Senegal and Guinea Bissau cultural holiday
Description of Senegal and Guinea Bissau cultural holiday
This intriguing journey through Senegal and the former Portuguese colony Guinea-Bissau will take you from the edge of the Western Sahara to the tropical Eden of the Bijagos Archipelago, taking in rich culture including distinctive sacred towns - and majestic landscapes en route. Depending on the date of your tour, in Guinea-Bissau you will either experience turtle nesting, tribal carnivals or wild bull mask dancing and encounter amazing saltwater hippos.
Leaving the hum of Senegal's capital Dakar behind, you'll get your first experience of the peaceful wonders of comfortable desert camping at Lampoul, where you'll also visit the charming former home town of legendary aviator and author Antoine Saint Exupery.
You'll enjoy encounters with diverse locals from nomads to a tribal monarch. In the Ferlo 'desert', engage with the Fulani as they herd Zebu cows across this vast dry savannah, experience an intriguing form of Islam in the sacred town of Touba, marvel at the adobe architecture of the Diola people, and meet the forest-dwelling Manjaco.
Myriad natural wonders include the vast flood-plains of the Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary, the lush Casamance River region, and the dune-ringed Lac Rose salt lake. And get your cameras ready for a visit to the largest fishing village in Senegal, where up to 4,500 pirogues land their catches on an idyllic beach.
An unforgettable finale to the trip is provided by Bolama, the former capital of Portuguese Guinea where tropical vegetation has invaded slowly to create a beautifully crumbling faded gem of a town like nowhere else on Earth.
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PlanetWhen travelling in countries such as Senegal and Guinea Bissau that have few if any tourists, there is an additional responsibility on us as a company and on our clients visiting the country to do everything possible to minimise our impact.
We do everything possible to reduce our waste while travelling, using local cafes and restaurants. We also work extremely closely with our locally owned suppliers to inform and educate their staff about a range of issues, including litter and waste disposal, and the recycling of material. Clients are advised to bring their own water bottles rather than purchase plastic.
Wherever possible we use environmentally friendly local accommodation. If this is not possible we make every effort to alert the management of the accommodation in question to ways of improving their service with the environment in mind. Many of the hotels and lodges we use are in extremely remote areas and are therefore almost entirely self-sufficient, using local sources of food, labour and construction materials.
PeopleOur very small groups and limited departures in Senegal and Guinea Bissau mean that our impact both cultural and environmental on the areas that we visit is small and truly sustainable. We are investing in the future, in the belief that along with our local colleagues we can create sustainable social benefits. All of the guides we use are local, and most have been working with our local team in a full time role for a number of years, rather than just as seasonal jobs.
Our suppliers in both Senegal and Guinea Bissau are small and locally owned, meaning that the income remains within the country and creates a real economic contribution. We also feel that the passion inherent within our local team means that your experience will be enhanced.
All of our trips include visits to local markets, craft shops and fairs. We also attend local festivals and support the preservation of wildlife. As well as being good for the local economy this gives travellers to the country a real feel for the life and culture of both Senegal and Guinea Bissau.