$ per person
Welcome to Gunjur, in the bush and by the sea, located on the southern coast of The Gambia. The drive from the airport takes you through villages, towns and down to the coast where the road branches off to arrive at an eco-lodge. You’ll enjoy a meal in the evening and get information about your upcoming two weeks.
True local insight into Gunjur awaits! After a lazy morning and substantial breakfast, our local expert will meet you and guide you on a walk. Get ready for a local’s perspective into Gunjur village as you pass by gardens, visit the market, school, and clinic, and interact with locals. See all the authentic aspects of life in Gunjur, far away from the tourist strip.
Continue onwards to Gunjur Village Museum, founded by our local expert. Hear his inspiring story and learn about the important work he is involved in. Return by car to the lodge, in time for lunch.
Enjoy breakfast before starting the walk towards the fishing village. During the walk, you will hear more about environmental challenges, sand mining, and fish factories. Just before reaching the fishing village, we’ll meet up with Gunjur Environmental Project and Development for a tour of the bolong (river tributary) to understand more about the work they do. After a stroll through the fishing village, we drive to the border river with Senegal, the Allahein. Here we will have lunch at the riverside while watching local life pass by on the river crossing. Return to the lodge afterwards.
Have a relaxed morning at the lodge before getting ready to meet the artisans and visit the handicraft area. With traditional tie-dye and batik techniques, you will create your own one-of-a-kind tote bag pattern! You can also try out weaving techniques, wood carving, silversmith the old-fashioned way or have your own clothes made by the tailor.
With a long day ahead of us, we rise before the sun. We drive one and a half hours east to Bintang Bolong where we will have our breakfast while enjoying the sunrise over the river. We hit the road again, and drive to Janjanbureh where we will stay for the night. Take a tour of the village before exploring on your own.
This is an exciting day when you get to discover a part of The Gambia that’s rarely visited. We will drive for less than one hour to Fatoto, where the Southbank and Northbank roads meet. From here, we make our way on the river in a local boat to where the river crosses into Senegal. We follow the river by boat, kayak, on foot and by car to where the river meets the Atlantic Ocean. Tonight we will sleep in Basse, a trading town.
In the morning, we cross the river and drive to the Northbank where we visit a very small village that’s partnering with the Cotton Trail Initiative. We will pick up our local partner from WASDA (Wuli & Sandu Development Agency, an organization working with agriculture in this region) to learn more about the village and experience their remote way of life.
On the way back, we will stop at WASDA HQ to hear more about their work and pause to enjoy lunch.
Back in Basse, we board the waiting Fula Princess. A traditional Gambian pirogue, the boat will be our floating home for the next few nights.
For the next couple of days, we cruise — flowing with the water and visiting remote villages, talking to local fishermen, stepping on shore for a hike and navigating parts of the river by paddling a kayak. The birdlife is amazing; watch out for other wildlife along the riverside. Each evening, we sleep under the stars.
Chimps, Hippos and River Gambia National Park
Today we reach one of the highlights along the river as we enter River Gambia National Park. Here you can spot hippos, chimpanzees, baboons and other primates as monitor lizards and even the odd crocodile and turtle also appear. We will hang around to watch as the chimps are fed. At this rehabilitation project, a ranger will join us onboard and tell us more about these amazing animals. In the afternoon, we will anchor at Kuntaur for the night giving us one last opportunity to sleep under the open sky.
It is time to say goodbye to the Fula Princess crew as the sun peeks over the horizon. A local boat takes us across the river where the Red Colobus Community Rangers are waiting. We get to know one of the largest colonies of red colobus in West Africa and learn more about the work that the Communities for Red Colobus project are doing.
We will also visit the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust which is located in the same area, to appreciate the work they do on educating people and animal care. After the visit, we cross over to Kuntaur for a last night’s sleep upriver.
The morning starts with a stop in Njau to visit the Women’s Initiative. This resourceful group of women, who turn waste into craft products and alternative fuels, are part of the Cotton Trail Initiative and Reforest the Future.
After the visit, we continue on to Albreda/Juffereh, a former trading post which had an important role during the slave trade. A local guide will tell us the history of slavery here, and take us through the community, to visit the museum and see Kunteh Kinte Island. We will spend the night in the area.
After breakfast, we will be picked up by a local boat that will take us down to the mouth of the River, Denton Bridge and Banjul. In Banjul, we will take a tour to dig deeper and learn more about the residential area as well as the port and the nearby bustling trading area of Albert Market. In the afternoon, we drive back to Gunjur for a few relaxing days.
Have a lie-in and enjoy a lazy morning. Those who still have more energy to burn can join us on a two-hour beach walk to Sanyang. A beautiful walk with some amazing birdlife to be spotted as we pass a lagoon. Enjoy lunch, before transport back to the lodge in the early afternoon.
For those who want to bring home the skill of cooking the local food, you can learn how today with the staff at Footsteps. Choose your local favourite and join them on a visit to the village to buy what is needed. Cook together in the local style and afterwards partake of the fruits of your labour with a delicious collaborative lunch. In the evening, enjoy a BBQ and farewell party!
After exciting weeks getting to know The Gambia — north to south and east to west — it is time to say goodbye to new friends.
An expert in responsible tourism & a local of Norway