The trip starts with a long, lazy, two and a half hour cruise from Banjul directly upriver, taking us to the ancient trading station of Albreda.
After a 15 minute walk we reach the edge of the village of Juffure and the Museum of Slavery before continuing to the original home of Alex Haley's great great grandfather 'Kunta Kinte' which is still occupied by the family. Taking photographs of people may involve being asked for money so always ask first.
Back on board a delicious hot and cold buffet is served, followed by a selection of fresh fruit before continuing our journey to James Island. Steeped in slave trade history, the fortress ruins tells the tale of colonial rivalries and it is possible to imagine the hundreds of slaves shackled together awaiting transport to an unknown and uncertain future. Disembarking from the boat into small boats can be a little difficult but help is on hand from the crew.
On the return journey to Banjul, dolphins often join the boat in the estuary of the river. A cup of tea or coffee completes a memorable day before arriving back at the hotels around 5.30pm.
Since Winter 2010/11 D50pp has also been added to the cost of this tour for the Roots Village development projects in conjunction with Sustainable Tourism. This is to try to discourage begging and hassling from the locals when you visit Albreda and Juffure, so your feedback on the tour will be very much appreciated.
to find out more try...
A more in depth history of The Gambia at Access Gambia
Roots - Alex Haley's famous novel which explores the history of one of his ancestors, Kunta Kinte, and how slavery brought him from The Gambia to America. Buy Roots on amazon.co.uk and the DVD box set.