Bissau to Cotonou - Heart of West Africa

An exploratory journey taking you southeast from the former Portuguese colony of Guinea-Bissau to the voodoo heartlands of Benin. Starting in Bissau we immediately descend into traditional West African culture, heading first to the idyllic Bijagos Islands, where local customs are at their strongest and unusual wildlife dwells.

Back on the mainland, we continue by visiting a community of ‘griots’ – traditional storytellers – where we learn about a custom that is unique to this part of the world, then travel through the lands of the Fulani, stopping in small villages and exploring the stunning highlands of the Fouta Djalon range.

Moving on to Sierra Leone we stay on lush tropical islands and discover delightful fishing villages, gorgeous beaches and the troubling history of the slave trade, as well as meeting diamond miners seeking their fortune. In Liberia we explore the heritage of this unusual country, ‘founded’ by freed Afro-American slaves in the 19th century and quite different from others in the region.

Ivory Coast offers us the opportunity to witness and see the amazing mask dances of the Dan and Guere people, as well as the rather bizarre ‘cathedral in the forest’ – the vast and opulent basilica at Yamoussoukro. As we hit the coast again we travel through old colonial settlements dotted with European forts and charming colonial buildings, on our way to Accra.

Our final two countries, Togo and Benin, are home to the followers of voodoo and we have excellent opportunities to learn about this much-misunderstood religion, seeing traditional ceremonies and dances that are among the most fascinating spectacles in West Africa.

This is an exploratory tour that often travels through remote parts of West Africa, allowing you see a number of different countries in a short space of time, and where the visit of a ‘foreigner’ is often an exceptional event. Perfect for those that are big on ambition but short on time, this trip delves into the magic and mystery of an ever enchanting region West Africa rarely fails to cast a spell on those who visit.

Bissau to Cotonou itinerary - tribal culture


  • Stay on the idyllic Bijagos Islands
  • See the mask dances of Ivory Coast
  • Explore the Fouta Djalon highlands
  • Look for wild chimpanzees
  • Witness a voodoo ceremony in Togo
  • The coastal castles of Ghana

Day 1 - Bissau

Arrive in Bissau and transfer to your hotel. Overnight Hotel Azalai or similar.

Days 2-3 - Bijagos Islands

Sail to the Bijagos Islands, a magical and unique world of authentic tribal traditions and unusual wildlife. First visit the island of Bolama, once a colonial capital but now largely abandoned, its Portuguese buildings slowly being taken over by vegetation and goats. We then spend two days exploring the archipelago, looking for rare saltwater hippos and learning about the customs of the local people. Two nights tourist class hotels. (BLD)

The Bijagos Islands
The Bijagos are the jewel in tiny Guinea-Bissau’s crown, an archipelago of more than forty islands that have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Covered in dense forest and mangroves, the islands are home to some of West Africa’s least adulterated cultural traditions, the islands serving to isolate the inhabitants from too much colonial influence. The Bijagos also contain enigmatic wildlife – the rare ‘saltwater’ hippo being the most famous, rather elusive but sometimes found swimming along the shorelines and between the islands. Facilities here are few but our stay here offers us an opportunity to explore some of the region’s most pristine natural environments.

Day 4 - Bissau

Leaving the islands behind we return to the mainland. In Bissau we have time for a quick look around the city with its colonial Portuguese architecture. Overnight Hotel Azalai or similar. (BLD)

Day 5 - Malinke region

Morning drive to a small village in the Malinke region. The Malinke are descendants of the ancient empire of Mali and we visit a community of ‘griots’ – traditional musicians and story tellers who play an important part in conserving the traditions of West Africa. We learn about their history and customs, and witness a traditional griot performance. Overnight simple hotel. (BLD)

Days 6-7 - Fouta Djalon

A small track takes us to the border of Guinea, through an area inhabited by Malinke and Fulani tribes, and we stop in villages where the arrival of western visitors is a rare event. From here we drive into the Fouta Djalon, a stunning area of mountains, waterfalls, plateau and savannah, where we explore the charming Fulani villages with their typical architecture. Overnight simple hotel (Day 6) and tourist class hotel (Day 7). (BLD)

Fouta Djalon
The highlands of the Fouta Djalon are one of Guinea’s – and West Africa’s – most beautiful areas, a region of plateaux, valleys, cliffs and grasslands, it is the source of many of West Africa’s great rivers including the Gambia and Senegal rivers, as well as a major tributary of the Niger River. Most of its inhabitants are Fula, or Fulani, people, who take advantage of the extremely fertile climate for agriculture and raising livestock; in centuries gone by the Fulani launched jihads to expand the reach of their Islamic state from here, and the region was only ‘pacified’ by the French in the late 19th century. Today it’s a peaceful place with numerous traditional villages and great opportunities for hiking amidst lush scenery – particularly impressive after the wet season when the vegetation is still green and waterfalls seem to be around every corner.

Day 8 - Dalaba - Kindia

Explore the small town of Dalaba, with its interesting ‘casa a palabra’, a finely decorated building used for local chiefs. We also visit the villa of Guinea’s first president, Sekou Toure, then continue to the market town of Kindia. Overnight Hotel Moringa or similar. (BLD)

Days 9-11 - Freetown – Banana Islands

Drive to the border with Sierra Leone, then continue to Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital. Explore Freetown visiting its lively markets and seeing examples of old colonial architecture, and heading out to its beaches. From here travel to the archipelago of the Banana Islands, with its stunning beaches and fishing villages. Overnight Swiss Hotel (Day 9) and Bafa Lodge (tented camp) (Days 10-11) or similar. (BLD)

Sierra Leone’s capital is set between hills and ocean, a chaotic jumble of buildings and streets packed with the life and colour of West Africa. Freetown’s name derives from its original raison d’etre – in the late 18th century the abolitionist movement launched a programme to send freed African slaves back to the continent, settling on this part of West Africa as a likely spot. The last twenty years or so have not been kind to the city – it was utterly devastated during the vicious civil war which raged through the country, with many gutted and half destroyed buildings to be found, but like the rest of Sierra Leone it is now moving on and increased development bears witness to a growing confidence in the city. Like most African capitals Freetown is fairly devoid of formal tourist sights, but the real joy comes from experiencing the hustle and bustle of a city finding its feet again, wandering through busy markets – including the imaginatively titled ‘Big Market’, or discovering some of the fading remnants of Freetown’s heritage.

Day 12 - Bo

Head back to the mainland and drive to Bo. We spend the afternoon learning about the process of diamond mining, as we join some villagers who show us their craft. Overnight Hotel Dohas or similar. (BLD)

Day 13 - Monrovia

From here we continue to the border with Liberia, and drive into the lands of the Mende people to see a rare performance of the female Bundo masks – normally mask societies are for men only. Continue to Monrovia for the night. Overnight Cape Hotel or similar. (BLD)

Monrovia has a close association with both the slave trade and the return of emancipated slaves to Africa; it is named after James Monroe, the US president who was instrumental in the latter campaign. It was ravaged by war in the 1990s and is today a rather ramshackle capital, albeit rather atmospheric in the right light.

Day 14 - Monrovia - Gbarnga

Spend the morning exploring Monrovia. We visit the National Museum and the impressive Masonic Temple of Liberia, that has played an important part in Liberian history over the years. From here drive to Gbarnga for the night. Overnight Passion Hotel or similar. (BLD)

Day 15 - Man

Cross the border and drive into Ivory Coast. On our way we stop in a remote village to see one of the region’s ‘living bridges’ – impressive structures built from lianas, which are believed to be built by spirits.  Overnight Hotel Amoitrin or similar. (BLD)

Day 16 - Man

Today we visit a village belonging to the Dan people, known for their amazing mask dancers who perform on stilts. Explore the area to learn more about their local customs, before returning to Man for the night. Overnight Hotel Amoitrin or similar. (BLD)

Day 17 - Daloa

Venture into the forest to reach some of the more isolated settlements of the Guere people. Here we will see their mask dances and if lucky, a dance of the ‘jongleurs’, a rare performance involving initiated women with white painted faces, and considerable acrobatic prowess! Continue to Daloa for the night. Overnight Hotel La Grace or similar. (BLD)

Day 18 - Yamoussoukro

This morning we see a ceremony of the Zaouli dancing masks, a tradition of the Guro people. From here drive to Yamoussoukro, once just a village but now Cote d’Ivoire’s bizarre administrative capital. Yamoussoukro is dominated by the gigantic Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, reputedly the largest Christian place of worship on earth, and we spend time exploring this vast complex. Overnight Hotel Royal or similar. (BLD)

The city of Yamoussoukro, rising out of the jungle, was little more than a village fifty years ago, but its status as the birthplace of Cote d’Ivoire’s first president has led to a dramatic transformation. Felix Houphouet-Boigny began his ambitious construction project in the 1960s, with the intention of creating a model city. Today Yamoussoukro is home to grandiose government buildings that seem rather out of place given the overall conditions of the country, and has become the administrative capital of the country. It is not however the hiub of economic activity – Abidjan, the previous capital, retains this honour. Compared to most African cities Yamoussoukro can seem rather sterile and devoid of the chaos that makes African travel fun, but it is nevertheless a fascinating place to explore and muse on the dreams of the former president. The most impressive building is the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, reputedly the largest church in the world and bigger than St Peter’s in Rome. A controversial project, the basilica cost $300 million to build and prompted questions as to whether the money would have been better spent improving the lot of the general population rather than on what many see as a vanity project – there is an image of Houphouet-Boigny next to Jesus in one of the stained glass windows.

Day 19 - Abidjan

Drive to the capital of Ivory Coast. Spend the rest of the day exploring Abidjan, with a ferry trip through the lagoon, a visit to its lively market and the elegant residential district of Cocody. Overnight Hotel Afrikland or similar. (BLD)

Cote d’Ivoire’s largest city, Abidjan is a sizeable metropolis that some say is the third largest French speaking city in the world, after Paris and Kinshasa. A cultural hub of West Africa, it is a busy and vibrant city, with glitzy skyscrapers a testament to the fact that this is the economic capital of the country. It wasn’t always so – Abdijan was originally a small fishing village until it became the capital of the French colony in 1900. Since then it has grown enormously, and only Lagos is larger in the region. Like many African cities it is not especially endowed with traditional tourist sights, but is great for people watching and soaking up the atmosphere.

Day 20 - Grand Bassam

Drive to the city of Grand Bassam with its old colonial buildings and atmosphere of yesteryear, to explore and learn about the history of the country. Overnight Hotel La Roche or similar. (BLD)

Grand Bassam
The historic town of Grand Bassam was a former French colonial capital, but not for long. Having attained this status in 1893 it was promptly evacuated three years later after an outbreak of Yellow Fever. The shipping industry on which the town depended gradually declined, and eventually the population diminished to such a level that virtually the only inhabitants were squatters, although now about five thousand people live here. Today the place has the aura of a ghost town, with grandiose abandoned buildings lining the streets, and in 2012 the town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in light of its special historic value.

Day 21 - Axim - Anomabu

Cross into Ghana and drive to Axim. Here we stop at the 16th century Portuguese fort, one of many early European fortifications dotted along this coast. After exploring the fort, drive east to Anomabu. Overnight Anomabu Beach Resort or similar. (BLD)

Day 22 - Elmina

We visit the fishing town of Elmina, best known for St George’s Castle, the oldest European building in Africa and once used as holding centre for slaves. In the town itself we explore the old quarter with its unique Posuban shrines, made by the traditional ‘asafo’ societies which were once responsible for local defence. Overnight Anomabu Beach Resort or similar. (BLD)

The pretty town of Elmina is dominated by the whitewashed St George’s Castle, which dates back to the 15th century. The fort is a rather sombre place when you realise that this is where slaves were held awaiting transportation to the new world, and the cells which they were held in still remain. Elmina is also home to the smaller Fort St Jago, perched on a hill and overlooking the town, as well as a 19th century Dutch cemetery, and the fishing harbour is a delight to explore, with colourful boats and fishermen bringing in their daily catch.

Day 23 - Kumasi

Drive to Kumasi, Ghana’s second city and home of the old Ashanti Kingdom. Explore the city including the Ashanti Cultural Centre, which gives a great insight into what once was one of the most powerful kingdoms in the region. If possible, we will be able to see a traditional Ashanti funeral, quite a spectacle at which visitors are welcome. Overnight Miklin Hotel or similar. (BLD)

Kumasi is the historical and spiritual capital of the Ashanti Kingdom. With its population of nearly one million, Kumasi is a sprawling city with a fantastic central market where traders from all over Africa come to sell their wares. Every kind of Ashanti craft (leather goods, pottery, kente cloth) is found here, along with just about every kind of tropical fruit, vegetable, and provision. We visit the Ashanti Cultural Centre, which has a rich collection of Ashanti artefacts, housed in a reproduction of a traditional Ashanti royal house. 

Ashanti people
The Ashanti people were one of the most powerful nations in Africa until the end of the 19th century, when the British annexed Ashanti country, bringing it into their Gold Coast colony. Originally from the northern savannah regions, the Ashanti people migrated south, carving farms out of the wild rainforest. The region was rich in gold, and trade in this precious metal developed quickly, with small tribal states developing and vying for control of resources. In the late 17th century the Ashanti ruler brought these states together in a loose confederation and the Ashanti Kingdom was born. Their social organisation is centred on the Ashantehene figure, the king of all the Ashanti. The Ashanti are the lords of the gold, so they dress themselves with it during ceremonies. The Ashanti Kingdom was famed for its gold, royalty, ceremony and the development of a bureaucratic judicial system.

Day 24 - Accra

Drive to Accra, visiting the the old quarter of Jamestown, as well as the quarter where craftsmen design flamboyant coffins for the deceased – a uniquely Ghanaian experience. Overnight Hotel Villa Boutique or similar. (BLD)

Ghana’s capital is one of Africa’s biggest cities, with the inevitable traffic, noise and mayhem. Despite being a fast growing, lively city, the people are friendly and welcoming and maintain many aspects of their tribal African roots. The National Museum houses one of West Africa’s best ethnographic, historical and art collections, which gives a good introduction to Ghana and surrounding areas. The old quarter of Jamestown is the heart of the old colonial town and is inhabited by the Ga people, who founded Accra in the 16th century. There are numerous bustling markets to explore where you can discover everything from food, clothing and household goods to traditional crafts.

Day 25 - Lome

Cross the border into Togo, and head to its capital Lome, the only African city to have been colonised by the French, British and Germans. Explore the city including its central markets and the fascinating – if rather gruesome – fetish market, where animal parts are sold for use in traditional medicines. Overnight Hotel Onomo or similar. (BLD)

Togo’s capital is a vibrant city situated on the coast, sitting right on the international border with Ghana and with a population of just under a million. Slightly dishevelled, it is quite an atmospheric little city and is now recovering from the civil disturbances suffered by the country in the 1990s. Its origins date back to the 18th century, when it was settled by the Ewe people, one of Togo’s largest ethnic groups. Like many African cities it doesn’t have too much in the way of formal sightseeing but there are a few things worth exploring – the Grand Marche with its exuberant businesswomen known as ‘Nana Benz’ who monopolise the sale of cloth in Togo. Not be missed is the fetish market, where animal parts are sold for use in traditional medicines. This is not a great place for animal lovers, with heads and body parts of everything from sharks and crocodiles to gorillas on sale, but offers a fascinating insight into a belief system very different from our own. Lome has a number of buildings which date from the German occupation, most noticeable of which is a rather bizarre looking 19th century Gothic style cathedral which looks rather out of place in a West African city.

Day 26 - Grand Popo

This morning travel to a remote and hidden village, where we witness a voodoo ceremony – unique to this part of the world, and sure to be one of the highlights of your trip. We then cross into Benin and head to the small town of Grand Popo, on the coast. Overnight Auberge de Grand Popo or similar. (BLD)

Voodoo, or Vodoun as it is known here, is one of the most important religions in this part of West Africa. Forget what you may have seen on TV about it being a form of black magic – here it has the same legitimacy as any other belief system and has been adopted as an official religion by Benin.

Voodoo is a complex and intricate way of seeing of the world, with literally hundreds of different gods responsible for various areas of daily life – some are benevolent, some less so, and in order to communicate with them and ask for favours local people will seek the assistance of followers, or adepts. There are numerous voodoo temples scattered around the coastal regions of both Benin and Togo, each headed by a priest who for a suitable donation will intercede on your behalf.

Voodoo is not limited to the temples though and travelling around the region it is not unlikely that you will see some ceremonies being carried out. Also worth looking out for are the Egunguns – earthly manifestations of the dead who roam the streets in outlandish costumes, striking fear into the heart of local people. Sacrifice and blood are important within voodoo rituals, and any ceremony worth its salt is likely to involve a chicken being killed, its blood spilled onto a shrine in order to seal the pact. You’re also likely to see fetishes dotted around villages – these are inanimate objects such as rocks or trees in which a spirit is believed to reside, often covered in candle wax, feathers and blood where sacrifices have been made. Gaining some understanding of voodoo allows you a glimpse into a magical world where nothing is quite as it seems, and is perhaps the most fascinating aspect of travelling here.

Day 27 - Ouidah

This morning we see a performance of the Zangbeto dancing masks, another of the region’s secret societies. From here we continue to the coastal town of Ouidah, a stronghold of voodoo and once an important slave port. We visit the python temple, where snakes are venerated as representations of gods, the old Portuguese fort and finally head to the beach and the sombre ‘Gate of No Return’, the point from which slaves left Africa for the New World. Overnight Hotel Casa del Papa or similar. (BLD)

Founded in the fifteenth century and made famous by Bruce Chatwin’s novel, ‘The Viceroy of Ouidah’, Ouidah was once a centre for the slave trade in this part of West Africa and many of its buildings bear witness to a strong European influence. As well as a rather imposing and out of place cathedral, Afro-Brazilian architecture and crumbling colonial buildings, the Portuguese fort holds an interesting history museum which gives an insight into the past life of the town. Of equal interest is the Python Temple, where a collection of snakes are venerated as earthly representations of voodoo gods. A thought provoking excursion is the 3km walk along the ‘Slave Route’, where those boarding the boats across the Atlantic were herded like cattle to the shore. At the end on the beach lies the modern ‘Gate of No Return’, built in memory of the thousands who never made it back.

Day 28 - Ganvie - Cotonou

Our final day sees us heading out onto Lake Nokwe to visit Ganvie, the largest stilt village in Africa situated in the middle of the water. From here, we drive to Cotonou where our West African adventure ends, and transfer to the airport for your onward flight. (BL)

On Lake Nokwe lies the stilt village of Ganvie, a settlement of 25,000 people isolated from the land and only accessible by boat. Legend has it that the Tofinou people fled here in the 18th century to escape the depredation of the more powerful Dahomeyans on the lookout for slaves, and that they were transported to their new home by crocodiles. Whatever the truth behind it, Ganvie is an interesting place to drift through in a boat, watching how people go about their daily lives on the water, stopping at local markets watching the fishermen casting their nets, and is far removed from the busy towns making this a real delight to explore. The market on the mainland is also worth a look, if only for the rather gruesome section dedicated to voodoo.

This tour can be done in shorter sections, i.e Bissau to Monrovia, Monrovia to Cotonou and so on. If you would like to take part in a shorter version of this trip, please contact us for prices.

This trip can also be extended as it is also part of a longer tour, from Marrakech to Cotonou – see here for the longer itinerary.

Please note that our March 2024 and March 2025 departures will run in reverse, from Cotonou to Bissau. Please contact us for details.

Please note: This is a pioneering trip through one of the least developed parts of the world and so you must be prepared for flexibility and changes to the itinerary if necessary. We most definitely do not recommend this trip if you like rigid plans, 4 star hotels, good roads and well defined ‘tourist sites’ – this is a very adventurous trip through a remote part of the continent, where infrastructure is not great, things change frequently and you can expect a certain amount of discomfort at times. However the rewards more than balance these out – the chance to travel through lands that rarely see western visitors, experience the truly authentic and go to places that few have gone before, in one of the most interesting corners of Africa.

Traditional healer on the Bijagos Islands - Guinea-Bissau Holidays and Tours
Guinea Holidays and Tours
Ouidah Voodoo Festival - Voodoo Ceremony Togo

Voodoo ceremony in Togo

Ivory Coast

What's included?

  • Airport transfers

    We include arrival and departure transfers regardless of whether you book flights yourself, or we book them for you. If you’re booking them yourself, then please let us know the details so that we can arrange the transfers. Please note though that if you arrive earlier than Day 1 of the tour, and leave after the final day, we may need to make an additional charge for an airport transfer.

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation as listed in the dossier. The nature of the destinations that we operate may sometimes mean that we need to change hotels, but we’ll always endeavour to keep the same standards. Please be aware that as we operate in many countries where tourism is in its infancy, hotel standards may not be the same as you’re used to elsewhere.

    While we prefer to use centrally located hotels where possible, this is not always practical and in some locations they may not be the best option in terms of standards or reliability.

    If you are a same sex couple, on some occasions it may be necessary to book two separate rooms – please contact us for more information.

    Please note that it is not always possible to secure twin rooms as many hotels in West Africa only have rooms with one large bed. If you would like a twin room you must check with us beforehand that this is possible.

  • Guides

    Accompanied by Alberto Nicheli. Alberto has a wealth of experience and understanding of this area. He has lead more than 60 Saharan expeditions, including ethnological research on the Tuareg and rock art. He has organised field researches and logistics for documentary films with Discovery Channel on the salt caravans of Niger and has coordinated photographic projects on West Africa with renowned photogrpahers Angela Fisher and Carol Beckwith from National Geographic, as well as collaborating on different television programmes. Alberto has completed solo Sahara crossings, as well as some exploratory missions. Resident in West Africa in the last 32 years, his expertise ranges from African history to tribal art.

  • Meals

    As listed within the itinerary / dossier (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner). These will vary from trip to trip – in some areas it makes sense to include all meals while in others there is a good choice of restaurants and we feel people might like to ‘do their own thing’ now and again. Please note that when meals are included, sometimes these will be in hotels, as often these are the most appropriate option, and will sometimes be set menus. Local restaurants are often lacking in variety, as well as the capacity to cater for groups. Drinks are not included and are at your own expense.

  • Entrance fees

    Entrance fees are listed for those sites that we mention within the itinerary. If there are any other sites that you’d like to see, these would be at your own expense.

What's not included?

  • Visas

    We don’t arrange visas for our travellers, but if an invitation letter is necessary then we will arrange this for you. If you need any advice with visas then just give us a call, or alternatively a visa agency such as Travcour ( can assist.

  • International flights

    Many of our travellers arrive from different destinations and so we don’t include international flights in the cost of our tours. If however you would like us to book flights for you, then just give us a call and we’ll be happy to discuss your options.

  • Insurance

    If you need any assistance with this, then let us know – although we can’t arrange it ourselves we can point you in the direction of a reputable provider that can assist.


This trip travels through eight different countries, most of which require visas in advance.

Visas for Guinea-Bissau can also be obtained at the airport and cost 20,000 CFA. You will need to bring two passport photos with you and let us know beforehand if you intend to obtain your visa this way.

All other visas must be acquired in advance. Please note that the Ivory Coast e-visa is not valid for entry by land borders and you must obtain your visa from the embassy instead.

As of October 2023, you are now required to provide a copy of your Covid vaccination certificate when applying for your Ghana visa.

Visa regulations can change however and so we recommend that you contact your nearest embassy for the most up to date information.

Health and vaccinations

We are not medically qualified and so we recommend that you speak to your doctor or nearest health professional for advice concerning recommended vaccinations. For more advice on vaccinations you can also visit

Please note that Yellow Fever is a compulsory vaccination for entering these countries and you must bring your vaccination certificate with you, otherwise you may not be allowed to enter. 


It is a condition of joining our tours that you have suitable travel insurance in place, and we cannot accept travellers without insurance. All policies differ in terms of what they will cover, but as a minimum you need medical and health cover which will cover you for the whole time that you are away. Most policies will also include cancellation cover, which will cover you if an unforeseen circumstance obliges you to cancel your trip. We recommend that you obtain your insurance as soon as you book your trip.

Please note that government travel warnings often affect the validity of your travel insurance, and you should check this with your insurance company


The local currency here differs from country to country, but you won’t be able to obtain them outside of the region. In Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Togo and Benin it is the West African CFA, in Guinea the franc, in Sierra Leone the leone, in Liberia the Liberian dollar and in Ghana the cedi. It is best to bring Euros for exchange purposes, as these currencies are generally not obtainable outside of the region.

Local conditions

When travelling to some of the destinations we offer you need to bear in mind that things won’t always work here as we’re used to them working at home. Travelling in underdeveloped and untouristed destinations requires both patience and a sense of humour. There may be problems with infrastructure, attitudes may be different, and maintenance may not be as high a standard as we would always like, but this is very much part and parcel of travelling in such a place.  

In addition, roads throughout the parts of Africa that we visit are often poorly maintained (if at all!) and distances between key sites of interest can be long. Travelling in Africa can be tiring, hot and dusty at times, and inevitably it can be frustrating. While there are some issues that we are able to solve, others are intrinsic to the countries that we travel through, and you should be aware that many of the countries that we operate in cannot be compared to others on the continent that have better infrastructure – for example the popular tourist destinations of east and southern Africa. Although travelling in these countries can at times be an ‘unpolished’ experience, this is all part of the adventure. We aim to resolve any issues as quickly as possible, and putting up with a pothole (or ten) is undeniably worth it for the amazing sights and cultural experiences you will encounter along the way.

This is particularly relevant to this trip – it travels through some remote regions, some of which are largely isolated from the outside world and have very little experience of tourism whatsoever. 

Travel advice

We keep a very close eye on the travel advice issued by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office so that we can keep you up to date with any warnings. At the time of writing the FCO does not advise against travel to any areas that we visit on our tour.

We work very closely with our local team and are fully confident that we can operate tours safely here. Should you have any concerns over safety please do not hesitate to contact us and we can address your concerns.

This relates to advice from the British government – other nationalities need to check the stance of their own governments.

Updated October 2023

Traditional healer on the Bijagos Islands - Guinea-Bissau Holidays and Tours
Guinea Holidays and Tours
Ouidah Voodoo Festival - Voodoo Ceremony Togo

Voodoo ceremony in Togo

Ivory Coast
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08 December 2024
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07 March 2025
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