To make it easier we have put together one of our favourite itineraries – Wildlife of The Gambia and Senegal - which is available to book as a stand-alone package or can be extended by adding a few days at either end in a beachside hotel of your choice.
Please note that this is not a guided tour - it is an independent triple-centre holiday with transfers included. However, there are resident guides at all three properties who will enable you to appreciate the wide variety of flora and fauna in these areas.
Day 1 Half Board
Arrive from UK or resort hotel and transfer to the award-winning Mandina Lodges at Makasutu Forest
Days 2-3 Half Board
Relax in stunning accommodation and wallow in the enormous pool as well as spending time exploring the forest and waterways with the help of your personal guide. There is plenty of birdlife to enjoy and you are sure to spot the troops or baboons who parade through the surrounding forest. Dine al fresco and enjoy the company of fellow guests around the fire pit under the stars.
Day 4 Full Board
Enjoy a leisurely 4-5 hour drive up country along a tarmac road, absorbing the scenes of everyday Gambian village life as you pass by. Arrive at the clifftop Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project Camp, located in the River Gambia National Park (the final approach is along a sandy, unmade track) in time to embark on a 2 hour boat trip to view the chimps who reside on Baboon Islands. Dine in the riverside Waterhouse with fellow guests, listening to the sounds of nature.
Day 5 Full Board
Take an early guided birdwatching walk or spend the day relaxing in the Waterhouse before a second afternoon river trip. As well as learning about the work that the project undertakes with the chimps, you are likely to see hippos wallowing in the river and binoculars are highly recommended.
Day 6 Bed & Breakfast
You now continue to Senegal which includes a river crossing, either to Kuntaur or on the small ferry at Farafenni, then a comfortable drive down the North Bank to Barra and across the border into Senegal. Late afternoon will see you settling into the impressive lodge at Fathala, complete with luxurious tented accommodation, where you can dine overlooking the manmade watering hole.
Day 7 Bed & Breakfast
Embark on a 3 hour game drive around Fathala Wildlife Reserve with a chance to spot giraffe, zebras, rhino and buffalo, then relax by the small swimming pool or join one of the optional excursions offered by the lodge.
Depart for the 2½ hour journey back to The Gambia via the ferry from Barra which offers a real taste of Africa. You will then be transferred either to the airport or your chosen hotel for a few more days of relaxation.
Prices based on two-sharing a standard room on board basis stated, direct flights and transfers. Transfers between centres will be by air-conditioned vehicle (maximum 6 passengers). Upgraded lodges at Mandina and Star Class or other flight upgrades may be available at a supplement.
NB Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project Camp is a working project and is closed to visitors Monday – Wednesday inclusive, therefore this triple-centre holiday is based on a Tuesday or Wednesday arrival. Please note that a good level of fitness is required to ascend the many steps at the camp and no children under 13 are accepted.