River Gambia cruise with private charter – Fair Play

october issue

Dave Adams has been visiting The Gambia since 2012 and has been resident since 2015. He is proprietor of Fair Play River Adventures, an eco-tourism company based on McCarthy Island. He has post-graduate qualifications in sustainable development and extensive experience of working in eco-tourism around the developing world and has been Chair of the Association of Small-Scale Enterprises in Responsible Tourism (ASSERT).

Dave is fully committed to developing his life in The Gambia where he is a permanent resident.

His company, Fair Play Gambia River Adventures is a social enterprise business based in Janjanbureh on MacCarthy Island offering private charter river excursions onboard a traditional pirogue (West African fishing boat), kayaking, cycling and hiking tours, village stays and workshops in traditional African skills.

Despite the company’s relatively small scale, Fair Play has become renowned in The Gambia and Janjanbureh in particular for providing unique, fascinating, authentic experiences to discerning adventure travellers. A trip with Fair Play offers a unique glimpse into the lives and culture of rural Gambians, combining excellent standards of service with clean, simple, comfortable surroundings. Truly adventurous travellers can choose to forgo the comforts and push their limits on one of their adventure expeditions.

Fair Play prides itself on its strong social and environmental record and has earned the trust and respect of the local community over the seven years since it’s humble beginnings.

We provide residential boat trips, birdwatching specials, kayaking and community-based eco- tourism experiences. We also arrange workshops in traditional skills, cycling and walking adventures

Our adventures are bespoke; we work closely with guests and Tour Operators to design an adventure to suit you.

Please feel free to mix and match the number of days and activities, let us know your ideas and we will do the rest.

Travelling with Fair Play takes you beneath the surface of this fascinating country offering a real insight into the way of life in rural Gambia. Our trips are led by local people, and because we are a social enterprise you can enjoy your trip knowing that you are supporting local development efforts.

Fair Play takes an active role in contributing to the development of Community Based Tourism activities to enable local people and communities to benefit from the tourism industry in The Gambia. We value our staff who are paid all year round as opposed to the usual 6-month tourist season, plus bonuses.

A summary of your Private Charter River Boat Adventure:

 

Boat trips on The Fula Princess include clean, comfortable accommodation onboard. There are two double bed cabins within the boat and double mattresses where you can sleep under the stars on the upper deck. There is a flushing toilet and shower facilities on board.

Capacity from 2 to 5 people

Children under 4 go free, children under 10 years half price, minimum 2 adults

 

Your package includes full board during your stay on the Fula Princess and as much coffee/tea as you like. Along the way, our excellent chef will be sourcing and cooking the freshest and best produce and you will have the opportunity to join him in his shopping, cooking and interactions with the local communities we meet.

Meals will mostly be Gambian classic dishes, cooked to European tastes with the finest ingredients available. Whenever possible we use locally grown organic produce and avoid chemicals and processed foods in our menu. Vegetarians and vegan dishes are available on request.

 

The price includes: full board, entry to the River Gambia National Park, local transport /entry fee to the Wassu Stone Circles

The prices do not include transport. We are able to provide transport from The border between Senegal and Gambia or from anywhere else in The Gambia. Please ask for a quote.

Accommodation: If you wish to have an overnight stay before or after your adventure, ask us for a quote.

Due to logistical and environmental reasons, Fair Play retain the right to operate your river adventure in either direction.

Below are 2 samples of our river cruises: 1 day/night or 4 days/4 nights.  Guests can choose any number of days in-between including single day trips with no overnight stay.

River Gambia Cruise - Private Charter

ITINERARY 1
£ 68 per Day/Night with full board Day trip
  • Day 1: Depart Janjanbureh at around 12 noon and head to the River Gambia National Park (RGNP), with the chance of seeing hippos, crocodile, baboons and other primates. Enjoy lunch onboard and arrive at the Baboon Islands to coincide with the afternoon feeding time, when the chimpanzees often come down to the water's edge. Enjoy the evening relaxing onboard and sleep around the national park.
  • Day 2: After a leisurely breakfast, take local transport to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wassu Stone Circles. Take a leisurely cruise back to Janjanbureh Depart approx. 1pm

River Gambia Cruise - Private Charter

ITINERARY 2
£ 120 per Person/Per Day
  • Day 1: Depart Janjanbureh and cruise to River Gambia National Park, with the chance of seeing hippos, crocodiles, chimpanzees and other primates. Arrive at Baboon Islands for feeding time, when the chimpanzees often come down to the water's edge. Spend the evening relaxing onboard or at the nearby Kairoh Garden Lodge. Sleep onboard near Kuntaur.
  • Day 2: After Breakfast, take local transport to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Wassu Stone Circles before returning to the boat to cruise to the wharf town of Kaur. Walk around the town, visit the market and head to Kauren Camp for great views over the river. Sleep onboard around Kaur area.
  • Day 3: Continue West to Tendaba, arriving in time to take a small boat in to the Bao Bolong Wetlands, which is teaming with bird life and offers the chance of seeing crocodiles. Spend the evening relaxing onboard or at the nearby Tendaba Camp. Sleep onboard near Tendaba.
  • Day 4: Depart Tendaba and head to the twin villages of Albreda and Juffereh (made famous by Alex Haley's book 'Roots') and the former slaving post on *Kunta Kinteh Island*. (This is a particularly busy day with additional fuel charges. An Additional fee applies). Dolphins are often seen on this part of the journey. Cruise to Bintang and spend the night onboard.

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