NEW TRIP

Rivers of West Africa

Senegal and the Gambia Aboard the Harmony V

Rivers of West Africa route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $1990  
Length: 8 days
Arrive: Dakar, Senegal
Depart: Dakar, Senegal
Lodging: 7 nights aboard a 50-guest yacht
Meals: All meals included aboard ship and with the group ashore
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Wildlife & Natural History, River Cruising
Trip Level: 7-day cruise, cultural explorations and walking tours
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Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

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The deltas of Senegal and The Gambia are an ethereal meeting of river and sea, with mangrove-lined canals, bird-rich islands, and traditional river villages. We navigate the waterways of the Gambia and Saloum rivers, discovering plentiful natural wonders, including The Gambia’s extraordinary range of birdlife (over 500 species!) and an array of West African peoples.

Itinerary

Day 1 (Saturday)
Dakar, Senegal

Late afternoon embarkation. After dinner, we set sail southward toward the Saloum River Delta. Overnight at sea, south along the coast.

Day 2 (Sunday)
Djiffere / Banjul / The Gambia

This morning we reach the Sine-Saloum Delta in Senegal, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and also an important birding area as designated by Birdlife International. It is also habitat for aquatic animals such as marine turtles, dolphins, West African manatees, and crocodiles. Our optional excursion starts at the primitive fishing village of Djiffere, from where we reach the village of Joal Fadiouth, set on an island built of clam shells, which are also used in local buildings and crafts. In the afternoon, we leave Senegal and the Saloum Delta River and sail south to Banjul, capital of Gambia and gateway to the 700-mile Gambia River. Overnight in Banjul.

Day 3 (Monday)
Banjul / Abuko Nature Reserves / The Gambia

This morning in Banjul there is an option for a half-day excursion to Bakau, with its crocodile pond, or to a botanic garden. After lunch, we leave Banjul and sail upstream, calling at St. James Island in the middle of the Gambia River. The first settlers on the island arrived in 1651 and under British rule it became an important slave trading post. In 1976, James Island became famous due to the author Alex Haley and his best-selling book Roots, the story of a slave called Kunta Kinteh. The island was recently renamed Kunta Kinteh Island and is now a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. After disembarking by local tender, your local guide will tell you more about the history of the island and you can explore on your own. Late sail upstream to reach Tendaba. Overnight at dock in Tendaba.

Day 4 (Tuesday)
Tendaba / The Gambia

From the ship, we take motor pirogues to Tendaba, located on the South Bank in the Lower River Division, starting point of our optional morning excursion. Tendaba is a small fishing village of approximately 600 inhabitants, mainly Muslim people whose main occupation is fishing. From here we walk through to Batelling, a small village at the entrance to Kiang West National Park. The park  boasts over 250 species of birds, many of which are difficult to observe anywhere else. Other residents include Guinea baboons, bushbuck, warthogs, Senegal bushbaby, and marsh mongoose. After a refreshment stop in Batelling, we board a safari truck to return to Tendaba. On the way, we pass villages where you get an impression of local life in The Gambia. In the afternoon at the ship, we board motor pirogues for an optional excursion to the Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve, lying across from Kiang West National Park and featuring great birding and boating.  Numerous rare and migratory birds reside here, including  Pel’s fishing owl, African fin foot, and brown-necked parrot. Overnight docked in Tendaba.

Day 5 (Wednesday)
Gambia River / Kuntaur / River Gambia National Park / The Gambia

In the early morning, we leave Tendaba and sail upstream on the Gambia River, arriving in the afternoon at the bustling Gambian port town of Kuntaur, the last inland stop along the river that is navigable for ocean-going ships. Later in the afternoon, we board a large motor pirogue for an optional 3-hour cruise on the Gambia River. First we head to the southernmost tip of Baboon Island, one of the five islands of The Gambia National Park, where a local park ranger joins onboard to give more information about the park and its fauna and flora. We then motor back to Kuntaur, following closely the shores of Baboon Island, home of the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project. If we are lucky, we can observe the chimps from our boat. There is also the possibility of seeing hippos, crocodiles, red colobus, and green vervet monkeys and also The Gambia’s famous birdlife. We return to Kuntaur, where we are met by the Kankurang (mask spirit) and a local dance group on the pier. Believed to have spiritual powers, the “Kankurang” dispenses justice and wards off evil spirits. Overnight docked in Kuntaur.

Day 6 (Thursday)
Kuntaur / Jangjanbureh / Kaur / The Gambia

This morning, our optional excursion by bus takes us to the ferry station for a ride to one of the oldest towns of The Gambia, formerly called Georgetown. During the walk, we get an impression of this laid-back town and see the residence of the governor, the market, and the Methodist church, with its school. Afterwards, we ferry back and travel by bus to Lamin Koto, where a new school building is being built. Later we stop at the mysterious stone circles in Wassu, a megalithic site believed to be a burial ground thousands of years ago. We visit the small museum at this archaeological site, then we sail downstream to Kaur, a small fishing village on the banks of the Gambia. You will have the opportunity to walk around this small community and see how Gambians live today. Overnight in Kaur.

Day 7 (Friday)
Kaur / Banjul / The Gambia

We leave Kaur early in the morning and sail further downstream toward Banjul. Dolphins and other animal life may be sighted as we sail, and we should be in Banjul by 4:00 pm. After formalities, we will sail out of the Gambia estuary into the Atlantic, heading north to Dakar. Overnight at sea en route to Dakar.

Day 8 (Saturday)
Dakar, Senegal

Early morning arrival in Dakar. Disembark after breakfast and depart on homeward-bound flights.

Note: This cruise is not an exclusive Wilderness Travel departure. The itinerary, lecturers, and other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the ship operator.

2015 Cruise Collection Brochure

We’ve searched the world to find the finest small ships and most active adventures, from Greenland to New Zealand to the great rivers of Europe.

Download our online digital brochure to view on your computer or mobile device, or as a PDF! Or request a printed copy to be sent by mail, or by calling 800-368-2794.

 

Departures

2015
Jan 3-10, 2015
Jan 10-17, 2015
Jan 17-24, 2015
Jan 24-31, 2015
Jan 31-Feb 7, 2015
Feb 7-14, 2015
Feb 14-21, 2015
Feb 21-28, 2015
Feb 28-Mar 7, 2015
Mar 7-14, 2015
Mar 14-21, 2015

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015

Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy

CategoriesCruise Price
Category C $1,990
Category B $2,390
Category A $2,790
Category P $3,200
Port Charges: $300
Excursion Package: $502
Single supplement: 30% surcharge (limited availability)

Deck Plan

Category C: Main Deck - 1 Double Bed
The category C cabins are located on the main deck offering large windows, an en suite bathroom with shower and elegant Corian finishing on walls and floors. The cabins are equipped with flat screen TV sets, DVD players, mini fridges, hairdryers, individually controlled A/C and safe deposit boxes.

Category B: Main Deck - 2 Lower Beds or 1 Double Bed
The Category B cabins are located on the Main Deck offering large windows, an en suite bathroom with shower and elegant Corian finishing on walls and floors. The cabins are equipped with flat screen TV sets, DVD players, mini fridges, hairdryers, individually controlled A/C and safe deposit boxes.

Category A: Upper Deck - 2 Lower Beds or 1 Double Bed
The Category A cabins are located on the Upper Deck offering large windows, an en suite bathroom with shower and elegant Corian finishing on walls and floors. The cabins are equipped with flat screen TV sets, DVD players, mini fridges, hairdryers, individually controlled A/C and safe deposit boxes.

Category P: Upper Deck - 2 Lower Beds or 1 Double Bed
The Category P cabins are located on the Upper Deck offering a sofa, large windows, an en suite bathroom with shower and elegant Corian finishing on walls and floors. The cabins are equipped with flat screen TV sets, DVD players, mini fridges, hairdryers, individually controlled A/C and safe deposit boxes.

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Shipboard accommodations
  • Ocean transportation
  • All meals included aboard ship and with the group ashore
  • Entertainment as specified in the cruise program selected

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

Port charges, fuel surcharge, travel insurance, transfers, optional air/sea or land programs (unless noted), shore excursions, airport facility charges, taxes/fees, nor do they include items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, gratuities, gift shop purchases, medical services, phone calls, etc. All onboard charges are in Euros.

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: 25%
70 days prior to departure: Balance

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

No minimum fee
60-31 days prior to departure: 25% of cruise fare
30-16 days prior to departure: 50% of cruise fare
15 days or less: 100% of cruise fare

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Harmony V

The modern, elegant 50-guest Harmony V has a sleek high-tech look similar to the private yachts found in the famous ports of the world. She provides comfortable cruising with a spacious lounge and bar, which leads into a dining area decorated with warm colors. Both areas offer large windows for the most beautiful views of all destinations. The spacious sundeck offers a shaded outdoor area for all-day dining and a bar as well as sun chairs and loungers. The swimming platform on Harmony V’s stern allows easy access to the ship and sea-related activities. The mini-spa provides a variety of massage and other treatments in a relaxing environment.