Map of Charleston to Savannah: Exploring Gullah Geechee Culture including United States Of America

Embark on a journey to discover South Carolina and Georgia’s Gullah Geechee heritage

On a six-day journey from Charleston to Savannah, take part in enlightening tours and encounters to discover the culture, history and impact of the Gullah Geechee people, descendants of enslaved West and Central Africans. Travelling with a local leader and meeting expert guides along the way, you’ll uncover Charleston’s Black heritage on an eye-opening bus tour, dive into Gullah Geechee culture during explorations of James Island, Johns Island and St Helena Island, watch an emotive performance in the storied city of Beaufort, and find out about Georgia’s Gullah Geechee heritage on a guided tour of Savannah. Full of good food, music and storytelling, this adventure is not just educational – it’s a whole lot of fun.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Charleston, United States
Finish
Savannah, United States
Destination
United States
Style
Comfort
Theme
Explorer
Code
SHKG
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Dig into Charleston’s Black heritage on an eye-opening bus tour, and tour the historic Mother Emanuel AME Church, and important figure in the civil rights movement.

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the Gullah Geechee people when you explore James Island and Johns Island, enjoy a traditional lowcountry lunch and take part in a sweet grass weaving workshop.

  • Meet the Gullah Geechee people of St Helena Island, explore with a local guide and learn about their unique language and strong beliefs before tucking into a tasty lowcountry lunch.

  • Take part in a soul-stirring performance in Beaufort, where music and dance are used to share the experience of enslaved Africans brought to South Carolina, then share a seafood boil with the locals.

  • Travel to Savannah, Georgia, and learn about the state’s Black and Gullah heritage during in-depth tours with local experts, then round off your adventure with Sunday worship at a Black church.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Please ensure you consult your local government’s advice regarding domestic travel prior to booking this trip.

  • This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations and working with new partners can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

  • The South gets mighty steamy in the summertime. Pack appropriately, drink plenty of water and you might even grow to love it. September through to November is hurricane season, so if you’re travelling over this period you should pack a rain jacket and waterproof shoes.

  • You're in the Deep South of the USA, so expect a lot of (delicious) fried food and barbecue. Vegetarians may have fewer options, as a lot of southern cuisine is meat-based.

Itinerary

Welcome to Charleston, South Carolina! With one foot in the past and another planted in the present, remnants of the city’s history are evident wherever you look. Your adventure kicks off with a 7.30am welcome meeting at the Explore Charleston Visitor Center on Meeting Street, where you’ll meet up with your local leader and fellow travellers. After the meeting, take a guided tour of James Island and Johns Island to gain a deeper understanding of Gullah Geechee culture. The Gullah Geechee people are descendants of West and Central Africans enslaved on the rice, indigo and Sea Island cotton plantations of the lower Atlantic coast. This isolated enslavement led to the development of rich and unique culture, language and art, with many ties to their African roots. Enjoy a lowcountry lunch at a local eatery then take part in a sweet grass workshop where you’ll learn about the origins of sweet grass basket weaving and craft a piece yourself. Back in Charleston this afternoon, tour the historic Mother Emanuel AME Church. Founded in 1817, this is the oldest African Methodist Episcopal church in the Southern United States. Learn about the role the church played in the civil rights movement, and pay respects to the victims of the 2015 massacre which claimed the lives of nine African American church members, including the pastor.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Charleston -Gullah Geechee Heritage Tour on James & Johns Island
  • Charleston - Sweetgrass Basket Workshop
  • Charleston - Mother Emmanuel AME Church Tour
Meals Included
  • Lunch
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance and emergency contact details at this time. If you are going to be late please call the emergency number listed in the Essential Trip Information.
This trip starts with a welcome meeting at 7:30am on Day 1 in Charleston. Luggage will be collected during the welcome meeting and dropped off at your hotel. This trip ends on Day 6 around 1pm when the group will be transferred to the Savannah/Hilton Head Airport (SAV). Please choose a departure flight that leaves no earlier than 3:30pm.
Today you will head out to discover Charleston’s Black heritage on a bus tour with a local guide. Stop at the Old Slave Mart Museum to learn about the role Charleston played in the Atlantic slave trade. and visit the new International African American History Museum to hear of the triumphs of the Black people who stayed in Charleston in the post Reconstruction era – the museum hasn’t officially opened yet, but you’ll be invited in for a first look and private tour. The rest of the day is free for your own discoveries of the city. You may like to check out the Charleston City Market, or visit the Chuma Gallery, showcasing the art of the Gullah people of coastal South Carolina.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Charleston - International African American History Museum
  • Charleston - Black Heritage & Culture Tour with a local guide
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Say goodbye to Charleston after breakfast this morning and travel to St Helena Island, known for its rich Gullah Geechee culture and history. On arrival, pay a visit to the Gullah Geechee Visitor Center, meet some of the Gullah Geechee locals who call the island home. Join local guides for a tour of the island and find out how the Gullah Geechee have retained their West African culture and traditions while eluding the effects of slavery, and learn about their beliefs and unique language. Enjoy a flavoursome lowcountry lunch before touring the Penn Center, the site of the former Penn School, one the first schools in the country for formerly enslaved individuals. From here, continue to the city of Beaufort, located on Port Royal Island. Beaufort is celebrated for its seafood and soul food, so be sure to ask your leader for tips on where to eat tonight.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • St. Helena Island - Penn Center
  • St. Helena Island - Gullah Style Lunch
  • St. Helena Island - Island Tour with a local guide
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Head out this morning and get to know Beaufort, starting with a walking tour of the future home of a Harriett B. Tubman Museum and the Tabernacle Baptist Church, a registered national historic site. You’ll also visit the burial site and memorial of Gullah pioneer Robert Smalls and hear his remarkable tale of heroism during the civil war and his influence on the state of South Carolina. Learn about the Reconstruction Era National Park on a guided museum and walking tour, then loop back to the Tabernacle Baptist Church where you’ll help to cook a tasty lowcountry favourite for lunch. Take some time to freshen up back at the hotel, then set out to watch an emotive performance capturing the experience of enslaved Africans brought to South Carolina, and the strength and determination that ensured their Gullah Geechee culture and traditions would live on. After enjoying an interactive performance of music, dance and theatrics, tuck into an outdoor seafood boil with residents of Beaufort and St Helena Island.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Beaufort - Reconstruction Era National Park guided museum and walking tour
  • Beaufort - Lowcountry cooking demonstration & Lunch
  • Beaufort - Robert Smalls Burial Site & Tabernacle Baptist Church
  • Beaufort - Gullah Geechee Live Cultural Performance & Seafood Boil Dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Leave South Carolina behind and cross the state line as you travel to Savannah, Georgia. On arrival, meet with a local expert for an enlightening tour of Savannah’s Black cultural heritage. Explore the Pin Point Heritage Museum, dedicated to Gullah Geechee culture, then see a different side of Savannah when you visit Skidaway Island State Park. Take on some of the park’s most beautiful hiking trails and enjoy a peaceful break from the city. Return to the Savannah in the afternoon and join a local guide for a tour that digs into the city’s history of slavery. This evening, you may like to join your group for a final dinner at a local restaurant and toast to the end of your adventure.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Savannah - Skidaway Island State Park Walk
  • Savannah - Pin Point Heritage Museum
  • Savannah - Black Heritage & Culture Tour with a local guide
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
It’s the final day of your tour, but the fun’s not over just yet. After breakfast this morning, head to the local Black church to take part in a joyous Sunday worship service with the community. Once the service is over, transfer to Savannah airport and say your goodbyes, as your adventure comes to an end here.
Included Activities
  • Savannah - Sunday Worship Service at local Black Church
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Private Van

Accommodation

Hotel (5 nights)

Included activities

  • Charleston -Gullah Geechee Heritage Tour on James & Johns Island
  • Charleston - Sweetgrass Basket Workshop
  • Charleston - Mother Emmanuel AME Church Tour
  • Charleston - International African American History Museum
  • Charleston - Black Heritage & Culture Tour with a local guide
  • St. Helena Island - Penn Center
  • St. Helena Island - Gullah Style Lunch
  • St. Helena Island - Island Tour with a local guide
  • Beaufort - Reconstruction Era National Park guided museum and walking tour
  • Beaufort - Lowcountry cooking demonstration & Lunch
  • Beaufort - Robert Smalls Burial Site & Tabernacle Baptist Church
  • Beaufort - Gullah Geechee Live Cultural Performance & Seafood Boil Dinner
  • Savannah - Skidaway Island State Park Walk
  • Savannah - Pin Point Heritage Museum
  • Savannah - Black Heritage & Culture Tour with a local guide
  • Savannah - Sunday Worship Service at local Black Church

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Charleston to Savannah: Exploring Gullah Geechee Culture trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2.Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport).
3.This trip starts in Charleston on Day 1 at 7:30am. This trip finishes around 1pm on Day 6. Please do not book any flights until after 3:30pm this day.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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 Essential Trip Information

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