West Africa Overland

There is a later version of this trip also available for travel from Jan 1, 2014 to Dec 31, 2014. View later West Africa Overland.

Trip Validity

  • 2013-01-01 - 2013-12-31

Discover West Africa on an overland adventure from Dakar, Senegal to Accra, Ghana

The quintessential West Africa overland trip, this tour from Dakar to Ghana leaves no cultural, natural or historical stone unturned on its eastbound journey across the continent. Very much off-the-beaten-track, this is a fairly physically demanding tour that involves a lot of camping, hiking and trekking – though the bulk of it is undertaken in a comfortable overland truck. This is grassroots travelling at its very best; where you can really get involved in the communities and local people you meet along the way. From experiencing stunning birdlife and witnessing the last populations of West African lions, to getting involved in a community project in Ghana, this West African adventure takes in the best this part of the continent has to offer. Whether hanging out at the voodoo shrines, walking with butterflies at Mount Klouto or relaxing on the many serene beaches along the coast, West Africa is the ideal destination for travellers wanting a different travel experience.

  • Encounter the great mosques of Senegal

West Africa Overland Summary

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Day 1 Dakar

Begin your West Africa journey in the vibrant coastal city of Dakar.

Days 2-3 Toubakouta/Sine-Saloum Delta

Stop over in the tiny town of Toubakouta, and, if there's time, head to Medina Baay Mosque in Kaolack. The next day, head out and explore the beautiful beaches, mangrove swamps, islands and dunes of the Sine-Saloum Delta.

Days 4-5 Tendaba/Kiang West National Park

Reach the Gambia River and spend two nights in traditional round huts made entirely out of natural materials from the bush. Explore the woodlands, savannah, mangrove creeks and tidal flats of Kiang West, the Gambia's largest national park, and keep an eye out for West African manatee, otters, hyenas and leopards.

Days 6-7 Ziguinchor

Arrive in the sandy streets of Ziguinchor, and head out to explore the overgrown downtown area or check out the colourful local boat-builders at the port.

Days 8-9 Cap Skirring

Feel the fresh sea breeze in the coastal village of Cap Skirring, and perhaps take a dip in the warm waters or relax on the palm-fringed beaches.

Day 10 Bush Camp

Continue the Africa overland odyssey toward Guinea Bissau, stopping to camp for the night.

Days 11-12 Bissau

Relax among the laidback, Portuguese-inspired vibes of Bissau. Pull up a seat in a bustling cafe or snap some photos of the character-clad colonial buildings.

Days 13-14 Bush Camp

Camp overnight in Mampata and Koundara, passing through some of West Africa's most remote scenery on the way.

Days 15-17 Fouta Djallon

Head into the cool climes of Fouta Djallon, the perfect place to enjoy a spot of walking, hiking or biking.

Days 18-19 Bush Camp

Leave the Fouta Djallon region behind and head further through Guinea, stopping en route for two nights.

Days 20-21 Bureh Beach

Enter Sierra Leone and wind down on one of the stunning beaches.

Days 22-24 Freetown

Continue the adventure in Sierra Leone's lively capital, Freetown.

Days 25-27 Tiwai Island Sanctuary

Encounter river turtles, colourful primates and spectacular natural rainforest on Tiwai Island Sanctuary.

Days 28-30 Bush Camp/Kabala

Explore southern Sierra Leone and camp under the stars in the glorious African wilderness.

Days 31-33 Bush Camp/Faranah

Discover the meaning of 'off the beaten track' in Sierra Leone. Travel along narrow, corrugated dirt roads to a remote section of west Africa.

Day 34 Macenta

Continue overland through the mid-region of Guinea, stopping en route in Macenta.

Days 35-37 Guinee Forestiere

Journey into the wilds of the forested mountain region that is home to most of Guinea's population. Learn about local culture, see an eye-popping array of flora and flora, trek across savannah, follow trails to beautiful waterfalls and track forest elephants.

Days 38-39 Bush Camp/Odienne

Take in the scenery while driving to Odienne, known for its large mosque and nearby gold mines. This town is set against a seriously striking backdrop - the imposing granite mountain of Den Ke Le Massif - so be ready to snap some great photos.

Day 40 Korhogo

Get insight into the Senoufo way of life in Korhogo. Practise haggling skills in Le Quartier des Sculpteurs where woven cloth, jewellery and antique souvenirs abound.

Days 41-42 Yamoussoukro

Discover Yamoussoukro's collection of opulent buildings built by post-independence president Felix Houphouet-Boigny on his quest to make his hometown the new, spectacular capital of Cote d'Ivoire. Appreciate the bizarre, quirky feel of this city, which has six-lane highways that lead nowhere and multi-million dollar replica of St Peter's Basilica - even though only a small percentage of the population is Catholic.

Days 43-44 Grand Bassam

Explore Cote d'Ivoire's old French colonial capital of Grand Bassam. Explore the Old Town, watch local artists at work, or kick back and relax on the serene beaches.

Days 45-46 Elmina

Head into Ghana to the fishing village of Elmina and camp by the glittering Atlantic. Visit Elmina Castle - sub-Saharan Africa's oldest European structure - and get involved with a local community project.

Days 47-48 Kumasi/Kakum National Park

Journey to Kumasi, and visit to the lush Kakum National Park. Try to spot pygmy elephants, forest buffaloes and colourful birdlife while ambling through the treetops - the canopy walkways are a unique way to experience this tropical rainforest.

Days 49-50 Accra

See why Ghana's sprawling capital is a favourite among sun worshippers and beach lovers. Make a beeline for one of the many stretches of sand in this coastal city, and be entertained by musicians, acrobats and souvenir vendors. In the evening, make the most of Accra's lively nightlife by hitting the restaurants and bars.

Day 51 Akosombo/Lake Volta

The largest man-made lake in the world, Lake Volta covers almost 4% of Ghana’s landmass. Explore the workings of the hydroelectric Akosombo Dam while visiting this remarkable site.

Days 52-53 Mount Klouto

Arrive at the spectacular Mount Klouto, where an evening of drumming and voodoo offers an authentic African experience. Perhaps embark on a hike and discover the area’s dense forest and gently cascading streams and waterfalls.

Days 54-55 Bush Camp

Experience a wild African bush camp after journeying through Togo and soaking up some of the dramatic scenery along the way.

Days 56-57 Tata Somba Region

Stay in an eco-lodge in Tata Somba, and discover the incredible mud houses of the Tammari people. A World Heritage site, these two-storey fort-like structures are a truly impressive spectacle.

Days 58-59 Pendjari National Park

The stunning surrounds of Pendjari National Park offer a fantastic environment for embarking on game drives in the truck. Abundant with wildlife including elephants, hippos, buffalo, antelopes and some of the last populations of West African lions - there’s no shortage of astonishing natural sights here.

Day 60 Bush Camp

Journey through Benin and gaze out across captivating West African landscapes en route to another wild bush camping experience.