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Ninki Nanka Trail Classic

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Ninki Nanka Trail Classic
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300€
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ABOUT Ninki Nanka Trail Classic

The trail is a much-needed contrast to ‘sun, sand and sea’ package tourism that builds on the untapped potential of the River Gambia. Aimed largely at the adventure traveller and special interest groups, the trail provides a well-rounded visitor experience. Combining river-based and overland excursions, the trail offers immersive and meaningful interaction with local people. It enables visitors to discover the variety of Gambian natural and cultural heritage while experiencing the important oral legend of the Ninki Nanka dragon - a mythical dragon said to reside in the creeks of the River Gambia, with stories providing accounts of both a benevolent dragon bringing great fortune and a malevolent dragon bringing danger and even death. The trail is a responsible product that aims to disperse economic benefit to rural areas and to offer discovery of The Gambia for travellers throughout the year.
animals
boat ride
communities
responsible travel

Itinerary

Arrival

  • The starting point is Senegambia.
  • Pick-up at your location can be arranged for an additional cost.
  • Accommodation before the tour start can be arranged for an additional cost.

See the trail route:

Day One

Animal world of The River Gambia

In the early morning hours, we set off on a long journey towards the country's interior. 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. Here we will stop 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 next stop is for lunch in the village of Kuntautr. From here, we take a boat trip on the Gambia River to spot the mysterious Ninki Nanka. Apart from the dragon-like creature, this is the natural environment of 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 we will spend two nights.

After dinner, you are in for a cultural blast with the performance of the famous Kankurang, the masquerade of the Mandinka tribe, with spiritual powers.

Day Two

Jamali community life and Janjanbureh city tour

After breakfast, we head to Jamali Village with a slightly different means of transport. This village 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.

We return to Janjanbureh for lunch. After brief rest, we join the tie&dye workshop, where we will create our personalized souvenirs while learning about traditional skills.

The late afternoon is dedicated to exploring 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 for the process of making silver jewellery at the silversmith's workshop.

Day Three

Jola village experience

After breakfast, we head back and stop at the Ndemban village, a Jola village on the river's south bank, no more than 45 minutes drive from Brikama.

After a delicious traditional home-cooked lunch, we greet the alkalo. We take a tour through the women's gardens and head to the river, where we will see the process of cleaning and preparing oysters for selling at the market and learn about the process of salt production by a traditional method.

Our next stop is under very low bantaba, where we will instantly sense the scent of smoke. In the shade provided by a cabana made of wooden stakes covered with fan palm leaves, we will learn about the importance, work and life of the blacksmith.

We return home in the evening hours.

End of tour

  • The finishing point is at the pick-up location, Senegambia.
  • Accommodation after the tour can be arranged for an additional cost.
  • Drop-off at your location can be arranged for an additional cost.

RATES

Please note the minimum number of tour. Your departure is 100% guaranteed once the minimum number of travellers book the tour. Rates are per person and might vary depending on the availability, requests for changes and number of travellers. For more information, send an inquiry. You can also book a private and customized tour, where a minimum number of guests is not required. For an exact quotation for the number of travellers, please send an inquiry.

PRICES

Group tour - departures every week (*min. 8 travellers)
300€

inclusions

What is included

  • All means of transport and road taxes
  • Meals: lunch and dinner first day, breakfast, lunch and dinner second day, breakfast and lunch third day
  • Accommodation in a basic lodge for two nights
  • All entrance fees
  • All activities
  • Professional guide
  • Guide tips
  • Community contributions

What is excluded

  • Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
  • Costs of Pick-up and Drop-off at your selected location
  • Some meals (breakfast on the first day and dinner on the last day)
  • Personal items (souvenirs, drinks with meal, travel insurance, visa fees)
  • International flights to and from The Gambia
Basic accommodation
You will be accommodated in basic standard lodge.
Customization Option
You can request minor changes to the tour.
Can start any day
Depending on availability, the tour can start in any day of the week.
Family Friendly
Tour is suitable for families with kids more than 6 years old.
3 days trip
This is a three days and two nights trip.
Light to moderate activity
This trip requires light to moderate activity.
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FAQ

Can I adjust my trip?

Ninki Nanka trail offers many variations and combinations of activities. Check other options under Trips and activities. You can always send us your suggestions of which activities you would like to do, and we will create a completely customized tour for you. 

How demanding is the trip?

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. 

What should I bring with me?

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 land of the mystic creature, Ninki Nanka

By the oral legend, Ninki Nanka is a mythical dragon said to reside in the creeks of the River Gambia. It is said that whoever saw this mythical creature got seriously ill and died after some days. The only thing that can kill it is its own reflection in the mirror, so to protect oneself while exploring deep river creeks of the River Gambia, one should always carry a mirror with. People say Ninki Nanka has the head of the giraffe; others mention crocodile. The body should be one of a dragon, and some say hippo.
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GET A DEEPER INSIGHT INTO YOUR ADVENTURE

Learn about the mystical creature residing in the creeks of The Gambia
READ MORE

LET'S PLAN YOUR ACTIVITY TOGETHER

MAKE A RESERVATION

How it works?

Fill-in the contact form on your left and your personal assistant from My Gambia team will:
    • Get in touch with our partners.
    • Respond to you in 24 hours with the rates and availability.
    • Once you confirm the offer, we will ensure everything will be set for your trip or activity.

Do you need more than just adventure?

Run through our questionaire and we will prepare the wholesome experience that suits your travelling character.
Let's plan your trip together

OFFERED BY

ITTOG & NNE

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.

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