Senegal and Gambia river cruise vacation

“Spend two weeks cruising the national parks, rivers, mangroves and wetlands of Senegal and the Gambia. Oyster fishing villages and stone circles – oh, and thousands of birds – included.”

Highlights

Dakar | Island of Goree | Pink Lake | Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary | Saint-Louis | Langue de Barberie National Park | Touba city | Georgetown | Gambia River cruise | Wassu Stone Circles | Tendaba | Kiang West National Park | Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve | Saloum Delta National Park

Travel Team

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Date
Price
Basis
03 Nov 2019
US $2130
excluding flights
Full
 
22 Dec 2019
US $2130
excluding flights
Full
 
12 Jan 2020
US $2160
excluding flights
Full
 
09 Feb 2020
US $2160
excluding flights
Full
 
08 Mar 2020
US $2160
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05 Apr 2020
US $2160
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18 Oct 2020
US $2160
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01 Nov 2020
US $2160
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15 Nov 2020
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29 Nov 2020
US $2160
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20 Dec 2020
US $2160
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Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type
Small group vacations
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure.

Responsible tourism

Senegal and Gambia river cruise vacation

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

Environment

It is always our aim to show you the real country and this tour combines all that is best in this corner of West Africa, from the wildlife, historic cities and beautiful natural heritage. We’ll see the main sites but there are also many opportunities to learn about local life on visits to villages.

In order to give you the best experience we use local crew throughout this tour who can give that unique insight into their culture and customs which really enhances our trip, as well as generating local employment and delivering direct economic benefits to the areas we are traveling in.

Our visit to Fadiout is a great example as this community run visit not only is a great experience for us but delivers economic benefits to the village as a whole. Aboard our riverboat we also have a great opportunity to learn about Gambian culture from our local crew…and quite possibly some lessons in Gambian cookery too! We also do this by using locally owned hotels, many of which buy their food produce from local suppliers, and spreading our business to a variety of local restaurants. We visit several national parks on our tour. Conscious that these are fragile environments, we try to minimise our impact by adhering to strict environmental guidelines and educating crew and customers on the ‘do’s and don’ts’.

In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.

As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. CoolEarth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.

3 Reviews of Senegal and Gambia river cruise vacation

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 31 Jan 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The birdlife was spectacular- high numbers and close views. Learning about the culture and seeing the people and landscape. The overnight river cruise was fabulous as expected. Accommodation much better standard than I expected. Our guide was excellent, being able to answer any questions about the place you might have and nothing was too much trouble, made the vacation very relaxing, felt safe at all times.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


There is some waiting around at times due to it being a group vacation and a couple of longish drives - use the time to people watch, its fascinating! Senegal does seem to be 2 pin round plugs as in Europe. Note 2 days without electricity. Note there is a small tips kitty to contribute to on arrival. Note no need to take Euros, pounds are changed fine. There is opportunity to change money on first morning. If you are vegetarian you will have enough to eat but it won't be exciting and may be odd combinations at times and meals can be late and very slow to arrive, I took some dried snacks with me. Be wary about using swimming pools which may not be clean.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, we had a couple of unexpected trips to a school and to a local family, which were done respectfully and we were able to contribute to them if we wished. We were shown a well that had been put in for a women's cooperative garden and had a talk about the guide's charity work in education field.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


A real break, great mix of birdwatching and culture and history, itinerary generally well planned and ran extremely smoothly.

Reviewed on 20 Nov 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Ferry crossing River Gambia.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Don'expect too much.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


All of these, to some extent.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


We had an excellent leader and driver. The birds we saw were great but apart from that, i don't think these two countries have much else to offer. I wonder if more locations in the east and south of Senegal might be worth exploring.

Reviewed on 03 Apr 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The overnight on the boat, sleeping under the stars with the mattresses and mosquito nets on the deck

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Don't forget repellant, binoculars and a torch light. Take with you some clothes to give away, they can be left for community projects.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, we slept in places managed by local people, we visited a local community school which can be helped and sponsored, I left the money I didn't spend to the guide who runs a local NGO

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


I would concentrate it a little more if I had to organize it myself because it's very relaxed and my opinion was shared by others in the group. Anyway it's an interesting trip, especially if you're interested in birds. Our guide Baba was absolutely exceptional.

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