See the trail route:
We start our journey in Galloya - the village where authentic architecture joins with abstract street art.
Abstract graffiti was 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.
Stroll around the village with the eager young artists who are determined to continue the project and spread art pieces on the walls of the homes.
It's time to take a ride to the riverside. We are welcomed at the beautiful Baobab Island lodge, offering a peaceful moment just next to the water. The island is believed to be the home of the mysterious creature Ninki Nanka. For many years, no one dared to set foot on the island until one day, a brave man decided to build a lodge which is now a paradise for birdwatchers and nature lovers. After a quick refreshment, we board a boat to explore the mangrove-surrounded Magical Creek and spot some birds on the way.
Our last stop of the day is at the Ndemban village, a Jola village on the river's south bank, no more than 45 45-minute drive from Brikama.
We greet the alkalo first and have a chance to ask about the history of the village and daily life there.
After a delicious traditional home-cooked lunch, we walk to the bakery to have our hands-on experience of making a famous Gambian bread – tapalapa. In the meantime, we stroll to the women's gardens to help with the morning watering of their vegetable beds. After we put the bread in the oven, we head to the river, where we will see the process of cleaning and preparing oysters for sale at the market.
We return to the bakery to have a taste of freshly baked bread and gather some strength for the workshops. We will learn about and participate in the process of salt production by a traditional method and make our very special souvenir – a naturally dyed T-shirt or material made together with village ladies.
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. 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.