See the trail route:
Galloya is the village where authentic architecture joins with abstract street art.
Abstract graffitis were accomplished by well-known international artists, who were part of a project named Wide Open Walls to promote peace and respect. The intercultural project started in 2010, when one of the founders of Makasutu Nature Reserve, Lawrence Williams, joined forces with respected Gambian artist Njogou Touray to enlive the area. Artists from all around the world visited The Gambia and added their artistic contributions through their graffiti and paintings on the walls of the homes and communal buildings in the village.
Meet the alkalo and take a donkey cart around the village to be inspired by the work of various artists as well as the intimate atmosphere of the village.
Women of Galloya and Kubuneh are doing their daily work in the community gardens, where they grow popular vegetables, amongst which are okra, hot pepper, spring onion, eggplant, etc. Discover what the plants look like and try out your gardening skills while enjoying the cheerful energy of the ladies, who are also part of the Kanyelenga performance group.
We reach Kubuneh, where a magnificent baobab tree is present on the spiritual grounds of the ancestors. There are many Jola people living in the area, and their connection with nature is something sacred. They pay respect to the trees as this is a way of communication with their ancestors. Although most of the Jolas in The Gambia are now Muslims, they still retain some of the beliefs and practices of their animistic religion.
Jolas are also very famous palm wine tappers. The skills of climbing a tree with the help of a rope made out of leaves and fibres of a palm are a sight to embrace. You can even try it on your own but make sure you don't climb too high!
It's time to take a ride to the riverside. We are welcomed at beautiful Wunderland lodge, offering a peaceful moment just next to the water. We enjoy lunch here and board a boat to explore mangrove-surrounded creeks. We stop at the oyster production site to learn about this traditional practice and make another stop at the salt production area to learn how salt is extracted from the muddy river grounds.
The highlight of the trip is Bougarabou cultural entertainment, a tradition that is dying out. The traditional Jola drum is a set of four drums intended to be played by a single drummer. The deep bass drumming is accompanied by the women's clapping, singing and dancing, inviting you to join in.
You can adjust your trip as a private tour. With the group tour slight adjustments are possible.
The trip is easy to moderate. The most activity expected from you is when you have to board a boat. It will include some walking, but there will be no serious activity.
We recommend bringing sun protection (headwear, long, lightweight clothes, sunglasses, sun cream) and mosquito repellents. Make sure you bring enough water (you can also buy it on the way) and some snacks if you get hungry quickly. We recommend comfortable wear.
The trip is organised by the Insitute of Travel and Tourism of The Gambia (ITTOG) in collaboration with Ninki Nanka Encounters (NNE).
ITTOG specialises in hands-on training mainly in the Travel and Tourism sectors with special emphasis on travel agency, tour operations, tour guiding, ground operations, events management, entrepreneurship/business skills development, responsible/sustainable tourism, community-based tourism, and general tourism business management.
NNE Foundation is a small, new Gambian charity and UK community interest company (CIC) working towards the responsible development of the Ninki Nanka Trail as a community-based tourist destination.
They work on projects with communities, tourism businesses and local government to develop experiences, products and community-based tourism designed to create inspiring, cultural interaction between travellers and local people and use tourism to create livelihood opportunities for host communities along The River Gambia.
We do believe it's time for another adventure. Don't spend all of your time in The Gambia in one place. Go out and explore! There are so many beautiful experiences waiting for you. Let us help you pick one - and take care of all the rest.