Rivers of West Africa 7-night Cruise

Unique Collection

Gambia & Senegal Tours  |  Banjul

EXCLUSIVE TO US

Save £150pp - book by 10/10/24

 

We’re delighted to once again offer our guests the chance to explore West Africa via its network of rivers, off the River Gambia, by embarking on a memorable cruise aboard the refurbished Harmony G Mega Yacht, complete with a range of optional excursions.

Journalist's Opinion

"Riding the River Gambia's languid tide provides a completely different perspective of The Gamba. Away from the beach resorts you'll see real African life, including mangroves, stone circles and chimpanzees.​"

- Mark Stratton - Journalist 

 

What we love

  • Harmony G is an elegant and modern vessel with just 21 cabins split across three decks. There is a naturalist on board to answer any questions on the wildlife you are sure to encounter.

Good to know

  • This cruise can also be experienced as part of a Senegal holiday with embarkation in Dakar - contact us for further information.


Travel dates and more about the Harmony G Mega Yacht

Cruise departs Mondays - 13th, 20th & 27th January 2025, 3rd, 10th & 17th February 2025.

This seven-night cruise is designed as an add-on to a longer holiday in The Gambia; pricing does not include flights - additional nights can be added at any of our resort hotels.

Departing from the capital, Banjul, guests can enjoy a seven-night cruise aboard this beautifully elegant, fully equipped modern yacht which has undergone a makeover ready for this winter. With contemporary, light guest cabins, a sundeck, a classy dining room and lounge bar amongst some of the boat’s facilities, you’ll enjoy excellent service and comfort during your exploration of The Gambia. Discover its history, culture and wildlife and witness scenes of local life as you cruise its waterways. With an English-speaking cruise director and a maximum of 44 guests, this is an opportunity to experience unique cruising in an intimate environment.

Seven-night cruise itinerary and optional excursions

Day 1: Embark the yacht at 4pm and set sail upriver to Tendaba, where you’ll dock overnight.

Day 2: Your first full day offers two optional excursions, one on foot to explore Tendaba and Batelling along with its wildlife, the other to discover Baobolong Wetland Reserve aboard motorised pirogues. Both offer incredible birdwatching opportunities and you will be accompanied by expert guides.

Day 3: In the morning, set sail along the River Gambia to reach Kuntaur, a small Gambian port and base for further exploration upriver. During the afternoon, you can embark on an optional river excursion which passes Baboon Islands in the River Gambia National Park to witness the amazing resident chimps in their natural habitat, alongside other wildlife such as hippos, crocodiles, birdlife and monkeys. You’ll also get the chance to meet the local dance group, ‘Kankurang’. Stay overnight in Kuntaur.

Day 4: With the yacht staying in Kuntaur, you can choose to enjoy an excursion to Janjangbureh, one of The Gambia’s oldest towns and rich in slave trade history, afterwards visiting the school of Lamin Koto. You’ll also get the opportunity to visit the stone circles in Wassu, a registered UNESCO World Heritage Site believed to be an ancient burial ground. After lunch, the yacht will sail down to the small fishing village of Kaur, which you’ll be able to explore before leaving for Kunte Kinteh Island.

 Day 5: After anchoring at Kunte Kinteh Island in the middle of the River Gambia, you’ll get the chance to learn much about its discovery in 1455, alongside its slave trading history. Embark on an optional walking tour with a knowledgeable local guide, before exploring for a while on your own. After lunch, you’ll sail back to Banjul, before sailing out of the estuary into the Atlantic Ocean headed for Dakar, Senegal whilst enjoying a Gambian musical evening on board - this is an overnight crossing.

Day 6: After an early arrival in Dakar, you can embark on an optional excursion to explore Gorée Island and the city of Dakar itself. Visit memorable landmarks such as the City Hall and Presidential Palace alongside craft markets, before taking the ferry over to Gorée Island where you’ll enjoy lunch. Absorb the natural beauty and learn about the slaving history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site before heading back to the yacht. Set sail southbound overnight for the Sine Saloum River Delta.

Day 7: After reaching the Sine Saloum Delta, a place of incredible biodiversity and birdlife, you can choose to enjoy an excursion which begins at the fishing village of Djiffere, before heading on to Joal Fadiouth by bus. Row across the shallow bay and witness granary huts on stilts, before continuing on foot to the village to witness the island made up almost entirely of sea shells. Enjoy a final night on the yacht as you set sail for Banjul.

Day 8: After a fulfilling breakfast, you’ll disembark the Harmony G Mega Yacht, taking with you the fantastic memories of your experience.

 

 

What's included in your booking

  • Full Board accommodation for seven nights
  • Services of onboard Cruise Coordinator and naturalist
  • Unlimited filter coffee, tea and drinking water
  • Transfers to/from port
  • All port charges

What's not included in your booking

  • Optional excursions (payable locally)
  • Crew tips
  • Beverages (except those mentioned above)
  • Travel insurance
  • Single and upgrade supplements
  • International flights

Harmony G Mega Yacht Facilities

  • Bar lounge and dining room
  • Sun deck with sunloungers
  • Restaurant serving either buffet or à la carte meals in a single sitting; may be served al fresco and meals have a local flavour
  • Wi-Fi available (local charge)
  • 21 cabins 

Cabin Facilities

  • Twin or double beds (twin only category A & B, C & P either can be requested)
  • Air-conditioning
  • Mini fridge
  • Flat screen television
  • Safety deposit box
  • Hairdryer

Activities

  • Full programme of optional excursions are listed below. You can register your interest at the time of booking but they can also be booked onboard 24 hours in advance
  • The optional excursions described are subject to change and provide an indication only of what is available

This 7-night cruise is designed as an add-on to a longer holiday in The Gambia; pricing does not include flights - additional nights can be added at any of our resort hotels.The cruise is also possible starting in Dakar as an add-on to a Senegal holiday - see gambia.co.uk/rivers-of-west-africa-7-night-cruise-dakar for more information.

Due to the nature of the itinerary, this cruise is only allowed for children aged seven and over.

Category Cabin C - A contemporary double or twin bedded cabin with two port holes, located on the lower deck, will sleep up to three - A third adult or child aged seven years or above can be accommodated in this cabin.

Category Cabin B - A contemporary twin-bedded cabin with windows, located on the main deck, will sleep up to two.

Category Cabin A - A contemporary twin-bedded cabin with windows, enjoying a good location on the main deck, will sleep up to two.

Category Cabin P - A contemporary double or twin-bedded cabin with windows, located on the upper deck, sleeps up to two.

 

About the Local Area (Banjul)

Banjul is one of the smallest capitals in Africa and given it is located on an island, St Mary’s Island - a sandbank at the south of the River Gambia, there is little room for expansion.

It is a strange mixture of colonial buildings, shanty buildings and modern offices and is the main administrative centre for the country. Bathurst (as Banjul was originally called) was founded in the early 19th century by the British Army and Royal Navy as a military base to prevent the continuation of the slave trade along the River Gambia. The name was changed to Banjul shortly after The Gambia received its independence from Britain in 1965.

Banjul is relatively easy to navigate as the roads are laid out in a grid. The main heart of the city is 22 July Square and Albert Market where you can buy anything from spices to shoes. This is where most local residents do their daily shopping, whilst the small tourist and craft market behind offers a good selection of local crafts and some more unusual pieces from neighbouring countries such as Mali and Guinea Bissau. Although Banjul has little specifically aimed at tourists, it is an interesting place and a hive of activity with plenty of hustle and bustle. Banjul Museum, situated in the centre of Banjul, has many items of interest relating to tribal traditions, music, agriculture and the British Colonial years, right up to the present day.

Activity Information

You can register your interest in these shore excursions by contacting our expert reservations team.

Tendaba - Kiang West National Park

From the ship we take motor pirogues in order to reach Tendaba, located on the south bank in the Lower River Division. It is a small fishing village of mainly Muslim faith with approximately 600 inhabitants whose main occupation is fishing.
There we start with a 5km easy walk over uneven ground through savannah bush with destination Batelling, a small village at the entrance to Kiang West National Park. The area boasts of over 250 species of birds; many of which are difficult to observe anywhere else. Other residents include Guinea baboons, bushbuck, warthogs, Senegal bush baby and marsh mongoose. Your local guide will point out to you the species we see along the way. Once we arrive in Batelling a refreshment drink is served before boarding an open safari truck which brings us back to Tendaba. On the way we pass again local villages where you get an impression of local life in The Gambia. 
Please be aware that you have to walk for approximately 5km over uneven terrain.

Operation and prices require a minimum of 14 guests, and are subject to changes due to site restorations, weather, heavy traffic or other conditions. The tours are quite active and require good physical condition. Due to slippery sites, we recommend comfortable shoes, suntan lotion, hat and water.

Duration: Four hours
Includes: Half-day morning tour, including refreshments
€39 per person

Tendaba - Baobolong Reserve

We are picked up from the ship by motor pirogues for a trip to the Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve. This reserve, lying across from Kiang West National Park features six major bolongs (creeks) that provide great birding and boating opportunities. Numerous rare and migratory birds also reside here including the Pel’s Fishing Owl, African Finfoot and Brown-necked Parrot. Sightings of Nile crocodiles and African clawless otter are possible, while baboons could be seen in the dry areas. Please be aware that we are approximately three hours on a basic motor pirogue and there are no toilet facilities available.

Operation and prices require a minimum of 14 guests, and are subject to changes due to site restorations, weather, heavy traffic or other conditions. The tours are quite active and require good physical condition. Due to slippery sites, we recommend comfortable shoes, suntan lotion, hat and water.

Duration: Three hours
Includes: Half-day afternoon tour
€39 per person