Day 1: Arrive in Bamako, Mali. International flight arrives in Bamako, Mali. Airport to hotel transfer. Refresh, relax, at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Bamako. Meal(s) Included: Dinner. Overnight at Le Grand Hotel or similar.
Day 2: Bamako. Bamako city tour: Start at Point G and the panoramic overview of the city; visit the National Museum, the city market and the artisans' village, where you will see local craftsmen at work: silversmiths, woodcarvers, weavers, and leatherworkers. Overnight in Bamako. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Le Grand Hotel or similar.
Day 3: Timbuktu. Early morning transfer to the airport for the flight to Timbuktu. Check into your hotel then visit this legendary city with a name synonymous with ‘The End Of The Earth”: See the ancient mosques (built in the XIV th century) and former universities, the museum, the explorers' houses, the city market which received the Azalaïs, salt caravans from the desert. In the afternoon, excursion into the Sahara Desert by camel caravan to visit a Tuareg camp. Enjoy tea on the dunes with your Tuareg hosts, the Princes of the Desert. Return to and overnight in Timbuktu. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Hendrina Khan Hotel or similar.
Day 4: Mopti. Mid morning transfer to the airport for flight to Mopti, the Venice of Mali, nestled between the Niger and the Bani rivers. Mopti city tour. Including the fishing port, the bustling market where many of Mali's cultural groups can be seen: Bambara, Bobo, Bozo, Dogon, Fulani, Tuareg and Songhay. Enjoy a sunset sail on the Niger River in a traditional pirogue. Overnight in Mopti. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Hotel Kanaga or similar.
Day 5: Djenne. This morning you travel from Mopti to Mali's architectural jewel, Djenne, founded in the fourth century has scarcely changed since the Middle Ages. The atmosphere in the streets transports you back to Medieval times. Visit Djenne's colorful and bustling market on its legendary Monday Market Day. In the afternoon return to Mopti for dinner and overnight. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Hotel Kanaga or similar.
Day 6: Dogon. After breakfast, drive to Mali's fascinating Dogon country, visit the Dogon village of Songo, renowned for its rock paintings and circumcision grotto; continue to Sangha, comprised of 10 distinct Dogon villages - some are traditional animist and others have converted to Islam, descend the Bandiagara escarpment and visit the village of Banani; you will see ancient Tellem cave dwellings in the cliff face, continue to the villages of Ireli and Amani, site of a sanctuary for crocodiles which are sacred to the Dogon people. You may bear witness to a traditional Dogon Mask Dance. Return to and overnight in Sangha on the edge of the Bandiagara escarpment. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Overnight at Hotel Cheval Blanc or similar.
Day 7: Dogon. Your of Dogon Country continue with a visit to the Dogon village Songo. See its renowned rock paintings and circumcision grotto, visit Sangha, Ogols and Bongo, see the women's house, the shrine of the Hogon (the Dogon people's spiritual leader), Visit Dogon elders and the natural tunnel in Bongo. Return to and overnight in Sangha. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Overnight at Campement Hotel Sangha or similar.
Day 8: Bobo Dioulasso. Depart Mali and cross into Burkina Faso. Tour Bobo Dioulasso, ("house of the Bobo merchants"), Burkina Faso's second largest city, see the old mosque and visit the old Kibidwe artisans' district, where you will see blacksmiths, potters and dyers at work. Overnight in Bobo Dioulasso. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Hotel Auberge or similar.
Day 9: Gaoua. After breakfast drive to Gaoua, via Banfora where you will see the mysterious stone ruins of Loropeni, whose origins are unknown. In Gaoua visit the Poni Museum, dedicated to the Lobi culture, see the distinctive, fortress-like Lobi architecture. Overnight in Gaoua. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Hala (Ala)Hotel or similar.
Day 10: Ouagadougou. Depart to Ouagadougou. Explore Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso's capital city. Visit the Grand Market and the National Museum with its interesting collection of regional clothing, masks, household utensils and ancestral statues. Visit the craft market at the Artisans' Center, where you will find basketry, batik fabrics, wooden statues and masks, jewelry, leatherwork and bronze castings. Overnight in Ouagadougou. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at hotel residence La Palmeraie or similar.
Day 11: Natitingou, Benin. Depart Ouagadougou after breakfast and drive to Fada N'Gourma, cross the BF-Benin border to Natitingou, in Somba country. Overnight in Natitingou. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Hotel Tata Somba or similar.
Day 12: Natitingou. Visit the Natitingou Museum for an interesting overview of the Somba culture, then drive to Abomey, the birthlace of voodoo; visit Abomey's historical Daho-Donou Museum. Overnight in Abomey. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Hotel Tata Somba Or Similar.
Day 13: Abomey. Visit the Royal Palace Museum and the King of Abomey, whose ancestors reigned from 1620 through 1900. Visit the artisans' center then depart for Cotonou. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Hotel Du Lac or similar.
Day 14: Ouidah. Travel to and tour Ouidah, an important traditional religious center and ancient slave depot, visit the Museum in the old Portuguese fort, the Voodoo Museum, the temple of pythons, the Cathedral of Notre Dame and the Kpasse sacred forest; witness a traditional voodoo ceremony featuring the spirits of departed ancestors. Return to and overnight in Cotonou. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Hotel Du Lac or similar.
Day 15: Cotonou. In the morning visit Ganvie, the stilt village on the water- the Venice of West Africa. Continue with a tour of Cotonou, including the international Dantokpa market, with its fetish stalls and handcraft center. Overnight in Cotonou. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at hotel Du Lac or similar.
Day 16: Lome. Depart on a 2-hour drive to Lome, Togo, stopping at points of interest. Afternoon tour of Lome. Overnight in Lome. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Ibis Lome Centre or similar.
Day 17: Lome. Breakfast then depart for a tour of the Fetish Village and Fishing harbour. After lunch visit the Lome Central Market (one of the largest open air markets in West Africa) Overnight in Lome. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Ibis Lome Centre or similar.
Day 18: Ho, Ghana. Depart to Ho, the capital of Ghana’s Volta region. Visit Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary where sacred monkeys have live in harmony with the locals for centuries. Continue to Wli Waterfalls the longest in West Africa. Visit the Ho Museum, central market and Kpetoe Kente Village. Overnight in Ho. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Chances Hotel or similar.
Day 19: Accra. Depart to Accra and go on a city tour. Visit the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial, Independence Arch, National Theater and the W.E.B. Dubois Pan African Center. Visit the main craft market where you may test your bargaining skills on the local vendors. Overnight in Accra. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Novotel Accra City Centre Hotel or similar.
Day 20: Kumasi. Depart to Kumasi the realm of the Ashanti Kingdom. We pass through Obouasi, the location of the Ashanti Goldfields—one of the richest mines in the world. In the evening visit the village of Bonwire, the locale where the famous Royal Kente Cloth is made. Overnight in Kumasi. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Sir Max Hotel or similar.
Day 21: Kumasi. Visits to the craft villages of Pankrono (pottery), Ahwiaa (woodcarving), and Ntonso (adinkra) cloth. Visit the Kumasi Cultural Center. In the afternoon visit the Kumasi Central Market—the largest in West Africa followed by a visit to Manhiyia Palace for an audience with the (Asantehene) Ashanti King or members of his Royal Court. Overnight in Kumasi. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Sir Max Hotel or similar.
Day 22: Cape Coast. Depart to Cape Coast and Elmina, arriving early afternoon for a brief tour of the city of Cape Coast. Tour Elmina Castle, a World Heritage site where slaves were held before being sent to the New World—followed by a walk through the town of Elmina. In the evening, visit the Volta Fisherman Community, a coastal village with traditional industries and Volta style houses. Overnight in Cape Coast. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Elmina Beach Resort or similar.
Day 23: Cape Coast. Tour of Cape Coast continues. Visit Cape Coast Castle—another World Heritage Site. Overnight in Cape Coast. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Elmina Beach Resort or similar.
Day 24: Cape Coast - Busua - Beach Resort. Depart Cape Coast for Busua Beach resort in Ghana's Western region. Here you may enjoy water sports and other activities. Take a Canoe ride to visit a nearby Busua Island. Go on a walking tour of Fort Metal Cross at Dixcove. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Busua Beach Resort or similar.
Day 25: Busua - Grand Bassam (Cote d'Ivoire). Depart to Cote d’Ivoire stopping at villages en route including Grand Bassam, the former capital of the Ivory Coast. Tour this historic town visiting the Artisans’ Centre where bronze-smiths work with an ancient Wax process. Continue to Abidjan for dinner and overnight. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Ibis Abidjan Plateau Hotel or similar.
Day 26: Abidjan. City tour of Abidjan including the Plateau Districts of Cocody and Marcory. Explore the markets of Treichville. Overnight in Abidjan. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Ibis Abidjan Plateau Hotel or similar.
Day 27: Dakar, Senegal. This morning fly to Dakar, Senegal. In the afternoon go on a city tour of Metropolitan Dakar. Visit the colorful markets including Kermel Market, famous for a variety of medicinal herbs and traditional healers. Visit the National Art Gallery and the picturesque residential district of Medina. Overnight in Dakar. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Novotel Dakar or similar.
Day 28: Goree Island. Today take a short ferry cruise to visit the World Heritage Site of Goree Island. Stand in “The Door of No Return”. The tour includes a visit to the ethnographic museum and a lecture by the curator on the history of the famous/infamous Goree Island. Return to and overnight in Dakar. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Novotel Dakar or similar.
Day 29: Pink Lake. Tour of Pink Lake and neighboring village. Explore the dunes in 4x4 Vehicle. This is the locale where the yearly Paris to Dakar Motor Rally ends. Continue to St. Louis, Senegal’s former French Colonial Capital Overnight in St. Louis. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at The Residence or similar.
Day 30: Saint Louis. Excursion to the Parc Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary, another of Unesco's World Heritage sites. Enjoy a pirogue ride to better view the numerous bird species including cormorants, pelicans, ducks, flamingos, various songbirds among others. You may also see crocodiles, boas and wild boars. In the afternoon visit old colonial Saint Louis, note the narrow streets flanked by houses with carved wooden balconies and verandas. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at The Residence or similar.
Day 31: Touba – Saly. Depart St. Louis via Touba, the holy city of the Mouride Brotherhood. Visit the beautiful giant mosque, 87 meters tall and visible for miles across the plain. Continue to Saly beach resort for dinner and overnight. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Bougainvilleas or similar.
Day 32: Saly – Dakar. Relax on the beach, or enjoy one of the many water sport activities available at the resort: surf boarding, jet skiing, horseback riding/optional local village tour. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Bougainvilleas or similar.
Day 33: Departure onward. Morning at leisure before departure onward. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast.
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