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THE RIVERS OF WEST AFRICA: DAKAR TO DAKAR

Rivers of West Africa: Dakar To Dakar
The Rivers of Gambia & Senegal, 7-night cruise sure to satisfy your curious minds. Experience outstanding wildlife viewing on a yacht cruise along the West Africa Coast and upstream the Gambia River, deep inside the African continent. Discover the waterways of Senegal and Gambia with visits to no less than 4 Natural Reserves: Sine Saloun Delta, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and a birdwatcher's paradise; Djiffere fishing village; River Gambia National Park; Wassu mysterious stone circles, another UNESCO World Heritage site; Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve and Kiang West National Park in Gambia.
Our on board Gambian River Naturalist will assist you in discovering the amazing flora and fauna and will be at your side throughout this exciting voyage, unravelling the wonders of West Africa. Into the Wild. Discover Gambia and Senegal. Experience outstanding wildlife viewing on a yacht cruise along the West Africa Coast and upstream the Gambia River, deep inside the African continent. Discover the waterways of Senegal and Gambia with visits to no less than 4 Natural Reserves: Sine Saloun Delta, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and a birdwatcher's paradise; Djiffere fishing village; River Gambia National Park; Wassu mysterious stone circles, another UNESCO World Heritage site; Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve and Kiang West National Park in Gambia.
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Our on board Gambian River Naturalist will assist you in discovering the amazing flora and fauna and will be at your side throughout this exciting voyage, unravelling the wonders of West Africa.
LOCATION
TRAVEL PERIOD
30 Dec 2023 -
17 Feb 2024
BOAT
DURATION
8 days
PRICE
From €2025 / per person
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THE RIVERS OF WEST AFRICA
GALLERY
DAY BY DAY
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Day 1 | Saturday
DAKAR, SENEGAL
Meet us on board between 2PM and 6PM. Spend some time getting to know your home at sea and fellow voyagers, then join us for a welcome dinner before we set sail southwards, towards the Saloum River Delta. Overnight at sea.
Day 2 | Sunday
DJIFFER, SENEGAL – BANJUL, THE GAMBIA
Dolphins, crocodiles, turtles and manatees. Keep your eyes peeled for all of these and more as we venture into the Sine-Saloum Delta, Senegal. A UNESCO biosphere reserve, this important birding area is home to around 200 different bird species including flamingos, pelicans and raptors. From here, join our optional excursion to JOAL FADIOUT JOAL FADIOUT best Fadiouth, an island built on and of clam shells. Come afternoon, we begin our sail to Banjul, The Gambia. Overnight in Banjul.
Day 3 | Monday
BANJUL - ABUKO NATURE RESERVES, THE GAMBIA
Banjul is The Gambia’s capital city and gateway to the 700 mile Gambia River. We’ll sail the river this afternoon, but first join our optional half day tour of Banjul itself, plus the town of Bakau; known for its kachikally crocodile pool and botanic garden. Mid-afternoon we sail upstream on the Gambia River to Tendaba. Overnight docked in Tendaba.
Day 4 | Tuesday
TENDABA, THE GAMBIA
Today, we offer two optional excursions. Both begin in Tendaba, a small Muslim fishing village with a population of around 600 people. It’s reachable from our ship by motor pirogue - small canoe-like boats. In the morning we’ll walk from Tendaba to Batelling to visit the Kiang West National Park - home to many rare species of bird as well as Guinea baboons, Senegal bushbaby and marsh Mongoose. When you’re all primate-d out, we’ll jump in a safari truck heading back to the ship, via Tendaba, and passing local villages as we go. In the afternoon the excursion is to Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve - with six major bolongs (creeks) and remarkable birding and boating opportunities. Overnight docked in Tendaba.
Day 5 | Wednesday
GAMBIA RIVER – KUNTAUR - RIVER GAMBIA NATIONAL PARK, THE GAMBIA
Early morning we continue our journey upstream on the Gambia River, heading to the bustling port town, Kuntaur. This is the last inland stop navigable for ocean-going ships. Yes, even our small ship. The optional excursion this afternoon is a motor pirogue journey further inland to Baboon Island, a part of The Gambia National Park. Listen and learn as a local park ranger teaches us all about the park's flora and fauna. Then, as we drift slowly and peacefully back towards Kuntaur, keep a look out for the chimpanzees at a rehabilitation project en route. You may also spot hippos, crocodiles, Red Colobus monkeys, and more. An exceptional dance, the Kankurang, is performed on our return to Kuntaur. The Kankurang is believed to dispense justice and ward off evil spirits. Overnight docked in Kuntaur.
Day 6 | Thursday
KUNTAUR – JANJANBUREH- KAUR, THE GAMBIA
We hope you’ve slept well as we have a varied and active optional tour today. First to Janjanbureh via bus and local ferry. Janjanbureh is one of the oldest towns in The Gambia, formerly known as Georgetown. Wander the streets and take in the laid back vibes before we head back to the bus and on to our second destination: Lamin Koto. Here, you’ll see a new school in the process of being built, thanks to generous donations from Variety Cruises and our clients. From here we’ll visit the mysterious stones of Wassu, a sacred burial ground thousands of years old, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After lunch we sail downstream to the small fishing village, Kaur. Explore and see how local Gambians live here today. Lastly, join us in the evening for our signature Captain’s Farewell Dinner as we sail downstream, back towards Banjul.
Day 7 | Friday
KUNTA KINTEH ISLAND - BANJUL, THE GAMBIA
One more day in The Gambia, with lots more to learn and discover. This morning we anchor at Kunta Kinteh Island. Strategically located in the middle of the Gamibia River, the island has a dark history in the slave trade, the story of which has been told to the world via author Alex Haley’s book, Roots. A local guide will teach us about the history, after which you’ll have some time to walk around before we head back to Banjul. Tonight we host Gambian Night on board, complete with a concert performed on the kora, a west African string instrument. Overnight at sea, heading towards Dakar.
Day 8 | Saturday
DAKAR, SENEGAL
Early morning arrival in Dakar. Join your fellow adventures - who we’re sure are now friends - for one last breakfast before our trip comes to an end.
In case of severe weather conditions our expertly designed routes are adjusted ensuring your safety & comfort by applying our rich marine knowledge, garnered since 1949.
Stay flexible - Adventure on.
HIGHLIGHTS
Children's' Film Festival:
During our 7-night cruises in Senegal and the Gambia River, our guests visit the Gambian town of Kuntaur, and help the local community put on a weekly film festival event entitled THE KUNTAUR FILM FESTIVAL: a film screening in a beautiful open air cinema hand-crafted by Variety Cruises' guests, crew members and the locals. Children and families got to watch classic children films such as "the Lion King" and "The never ending story", while experiencing cinema with hand made popcorn.
The New York Times said:
"The trip may be described as a leisurely week-long excursion that departs from Dakar, Senegal; sails south along its Atlantic coast; east into Gambia, an English-speaking sliver of land in the middle of Francophone West Africa; and up the Gambia River. It goes as far as is navigable by any boat larger than a pirogue, a long, wide canoe that is essential to travel here. This cruise can be loosely defined under prolific wildlife, the polar opposite of the typical big-ship cruise that stops at sophisticated ports of call. The African wildlife on view is a key attraction of this river cruise. "Crocodiles and Culture on a Cruise in West Africa" THE NEW YORK TIMES | March 14, 2014
And our guests shared:
“Our experience on the as we cruised the Rivers of West Africa was a welcomed combination of education, exposure and entertainment. Our Gambian River guest lecturer, guided us through Gambia’s history,-bird and wild life, culture, traditions and village life. Thank you for our outstanding cruise experience into a destination which is hardly accessible otherwise." Tengemana T., 2014
Wherever we sail, we do so with purpose. Our mission is to create life-enriching experiences at sea for our guests, and a better world for us all. We’re transparent about carbon emissions, always aiming to improve our footprint. Our journeys are designed to get you closer to the things that matter: whether that’s an island reachable only by boat, or by ensuring your adventure honours and gives back to local communities. We always have fun at sea, but we do it responsibly.
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