You will visit:
We set off on a long journey towards the country's interior in the early morning hours. The pleasant route offers us many opportunities to observe the countryside. Local villages, thatched roofs and fences made of stakes or reeds near the mosque and, in some places, schools and authentic sub-savanna vegetation conjure up an image of authentic Africa. Our first stop to enjoy morning coffee is at the Tendaba camp.
We continue our journey across a new bridge that brings us to the northern bank of The Gambia. We stop for lunch in the village of Kuntautr. From here, we take a boat trip on the Gambia River to the hippopotamus, the most dangerous African animal, many species of colourful birds and different types of monkeys. With a bit of luck, we will also be able to observe chimpanzees, which are part of the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project, living on one of the three islands on the river.
After a short drive between rice fields, we arrive at the point of crossing the river with a ferry that takes us to the historic village of Janjabureh, where Kankurang festival will be taking place. Here where we will spend two nights.
We will reach here just in time for a cultural blast and the first part of the Kankurang Festival.
After dinner, you can join the late evening festival program or get some rest for the following day.
After breakfast, we will explore the culture and history of Janjanburreh. With a local guide, we will visit the Kankurang Center and learn about the famous masks of the local tribes. We will visit the holy place with a strong spiritual meaning for the local population; the sacred baobab. We will learn about the history of the Liberty Tree, the Methodist Church and be present in the process of making silver jewellery at the silversmith's workshop.
After we finish our city tour, you will be able to join the famous parade, part of the Kankurang festival day program.
After lunch, you can rest and prepare for the festival's main program or go for a kayaking experience on The Gambia River (*additional fees apply).
The mystical powers will be felt in the air as we approach the festival ground in the late afternoon. Get ready for a night of culture and dance.
Due to the schedule of the main part of the festival, you can decide to return to the accommodation place for dinner and return to the festival ground or opt-in for a late dinner after the program ends.
Our last day starts with breakfast and check-out from the accommodation place. We will cross the river and return to the North Bank.
Before we head home, we will visit Jamali Village, which boasts a strong tradition of cultural preservation. A charming reception with an invitation to exchange knowledge of dance steps will take us to another era.
Villagers from the Fula tribe will invite us to learn about their way of life. They will show us how they prepare their most popular breakfast, rice and peanut pudding. We will visit the head of the village, the woodcarver, and the local garden, where you can try out your skills in agricultural work. Before leaving, we will taste delicious porridge served in traditional dishes.
A trip to Janjanbureh is not a trip without stopping at the village of Wassu, where we will see the Gambian Stonehenge, 11 megalithic circular stone structures. The city became a national monument in 1995, and in 2006 it was added to the UNESCO list of natural and cultural heritage.
Our last stop is for lunch on the way home. The estimated arrival back is in the late afternoon.
There can be slight changes in itinerary, but you can also decide on a private tour where we can customize your experience according to your needs.
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. The most demanding part is the long drive and the heat, which intensifies as you move deeper inland.
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. Pack everything you need for a two nights stay. 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.