38
    GUINEA
    Day 27-28: Conakry

    A flight to Conakry and city tour visiting the Central Mosque, Sekou Toure’s Mosoleum, fish market of Bolobineh, French Cathedral.

  • 39
    SIERRA LEONE
    Day 29-30: Freetown - Taccugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary

    Free time to enjoy the beaches and beauty.
    Tour Freetown city center. We will visit: 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 the Taccugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

  • 40
    Day 31: Banana Island & Bruce Island Excursion

    Full day excursions to Bunce & Banana Island. One of the places that carries the history of the slave trade in Africa, along with the island of Gorée, the castle of Elmina and the Fort of Cape Coast.

  • 41
    Day 32: Freetown

    Transfer to Lungi International Airport for your flight home.

  • Trip Length

    31-32 Days depending on festival dates.

  • Dates

    October 10 - November 10, 2020
    January 7 - February 6, 2021

  • Land Cost

    Oct-Nov 2020: $11,990. Single Room Supplement $2320
    Jan 2021: $11, 990. Single Room Supplement $2330

  • Accommodations

    17 nights 5 star/upscale resorts, 10 nights 4-star, 2 nights 3 star/Heritage

  • Group Size

    6-12 guests

  • Included Meals

    All Breakfast, 25 Lunches, 4 Dinners

  • Reading List

    Suggested Reading

Burkina Faso.

Bobo Dioulasso

Nattingou

Abomey

Cotonou

Ganvie

Ouidah

Lomé

Accra

Elmina

Kumasi

Grand Bassam

Yamoussoukro

Abidjan

Freetown

Conakry

Dakar

St. Louis africa

Banjul

Saly

    No Reviews Found

top