Day One - Friday
Arrive in The Gambia
Overnight stay at Kombo Beach Hotel.
Day Two - Saturday
Barra - Pink Lake - Dakar
We meet at Barra at 8h and drive by road through the Gambia / Senegal boarder to Kaolack where we have a coffee stop. We continue by road to Lac Rose (Pink Lake). We cross the picturesque lake by pirogue (used for salt extraction) observing the salt extractors at work and end up at our bamboo roofed restaurant, built on a mound of shells and offering a beautiful panorama of the Lake. Here you can try the incredible experience of floating, due to the high salt content of the water, when swimming in the lake.
Then we drive by 4x4 over the dunes and along the famous beach used in the Paris-Dakar rally. We continue on to Kayar, the biggest centre for hand fishing in Senegal. Malick, our town guide will explain the process as the fishermen arrive with their catch.
We will continue to Dakar and visit the “Monument de la Renaissance Africaine” for a panoramic view of the nearby islands off the coast of Dakar, and also discover the mosque of Ouakam. We transfer to a Dakar hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Day Three - Sunday
Dakar & Gorée Island
After breakfast, we will visit Dakar (the Presidential Palace, cathedral, markets…). We take a boat to visit Gorée Island with its slave house, alleyways and viewing point. Lunch will be in a restaurant on the island before returning to Dakar. Mid-afternoon, we depart Dakar for Saint-Louis by road. Mid-afternoon, we will depart Dakar for Saint-Louis by road. The first stop is at Thiès; we will go through this airy city with its shady streets in which there is the central market. Many buildings of the colonial era indicate the former importance of this "railroad city". We will make a stop at the basketry market. Continuing on our way to Saint-Louis, we arrive via the famous Faidherbe Bridge in this ancient, colonial, capital, classified as a Unesco World Heritage Site. We will reach the Hotel Cap Saint-Louis (or Mermoz) on the Langue de Barbarie. Dinner and overnight stay.
Day Four - Monday
Djoudj National Park – Saint-Louis
We depart early in a 4x4 to explore by pirogue the third largest bird reserve in the world and to discover numerous species of migratory birds (ducks, herons, pelicans) and reptiles (lizards and crocodiles). Return to Saint-Louis and we will take our meal in a restaurant specialising in Saint-Louisienne dishes on a terrace overlooking the Senegal River with an impressive view of the Faidherbe Bridge. In the afternoon we will tour the island and the fishing quarter in a horse-drawn carriage with a Saint-Louisienne guide who will impress with his historical knowledge. This visit finishes with refreshments at the Hotel Post. We will return to the hotel and spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing around the pool. Dinner and overnight stay.
Day Five - Tuesday
Touba – Kaolack - Toubakouta
In the early morning, we depart by road for Touba, the holy village of the Mouride congregation. We visit the marble Grande Mosque with our guide who will explain the history of Mouridisme and the life of its founder, Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba. We then take the road via Djourbel towards Kaolack, where we will have lunch beside the River Saloum. We then take the road towards Toubakouta to the heart of the Saloum Delta National Park. We will stay at Hotel Keur Saloum (or similar), which has a commanding position over the mangroves and a large bolong (river) with spectacular views, swimming pool and rooms scattered amongst a garden of trees and flowers. We will take an excursion by pirogue to an island of shells (a funeral tumulus) and a bird sanctuary, returning at twilight to the hotel for dinner.
Day Six - Wednesday
Missirah – Saloum Islands by pirogue
We set off for Missirah, a fishing village and home of a thousand year old kapok tree. We will take a pirogue trip along a bolong nicknamed the little Amazon; a tunnel of mangroves, of which the roots form an inextricable body where oysters gather in clusters. We then go on to Djinack, a former colonial customs post. A picnic is served in the shade, followed swimming, a walk along the deserted beach, or relaxing, to the sound of the birds. Returning by pirogue to the hotel, we may be lucky and meet a pod of dolphins, a common sight in this area. We stop off to visit the island of Sipo, a village that has remained authentic with its straw huts.
Day Seven - Thursday
Toubakouta / Banjul
Free morning in the hotel to enjoy the swimming pool. There is also a chance to visit the village (the local honey production, the gardening project, the school, the maternity clinic …). Lunch is at the hotel. We then continue by road towards Barra, through the Senegal / Gambia border.
Transfer to Kombo Beach.
Day Eight - Friday
Free time in Banjul staying at Kombo Beach Hotel.
THAT THE ITINERARY MAY VARY SLIGHTLY DEPENDING ON WEATHER, TIME OF YEAR ETC.