Senegal Safari Trip Notes
Trip code: GASG
Trip valid from: 01/09/2012
Trip valid until: 30/06/2013
Trip length: 10 days
Trip starts in: Dakar
Trip ends in: Dakar
Maximum group size: 18
- Ile De Gorée - Site Of The Original European Settlement In Dakar
- UNESCO World Heritage-listed Saint-Louis - The Former French Colonial Capital Of Senegal
Relics from former kingdoms and colonial outposts nestle amongst a diversity of vibrant cultures and World Heritage-listed reserves in Senegal, with the country’s lively spirit strong from downtown to backblock. Dip into its relaxed vibe and tumultuous history too, on a captivating journey through this West African gem. Explore the carless Isle de Goree, before a full-body float in the pink waters of Lac Rose. Float some more aboard a boat through magnificent Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary. Take to the cobbled streets of Saint-Louis by horse and buggy, see the fairytale minarets of Touba and wander through remote village markets. Journey overnight down the mighty Gambia River bound for the enigmatic stone circles of Wassu and the colonial island city of Georgetown, before a final unforgettable night in a thatched village. A true adventure encompassing the best of Senegal.
Dakar – Isle de GoreeArrive in Senegal's capital Dakar and head to the Isle De Goree, an island renowned for its Atlantic slave trade memorial, three museums of, respectively, Senegalese history, women and the sea, and a small beach. Meet your tour guide and fellow travellers in a pre-departure meeting early evening. Your tour guide may recommend a place for dinner – the local restaurants feature terraces overlooking the water and serve fresh fish.
Isle de Goree – Lac RoseVisit the House of Slaves and it’s ‘Door of No Return’ and tour on foot the rest of the carless island once run by, in turn, the Portuguese, Dutch, British and French. Ride a ferry back to the mainland and briefly visit Dakar city before heading on to camp in the sand dunes by Lac Rose. Perhaps enjoy a relaxing float in the high salt, high buoyancy pink lake –Africa’s version of the Dead Sea and often the end point for the Paris-Dakar rally. (B, L, D)
Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary – Saint-LouisSpend the next night camping on the beach in the wildlife haven and twitcher’s delight of Djoudj. Explore the park by pirogue (flat-bottomed boat) and revel in its famed birdlife and peaceful ambience. The sanctuary is in the Senegal River delta and comprises of 16 000 hectares of wetland formed from the streams and ponds surrounding a large lake. It is home to 1.5 million birds, including pelicans, herons, spoonbills, egrets and cormorants, and is justly renowned in bird-watching circles. On the second day, explore the lively cobbled streets and colonial facades of the former capital of Saint-Louis by horse and buggy, and spend the evening in town. The old centre of town is situated on a narrow island near the mouth of the Senegal River at the heart of the current city. It was the capital of the French colony of Senegal from 1673 until independence in 1960. On our second night we stay over in Saint-Louis. (2B, 2L, 2D)
Touba - KaolackVisit the holy Sufi city of Touba and see the fairytale minarets and domes of the grand mosque. Touba is the holy city of Mouridism and home of the Mouride brotherhood, founded by the Muslim mystic Amadou Bamba, who is most renowned for his promotion of a strong work ethic. His disciples are particularly industrious and his white-robed image can be seen painted all over Senegal. Visitors are only allowed within the mosque if they are Muslim, but the exterior is captivating enough for all others. Later, we head to town of Kaolack on the Saloum River and wander through the makeshift grain and goods stalls of the local market – a great place to interact with the locals. The following day, we explore the languid waters and mangroves of Sine-Saloum Delta, a picturesque mix of river land and sea, by boat. (2B, 2L, 2D)
Gambia RiverCross into The Gambia and embark on a journey down the namesake river. Sleep overnight on the boat and ease into the relaxed rhythms of life along the waterway, as well as visit the ‘Baboon Islands’, a national park comprising of five islands and a chimpanzee rehabilitation centre established by English woman Stella Brewer on a cliff edge overlooking the sea. (B, L, D)
Wassu Stone circles – GeorgetownVisit the World Heritage-listed stone circles of Wassu, the remarkably preserved, 1200 year-old burial sites of local kings and chieftains that appear like African versions of Stonehenge or Avebury. Little is known about the circles as extensive archaeological studies have yet to be undertaken, but their appearance and mystery is fascination nonetheless. The enigmatic circles usually consist of 20 upright rocks, up to 2.5 metres tall and weighing several tonnes, made of reddish brown laterite quarried from nearby deposits. Afterwards, we drive to Georgetown, now most often known by its pre-colonial name, Jangjang-bureh, and explore the colonial relics and busy streets of this upstream island city. Including the ‘Freedom Tree’ – Georgetown was where many slaves were freed and it is said that immediately prior to release they would touch a particular tree before their names were registered and they were freed– the original tree is long gone, but another now grows in its place and is celebrated by the locals. (B, L, D)
Wassadou - DakarWe cross into Senegal before camping the night by the thatched village of Wassadou, overlooking the Gambia River. We farewell our tour guide and fellow travellers and take a private transfer back to Dakar where out tour ends on arrival in the evening. (B)
Itinerary VariationWhile the information presented here details our planned itinerary, including routes taken, activities included, accommodation and meeting times, please accept that unforseen changes may occur. We are constantly on the lookout to improve our program and further enhance your experience. Naturally, we will keep you up to date with any last minute amendments to your tour.
About The Imaginative Traveller
Our aim has always been to provide exceptional travel experiences. We believe that adventure travel should be stimulating, and that it should give you an authentic experience of a place. We want our travellers to relish the amazing diversity of countries and cultures the world has to offer. Our focus is on innovation, not imitation.
Obsessed with quality
One of our strengths has been our obsession with quality. We've always believed that our commitment to you doesn't end as soon as you've paid for your holiday. On the contrary, it is just beginning. Whilst most operators simply get a local company to handle the day to day operation of their tours, we do it all ourselves. We have managers for each of our key destinations around the world and all our small groups are escorted by our own leaders. Our local teams include guides, drivers, administration staff and contacts in the local community who help us ensure that our adventures are active and involving.
For comparability, all prices in this dossier are quoted in one currency. We use the US Dollar since that is familiar to most. However, once on tour you will need to pay for all goods and services in the local currency. See your Country Dossier for details of exchange rates.
Whether you’re taking in man’s greatest works at places like Petra or Angkor Wat, experiencing grand set-pieces like the Trans-Mongolian Railway or trying your hand at regional specialities like tango in Buenos Aires, getting to grips with local cultures is what travel’s all about. A few tips from a guide and a sense of adventure are pretty much all you need. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get the lowdown on high Tibet among Lhasa’s magisterial temples; follow up Delhi’s eye-popping bustle with a fix of its fiery food; and mix manic markets and Incan masterpieces in Peru.
3 experienced local safari crew, custom-built safari vehicle, all park fees and camping equipment.
8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
9 nights participatory camping
Single room supplementMost of our travellers like the thought of travelling with a few like-minded souls. There are NO compulsory single supplements on most tours as we simply arrange twin shared accommodation for you and another tour member of the same sex. But don't worry if that doesn't appeal. We do understand there are times when you just want a bit of privacy and 'me' time so we are more than happy to arrange a private room upon request when you book.
Custom-built safari vehicle,RiverboatThe itinerary and supplementary information has been compiled with care and provided in good faith. However it may be subject to change, and does not form part of a contract between the client and The Imaginative Traveller.
Responsible Travel - Travellers' Guidelines
At Imaginative Traveller we love helping our clients experience the beauty and cultures of the destinations we visit. However, hand in hand with this we have always been aware that we have a responsibility to minimise any negative impacts that tourism can bring.
Responsible Travel is twofold. It’s about taking people to the places they want to go in a safe and responsible manner but also about respecting and maintaining the natural and often delicate balance of the destination. Economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, but should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment.
- It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit.
- We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.
- Whilst it is our aim to show destinations and cultures in a positive light, we do not believe in papering over the cracks or shielding visitors from the realities of life. This does not mean, however, that we condone or endorse certain situations or regimes that may be in place.
Our guidelines are meant not as rigid instructions but rather as suggestions to make our holidays more enjoyable – for everybody. As cultural and environmental sensitivities vary from country to country more specific guidelines can be found in our individual country and trip dossiers.
Before you depart try to spend some time familiarising yourself with the destination you will be travelling to – their culture and customs. The country dossiers on our website offer detailed information about all the regions we visit. They also include some useful phrases in the local language for you to use on your trip! A few words of the local language can open up many more opportunities for you to interact with the people you will meet.
Although it is tempting to give out pens, sweets and money to people begging, and particularly tempting to give to children, we feel that this encourages a begging mentality and has a long-term negative impact on communities. If someone begging earns more than someone in the same community who works this can discourage local employment. If children regularly bring home money it may discourage their parents from sending them to school. It is of course your own personal choice but you could consider giving to registered charities or contributing to our Responsible Travel fund instead. Money donated through our fund to our worldwide projects is matched pound for pound by Imaginative Traveller and used to help local grassroots projects.
Always ask permission to photograph local people and respect their decision if they would prefer not to have their picture taken.
Respect local dress codes, especially at religious sites. Our tour leaders are always on hand to give you advice about this.
In many of the countries we visit you might see examples of animal cruelty (for example dancing bears, performing monkeys and snake charmers). Please do not take photographs of this or offer money as it encourages the activity.
Respect the environment you are in. It sounds obvious but do not throw litter, take it with you or use rubbish bins! You may see locals throwing rubbish on the street but do not follow their example!
When shopping in countries where haggling is the norm – enjoy it and only pay what you feel is a fair price for the goods you are purchasing. However, remember that the shopkeeper does have to make a living so do stop once you have reached a price you are happy with. Bargaining should be fun but always remember that a small amount can mean much more to the vendor than to you.
Endeavor to take home souvenirs made locally; the money you spend can be very important to the local communities. However, do use your common sense and don’t buy anything that you think might be made out of endangered animals or plants.
To help keep as much money as possible in the host country - try to eat in locally owned restaurants and order local drinks and produce rather than international brands.
In hotels do be conscious of how much water you are using. Many of the areas we visit regularly have shortages; try not to have hour long showers! Don’t leave lights, air conditioners or fans on when you leave the room – you wouldn’t at home!
Respect the environment you are in, especially when in national parks or reserves. Pay attention to rules about keeping on paths, keeping a distance from animals and not removing any of the natural habitat.
Relax and immerse yourself in the differences of the culture you are in – you’ll be back home in the familiar soon enough (and wishing you were still on holiday!). These cultural differences are part of what makes your experience special.
If you would like to offset the carbon dioxide that will be produced on your flights you can do this on our website (on our Responsible travel page). We work with climatecare, who will reduce the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide that you produce in another part of the World through their emission reduction projects. These projects are low carbon efficient technologies in developing countries and not only serve to reduce emissions but also help to spread the adoption of low carbon technologies and improve the quality of life for local communities. Details of climatecare’s projects can be found on their website.
If you would like to contribute to our Worldwide projects, helping communities all over the World, you can also do this on our website or with a sales consultant. Please refer to our responsible travel page on the website for details of our current projects. Any donation you make will be matched £ for £ by Imaginative Traveller (up to a maximum of £1000).
Have a great trip!
Please do let us know if you have any comments about responsible travel at email@example.comThe Imaginative Traveller & Gecko's Adventures This trip is operated by our partner company, Gecko's Adventures. Gecko's is an Australia based company with more than 10 years experience in adventure travel and they share our ethos for offering unique holiday adventures. As this is a code shared departure you can expect there to be both Imaginative Traveller and Gecko's travellers on your trip.
Last updated: 23/02/2012