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.

Dakar, Senegal
Accra, Ghana
Ivory Coast,
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 18
Group size
Min 4, Max 22
Carbon offset
0kg pp per trip


  • Encounter the great mosques of Senegal


Begin your West Africa journey in the vibrant coastal city of Dakar.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Continue the Africa overland odyssey toward Guinea Bissau, stopping to camp for the night.
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.
Camp overnight in Mampata and Koundara, passing through some of West Africa's most remote scenery on the way.
Head into the cool climes of Fouta Djallon, the perfect place to enjoy a spot of walking, hiking or biking.
Leave the Fouta Djallon region behind and head further through Guinea, stopping en route for two nights.
Enter Sierra Leone and wind down on one of the stunning beaches.
Continue the adventure in Sierra Leone's lively capital, Freetown.
Encounter river turtles, colourful primates and spectacular natural rainforest on Tiwai Island Sanctuary.
Explore southern Sierra Leone and camp under the stars in the glorious African wilderness.
Discover the meaning of 'off the beaten track' in Sierra Leone. Travel along narrow, corrugated dirt roads to a remote section of west Africa.
Continue overland through the mid-region of Guinea, stopping en route in Macenta.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Experience a wild African bush camp after journeying through Togo and soaking up some of the dramatic scenery along the way.
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.
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.
Journey through Benin and gaze out across captivating West African landscapes en route to another wild bush camping experience.
Camp overnight in the ancient capital of what was once one of the most powerful empires in Africa - the Dahomey Kingdom. Discover some of the kingdom’s history by visiting original Dahomeyan palaces and temples, or stopping by the Musee Historique D’Abomey.
Jump aboard pirogues (dugout canoes) and explore Ganvie, a town built entirely on stilts in the middle of a lagoon. Spend a night in the stilt village – remarkable in that it’s home to more than 10,000 people – and learn more about the history of what is possibly the largest lake village in the whole of Africa.
Paddle the pirogues back to shore and continue on to Ouidah – the centre of Benin’s Voodoo culture – and discover the intriguing Musee d’histoire d’Ouidah, which offers an interesting insight into the area’s Voodoo history.
Get in some rest and relaxation West African style on the beach at Grand Popo. Once a port that serviced the slave trade, the town is now a lovely spot to spend a lazy couple of days.
Head to the shoes of Lake Togo, where an auberge (inn) in the quiet town of Agbodrafo will be home for the next couple of nights. A perfectly idyllic spot to wind down and partake in some watersports, the trip will also venture across the lake on pirogues to Togoville, another hotspot of the Voodoo culture.
The largest wetlands site in Ghana, the Keta Lagoon Complex is abundant with bird, fish and butterfly species, and is a great place to do some wildlife spotting. After getting acquainted with some colourful creatures, perhaps discover the remains of Fort Prinzenstein, a slave den built by the Danes 300 years ago.
Arrive back in Accra and perhaps pick up some local souvenirs from the craft market or reminisce about the adventure with the rest of the group over one last dinner together. There’s also a lively nightlife in Accra, so there’s ample opportunity for the trip to end with a bang.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


Canoe, Overland vehicle
Bush camp (no facilities) (11 nights), Cabin (2 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nights), Camping (with facilities) (22 nights), Guesthouse (7 nights), Hotel (21 nights), Lodge (2 nights), Rondavel (2 nights)
Included activities
  • Elmina Castle
  • Entrance and Rainforest canopy walk, Kakum National Park
  • Guided city tour of Togoville
  • Guided Tour of Palace and Museum, Abomey
  • Guided tour of the local cloth weavers
  • Nature walk
  • Pirogue (dug out canoe trip) on Lake Togo
  • Sabre Trust School project, Elmina
  • Stilt Village Boat Trip
  • Tour of Tata Somba houses
  • Visit Akosombo Dam


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Important notes

Please note that this trip requires minimum numbers to depart, and may be cancelled up until 56 days prior to departure. The places showing on the dates and availability page are an indication only so please contact Intrepid to check if your preferred date will depart before making any final arrangements, such as booking non-changeable flights.

There will be very minor changes to the order that we visit places on this itinerary in 2014. We spend an extra night in Korhogo, and 1 less night in the Guinee Forestiere region. We also now spend 2 nights at Abomey, and 1 night instead of 2 in Agbodrafo.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes