See the trail route:
Our first stop of the day is at the Ndemban village, a Jola village on the river's south bank, no more than 45 minutes drive from Brikama.
We greet the alkalo first and have a chance to ask about the history of the village and daily life there. 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 a 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.
After a delicious traditional home-cooked lunch, we head back towards Galloya.
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.
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.
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. After a quick refreshment, we board a boat to explore mangrove-surrounded creeks and spot some birds on the way.
We head back in the late afternoon.
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.