The perfect introductioon to Sierra Leone, this tour takes in a stay by the Peninsula beaches; a visit to Banana Island; time at Tacaguma Chimpanzee Sanctuary and exploration of bustling Freetown.
Day 1 Depart from London on the daytime Brussels Airlines flight (06h50) via Brussels to Freetown. On arrival into Lungi Airport late this afternoon (16h50), you will be welcomed by our local representatives and transferred on the Sea Coach Express boat across the mouth of the Sierra Leone River to Aberdeen. Transfer to comfortable Country Lodge set on Hill Station with sweeping views over the city with breakfast included.
Day 2 Spend the morning with your guide seeing the sights of the town - the Railway Museum, St George's Cathedral, National Museum, the ancient cotton tree and Fort Thornton, where the Presidential State House is now located. Transfer after lunch (cost of meal for own account) for a 2-night stay in one of the eco-chalets at Augusta Lodge, Tacugama, an inspirational Chimpanzee sanctuary, just outside Freetown with breakfast included.
Day 3 Bala and his team are conducting inspirational work at Tacaguma. Chimpanzees are often cruelly kept as pets, or hunted for bushmeat. More than 100 find sanctuary in Tacaguma, where you can see them swinging around and in good condition. Birdwatching in the area is rewarding, with more than 100 species having been recorded from the Tacugama Forest Reserve. This includes some sought-after Upper Guinea forest-dwelling 'specials'. Overnight at one of the elegant thatch huts in the lodge, breakfast included. Walks with the resident rangers in the forest are from 1 - 3 hours (flexible in duration).
Day 4 York is a predominantly Krio village with an intriguing history. Prior to the arrival of the liberated slaves, the Sherbro lived in the area then known as Momimi. York village is over 200 years old, predominantly Christian with old churches and appreciated for its aesthetic appeal. York is the region's rural district headquarters. The town layout and design of the houses is reminiscent of those in the 'deep south' of the United States, testament to the early settlers who came to start a new life in the 19th century. Depart after breakfast for a tour of York with your guide. You can continue exploring the peninsula or return to the resort for some chillout time at the beach.
Day 5 This morning, head for Kent Village on the Peninsula to catch a boat out to Banana Island, for a chance to explore this scenic place. Three islands make up the Banana Islands: Dublin and Ricketts are linked by a stone causeway. The third, Mes-Meheux, is uninhabited. You will be going to Dublin, with its lush gardens, robust breadfruit trees and colourful butterflies. The friendly resident community will make you feel welcome as you explore this quiet backwater. The islands are the ideal location in which to experience laid-back Sierra Leone at its best, and there will be various optional activities available, such as hiking, snorkelling or a boat trip around the island. You can also wander about and take in the delightes of this virtually unknown corner of West Africa. Lunch will consist of locally-caught fresh fish, prawns and lobsters (all subject to availability). Stay overnight at the Bafa Resort or similar.
Day 6 After breakfast, depart Banana Island for Tokeh via a stop at Bureh Beach to chat with the residents at Beach surf club before settling down for seafood lunch. Tokeh, a small coastal village on the Western Area Peninsula has one of the country's finest beaches, backed by lush green mountain forests. The old wooden pier adds to the atmosphere. Explore the area or chill by the poolside or at the beach.
Day 7 Spend a final morning on the beach before travelling back to the city in time to do some sightseeing and shopping at one of Freetown’s craft markets for gifts and souvenirs. Overnight at Home Suites Boutique Hotel with breakfast.
Day 8 Late check-out today. Your guide and driver will take you sightseeing today. Sea Coach Express transfer to the airport where our local representatives will assist you with check-in for the Brussels Airlines overnight flight departing 18h15 to London via Brussels.
Day 9 Arrive back in London early this morning.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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