Rhythms & Realms of West Africa

Freetown - Accra

28 days through Sierra Leone, Ghana, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire
FROM: $4000 USD
Overland Expedition Vehicle, Pirogue
Two Dragoman Crew Members, Local Guides where necessary
Guesthouse 4 nights
Camping 8 nights
Camping without facilities 2 nights
Basic Hotel 10 nights
Comfortable Hotel 1 night
Breakfasts x 25, Lunches x 11, Dinners x 10
$260 USD per person
Foreign Travel Advice

The myth of West Africa is that there is no wildlife left. After 2 nights of staying at the Tiwai Island Widlife Sanctuary in Sierra Leone, and seeing up to 11 different primate species, including chimpanzees, plus otters and sea turtles and even, perhaps, the elusive pygmy hippo, you will realise that this is a myth. If it's tribal culture and wild scenery that you are after mingled with raw adventure and off the beaten track travel, then this really is a trip to consider. The roads through much of Guinea and the Ivory Coast can be very poor, but this is part of the experience, as we get to see stuff that others usually only see from an armchair on the TV. In the forests of northern Guinea, we will seek out the amazing vine bridges, while in the north of Ivory Coast we will explore the culture, music and villages of the Korhogo peoples. Then there are the stunning Atlantic beaches; those in Ghana are particularly beautiful and a great place to relax.

Explore Freetown and visit the National Museum
Relax on the beaches of Freetown peninsula in Sierra Leone
Visit Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary and try and spot a rare Pygmy hippo
Shop for Ronko-dyed clothes in the market at Kabala
Try out the famous vine bridges of Guinea
Overland through Cote d'Ivoire
Visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, the largest Christian church in the world
Explore the old colonial town of Grand Bassam
Visit a supported community project in Elmina, Ghana
Jungle visit at Kakum NP

This is a tough and very much off the beaten track journey. Roads can be poor, and the climate challenging, but it is very rewarding for someone who wants to connect to everyday West African life. To try to make life easier, we mix camping with some nights in hotels, but expect to camp in the wilds of Africa.

Visit the Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary, home to one of the densest populations of primates and pygmy hippos in Africa, and enjoy several included walks around the web of trails on the island

Trek to the Pont de Liana, one of the phenomenal old vine bridges in the forested region of Guinea

Head out on a half day trip exploring the many local handicrafts from the area including a painter's collective a woodcarver's shop a bead-making workshop and a cotton-weaving community

Visit the opulent Basilique de Notre Dame de la Paix, the largest Christian place of worship in the world

Help out at the Sabre Trust School project

Day 1 - Freetown

Border information: if you are joining in Freetown, you will most likely enter Sierra Leone at Freetown Lungi International Airport (IATA code: FNA).

There will be an important group meeting at 10:00am at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting. Your leader will collect your kitty and check your passport, visas, and insurance details at this meeting.

The afternoon will be free to explore Freetown and it's surroundings.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Freetown before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Freetown.

The fastest and most reliable way to Freetown from the airport is by water-taxi, as Lungi is across a bay from the city. The departure times for the water-taxis are linked to each flight in and out of the airport, so there will be transport available for you when you land. Exit the airport and walk to the right, and you'll see the water-taxi office at the end - you'll have to buy your ticket there for USD40 or EUR35, and check in your large bags. You'll take a minibus for 15 minutes, then the water-taxi for 30 minutes. The boat lands at the jetty, where you hand in your luggage ticket to get your large bags back.

The jetty is in the Aberdeen district of Freetown, only a 200m walk from our hotel. Just walk up the hill to the main road - the Raza Guesthouse is slightly further down and on the other side of the road.

Accommodation: Guesthouse

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

See the Freetown Cotton Tree the city's most famous landmark and home to hundreds of bats that fly out at dusk

Price: Free

Learn about Sierra Leone's traditional history and cultures at the National Museum

Entrance: 37,500 SLL

Visit the Sierra Leone National Railway Museum a remarkable collection of old trains that was hidden from destruction for 30 years

Entrance: 5 USD

Take a boat to the overgrown ruins of the old slaving fort of Bunce Island from where the ancestors of most modern African-Americans were shipped to the New World

Boat: 600 EUR

Day 2 - Freetown Peninsula
Day 3 - Freetown Peninsula
Day 4 - Freetown Peninsula
Day 5 - Tiwai Island
Day 6 - Tiwai Island
Day 7 - Makeni
Day 8 - Kabala
Day 9 - Faranah
Day 10 - Faranah
Day 11 - Gueckedou
Day 12 - Nzekore
Day 13 - Nzekore
Day 14 - Western Côte d'Ivoire
Day 15 - Western Côte d'Ivoire
Day 16 - Korhogo
Day 17 - Korhogo
Day 18 - Yamoussoukro
Day 19 - Grand Bassam
Day 20 - Grand Bassam
Day 21 - Grand Bassam
Day 22 - Elmina
Day 23 - Elmina
Day 24 - Kakum NP
Day 25 - Kumasi
Day 26 - Kumasi
Day 27 - Accra
Day 28 - Accra - End Date

Peter Johannes Georg N

it is the journey...

Philippe M

Guinea and Sierra Leone were amazing.

Donovan V

The guides helped to make the trip memorable.

Bradley S

The local people were so friendly and happy to see us

Felix B

The group expierience was very important to me. This experience was made possible by the overlanding concept of living together, receiving a role and a task by working in the cooking group and caring for the truck. That´s what a group needs to build. I cannot imagine going on a group tour again only sitting around doing nothing.

Sofia G

Instead of doing it on my own, this is much safer. I enjoyed sharing with like minded people.

Kellie H

I loved seeing the different cultures.

Michael D

Enjoyed the general ambience of West Africa