11-DAY NIAMA TOUR WITH SEN COCONUT TOURS
Day 1: Dakar
Arrive in Dakar airport where you will be welcomed by your tour guide and transported to your hotel. As you acclimate to your new surroundings, you will be briefed on your trip. Relax. Enjoy your first meal at the hotel or nearby restaurant.
Dakar / Gorée Island & Slave House / Pink Lakee
Begin your day with breakfast in the hotel. Take in the sights and sounds of Dakar on a guided tour where you will be introduced to its French colonial architecture and lively markets. Visit the Presidential Palace, Independence Square, Cathedral, Statute of Renaissance, flower market, and artisanal market.
For lunch ferry over to Gorée Island, an outpost of the Atlantic slave trade and an UNESCO world heritage site. Visit the slave house where its own curator will provide you with a personal tour. Here, many guests choose to make a special prayer or somber acknowledgement to their ancestors and the island's tragic past. Drop by the ethnographic museum. Wander Gorée's cobblestone roads and browse the local artists' work.
In the evening depart for the famed pink lake – where you will enjoy dinner and an overnight stay.
Day 3: Pink Lake / Saint Louis
After breakfast, make a tour of the phosphorous Pink Lake - named for the pink hue that you will witness first hand as the African sun shines from above. Float on its surface with such buoyancy you will feel as if lying on top of a bed. Take a four-wheel drive on an antique French World War II jeep on the surrounding sand dunes. See the population harvesting salt from the lake. Pass the village as you head to the ocean. Take a break and watch the waves as you may also see local boys exercising on the beach.
Travel on to the vibrantly colored island town of Saint Louis - where you will arrive via the famed Faidherbe Bridge. Freshen up and enjoy lunch. Then, take in the sights of the oldest French colonial city in Africa by horse drawn carriage. Visit the Governor’s Palace and Faidherbe Square. Stop by the market and shop with the locals for handicrafts, fruit and vegetables.
Your carriage awaits to continue your tour to the picturesque fishing port of Quet Ndar. Greet the fishermen as they arrive on their pirogues with the day’s catch. Find women smoking and drying the fish along the shore. Visit the fishermen’s cemetery where the graves are marked with fishing nets.
Later, head out on the town for dinner and an overnight stay. If you like, frequent one of St. Louis’ “soiree Senegalese” to hear Mbalax or other nightclub for a variety of African and world music.
Day 4: Saint Louis / Langue de Barbarie / Touba / Kaolack
Dine on breakfast at the hotel before departing for Langue de Barbarie National Park on the Senegal River. You’ll find the park a birdwatchers paradise as it is home to 160 species of birds. Spot cormorants, brushes, pink flamingos, fishing eagles, pelicans, herons, ducks and perhaps a sea turtle.
Stop along the banks of the river for a picnic lunch.
Depart for the holy city of Touba. Here, observe in awe the Great Mosque of Touba as it soars from the arid terrain. Built to house the tomb of the spiritual guide and founder of Senegal’s Mouride Brotherhood, Cheik Ahmadou Bamba, - the mosque is the most visited Islamic pilgrimage site in West Africa and perhaps the most beautiful. Long skirts or dresses, long sleeves and headscarves are required for women and long pants are required for men inside the holy city.
In the afternoon depart for the city of Kaolack. Browse with the locals through its markets. Here you will find everything from medicinal herbs, handicrafts, African wax print fabric, vegetables, and talismans. Dine on a typical Senegalese dinner in Kaolack and spend the night.
Day 5: Kaolack / Niokolo Koba National Park
Have breakfast before departing for Niokolo Koba National Park. Continue on your travels, stopping by a Mandinka village along the way. Meet the village chief, residents and visit their homes
Arrive in Niokolo Koba Park, another UNESCO world heritage site comprised of forests and savannahs and home to hundreds of species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians & invertebrates. Enjoy lunch on the Gambia River.
Check into the hotel inside the park. Freshen up and relax before your evening boat ride along the river. Keep your eyes peeled for families of hippopotamus and crocodiles, storks and spoonbills and perhaps some monkeys along the shore.
Return to the hotel for dinner and an overnight rest.
Day 6: Niokolo Koba / Ethiolo / Kedougou /
After dining on breakfast in the hotel, head out on safari in a 4 x 4 jeep. Spy a variety of wildlife that may include: Derby Elands (the largest antelope in existence), ground hornbills, buffalo, chimpanzees, Guinea baboons, long crested and martial eagles, warthogs, and maybe even bow to the king of the forest - the lion.
Depart for Kedougou - a town of primarily Mandinka and Fulani people known for their hospitality and exceptional warmth and more recently their gold mining industry. Have lunch in Kedougou and visit the market where locally grown produce and meat are sol.
From here, head out to the breathtaking Bassari village of Ethiolo encircled by mountains. Meet the Bassari people who are steeped in tradition and influenced little by modern society. If lucky, arrive during one of their time-honored ceremonies. They have long been known for their traditional remedies and medicines. Today much of the Bassari make their living growing cotton
Return to Kedougou, to spend the night in a “campement” (a hotel composed of traditional thatched huts).
Day 7: Kedougou / Tambacounda
Have breakfast in Kedougou. Then proceed to another site of great beauty, the waterfall of Dindefelo. This sacred site is the tallest waterfall in Senegal. Take a dip in the deep pool at the base of the cascade
Return to town to be the honored guests at a local elementary school. Greet the teachers and students. Gifts for the children of notebooks, pens, pencils, clothes, first aid kits and medicine would be greatly welcomed.
Enjoy mafe for lunch or other specialty du jour before departing for Tambacounda.
Upon arrival in Tambacounda, check into the hotel and unwind. Dive into the pool and enjoy some refreshments. Have dinner and a good night’s sleep.
Day 8: Tambacounda / Toubacouta
Depart early in the morning for the ethnically and ecologically diverse village of Toubacouta. Stop on the way and purchase delicious fruit from one of the colorful saleswomen. Have lunch at a small restaurant and eat with the locals.
Once is town, hop aboard a pirogue for a sunset boat ride along the Sine-Saloum delta. Gaze at the diverse flora and fauna of the mangroves. Dolphins may join you along the river as you traverse to the Reposoir des Oiseaux (bird reserve). On this island sanctuary, spy a multitude of species of waterfowl arriving to spend the night on tree branches.
Savor dinner and a restful night at the hotel.
Day 9: Toubacouta
Enjoy breakfast along the Sine-Saloum River. Then float along the river aboard a pirogue for some island hopping. Visit the Ile aux Coquillages and listen to the crunch of oyster shells beneath your feet as you walk along the shore. Find these shells not only on the shore but used in artisans pottery and jewelry. Take a short hike to a lookout point and take-in the expanse of the delta.
A little further journey along the river, arrive in a fishing village on beautiful and secluded Sipo Island. Observe the fishermen cast their nets. Meet the queen of Sipo who reigns over this multi-ethnic and multi-religious community. This is truly a unique experience in West Africa to find a woman village chief. You may stop in the market and visit the woman’s garden before sunbathing on Sipo’s white sand beaches. Partake in a tranquil picnic on the beach. Refresh with a dip in the river.
Cruise back to Toubacouta to freshen up at the hotel before dinner. For dessert: West African drumming and dancing are on the menu. Feel free to join in the festivities.
Day 10: Toubacouta / Joal-Fadiouth / Saly
Enjoy Breakfast at the hotel. Ferry from Foundiogue across the Sine-Saloum on our way to Saly. Stop off to observe Senegal’s majestic national trees in the Baobab forest.
Next stop: Joal, a town of 5,000 along the Sine River and birthplace of Senegal’s first president - Leopold Sedar Senghor. Take in the 19th Century colonial architecture of this predominantly Serer/Christian village where you dine for lunch.
Cross a wood bridge and enter the neighboring town of Fadiouth. Here, meet the elders and notables of the village. Watch women as they pound wheat with large pestles. Observe the granaries on piles. And discover a Christian cemetery built out of shells.
Continue your journey to the natural habitat of the Bandia Reserve for a guided safari ride through thorny scrub and lush vegetation. Have your cameras ready to capture buffalo wading in a waterhole, rhinoceros in the bush, long necked giraffes reaching for acacia tree leaves, and herds of gazelle and antelope leaping across the terrain. Eavesdrop on the conversations of Green Veret monkeys hanging out in the trees. As a special treat, visit traditional Peul huts in the reserve as well as a thousand year old baobab tree whose hollow contains the remains of local griots (traditional story tellers and entertainers).
Have a dinner of fish or other local speciality and spend the night in the international seaside resort town of Saly on the Petite Cote.
Day 11: Saly / Dakar
Awake in Saly to dine on breakfast by the sea. Relax on the long sandy beach with its calm clear waters and listen to the sounds of the ocean beckon you. Rent a beach umbrella and purchase some refreshments or forgo the umbrella and work on your tan. Not in the mood for the beach? Then browse some of Saly’s many boutiques.
Enjoy lunch before returning to Dakar for some souvenir shopping at one of city’s bustling markets. Shop with the locals at HLM’s textile market. Pick up fabric of African wax prints, cotton brocade “bazin,” lace or embroidered cloth. Or return to the artisanal market for art, jewelry, masks, and maybe even a traditional Senegalese chair.
Have a farewell dinner in one of Dakar’s small restaurants. Transportation to the airport will be arranged.
We hope you loved your stay in Senegal. We welcome you back soon.
11 Day Niama Tour, 10 Day Kasoumaye Tour, 10 Day Yoonu N'dame Tour, 9 Day Bassari Tour,
8 Day Djoloff Tour, 8 Day Akwaaba Tour, 8 Day Teranga Tour, Calendar or Contact an Agent
Groups, Students and Kids Discounts.