Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Bissau Discovery Tour

Guinea-Bissau Discovery Tour – an 8 day Small Group Tour from £2645 per person.


Guinea-Bissau’s sovereign history has been more chaotic than many, characterised by a series of coup d’etats, border conflicts, criminality, corruption and civil unrest. No elected leader has served a full term since independence in 1974.

However, a corner was turned in 2014 when fresh presidential elections saw Jose Mario Vaz win by a landslide. New confidence saw investors and international donors return, injecting cash to revive the economy. Tourism today is a nascent industry in Guinea-Bissau and a concept that’s sometimes misunderstood. That said, as well as a colonial legacy the country has immense indigenous cultural reserves and areas of breathtaking natural beauty on its mainland and among its remarkable offshore islands.

To visit Guinea-Bissau is to experience a concentrated dose of West African extremes. Are you ready?

Guinea-Bissau is one of the smallest, and least visited, countries in Africa – few western travellers make it to this former Portuguese colony, but those that do return full of incredible experiences and memories of a stunning part of the continent.

Starting in Bissau, we travel by boat to the magnificent Bijagos Islands – a group of islands where traditional culture is at its strongest and ancient customs still hold sway. We visit local communities to learn about their lifestyles, some of the most traditional on the continent. We also search for the elusive saltwater hippos as well as other wildlife, and sail between idyllic islands on a true journey of discovery. Returning back to the mainland we visit the ‘ghost town’ of Bolama with its colonial remnants then spend time with the traditional Pepel people.

The joy of this trip is the fact that you will be visiting an almost untouched corner of Africa; expect truly genuine encounters with local people and feel privileged to be one of the very few to have travelled here.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture
  • History
  • Wildlife

Tour Pace

Moderate

Tour style

Pioneer

Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.

Itinerary.

Arrive into Bissau and transfer to your hotel. Overnight Hotel Azalai or similar.

We will spend the day exploring the region inhabited by the Manjaco ethnic group with visits to tiny villages in the forest. These villages are notable for sculptured wooden poles called ‘Pecab’ representing the spirits of the ancestors. With the permission of the elders we have the opportunity to admire these sacred wooden sculptures varying in age and style. This is a unique opportunity to enjoy tribal art in its original cultural context.  Overnight Hotel Banagam or similar. (BLD)

Today we travel along the Cacheu River to observe the abundant bird life including huge Pelicans, Goliath Herons, egrets, storks and flamingos. Leaving the main river, we navigate flooded mangrove forest towards the distinctive adobe huts of isolated villages inhabited by the Felupes and Baiotes, tribes of the Diula ethnic group. We’ll learn about complex tribal technology involved in desalination of land for cultivation, and perhaps witness other traditional practices. Overnight Aparthotel Avo Anisa or similar (BLD)

We drive to Quinhamel to visit a traditional healer specialised in the treatment of bone injuries, and then visit a local rum distillery which has been in use since colonial times, and visit a cashew nut plantation, the main export of the country. Overnight Cupedo Hotel or similar (BLD) 

PLEASE NOTE – DAYS 4, 5 and 6 – The itinerary will be modified to accommodate either the ‘Vaca Bruto’ Wild Bull Dancing Mask Festival, Tribal Carnival or to search for the Salt Water Hippo and/or to possibly witness nesting turtles, depending on your departure date. 

Tour dates for Vaca Bruto Mask Dances: February 20th and April 2nd 2020

Tour dates for Saltwater Hippos and/or turtle nesting: November 2nd, December 28th 2019, October 29 2020

This morning is spent discovering the culture of the Pepel people, who still follow animist traditions. This afternoon we arrive back into Bissau. Take a stroll around Bissau-Vehlo; the lively old quarter with its sleepy streets and alleys. Overnight Hotel Azalai or similar (BLD)

This morning we head for the Bijagos Archipelago. Our first stop will be Bolama Island, the former Portuguese capital of Guinea-Bissau but now an atmospheric ‘ghost town’, with charming remnants of its former importance. We then head to Rubane Island which will be our base for our stay in the Bijagos Archipelago. Overnight Hotel Ponta Anchaca or similar (BLD)

This morning we take a boat excursion to Anguruma via the Bay of Soga with its colony of pink flamingos before continuing to Bubaque. We visit the village, the largest in the archipelago, and only one connected to the continent by a ferry once a week. This afternoon we attend the Vaca Bruto Dancing Masks before returning to our hotel on Rubane Island. Overnight Hotel Ponta Anchaca or similar (BLD)

Today is at leisure to relax on the beach or discover the lush vegetation and villages on the island. Overnight Hotel Ponta Anchaca or similar (BLD)

An excursion to Orango Island to see saltwater hippos (sightings not guaranteed) and the village of Okina Pamapa can be arranged on request.

After a relaxing morning we continue to Bissau for an overnight stay. Overnight Hotel Azalai or similar (BL)

Transfer to the airport for your departure flight. (B)

Please note – Itinerary is subject to changes due to sea and weather conditions.

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

Guinea-Bissau Discovery Tour Map

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Dates & Price.

  • Tour Code
    Start
    End
    Trip Status
    Pricing
     
  • Tour Code 20-04
    Contact us for Availability
     

  • Tour Code 20-10
    Start Thursday October 29, 2020
    End Saturday November 7, 2020
    Guaranteed
     
    Available Seats: 16

    Adult ( 1 - 16 Pax ) £2,645.00 /Person

    - +

    Trip Extras:

    Guinea-Bissau Discovery Tour (GBD) Single Supplement
    £ 385.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More

Tour Notes

The maximum group size for this tour is 16. The group will be led by an experienced local guide and dedicated transport will be provided. As tourism facilities in West Africa are limited and some tours including those that include a festival can be popular, it should be noted that on occasions other tour groups will be travelling in the region and may be following the same or a similar itinerary. They may also be staying at the same hotels..

Single supplement is £385

Extra night accommodation pre and/or post tour in Bissau costs from £115 per room, per night sharing a twin/double room and £108 per room, per night in a solo occupancy room.

Please note that the prices quoted above are for the category of accommodation and hotel used for this particular tour. Depending on the hotel eventually confirmed there may be some difference in the rate advertised by the hotel, and the prices available through Undiscovered Destinations. It should be noted we will not apply a surcharge should more expensive accommodation be used. At the same time in the event that a lower rate is available for the confirmed hotel we are unable to offer a refund.

Return flights to Bissau from London start from £800 per person. Please contact us if you would like us to arrange flights for you.

We include airport transfers in the price of your tour if you are arriving on the first day and leaving on the last day of the advertised itinerary. These will be provided by our local representative or on occasions by the hotel used for the first and last nights of the tour. When the transfer is provided by the hotel this will often be via a shared shuttle bus operated by the hotel. If you are planning to arrive before the start date, and/or leave after the end date of the tour, Undiscovered Destinations can arrange private transfers at an additional cost. Please check with us at the time of booking.

Please noteif you have arranged extra pre and/or post tour accommodation, either through Undiscovered Destinations or directly with the hotel or an agent, airport transfers are not included in the price of your tour.

Please contact us if you would like Undiscovered Destinations to arrange private airport transfers at an additional cost.

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers provided on a shared or private basis depending on location on the stated tour dates. On occasions the transfer will be operated by a hotel shuttle bus. Please note that airport transfers will be provided on the advertised start and end dates of the tour. In all other cases charges may apply for airport transfers.
  • All accommodation
  • Transport as indicated.
  • Services of English speaking guide / tour leader (there may be more than one guide with the group and the explanations may be in additional languages)
  • Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas
  • Drinks

This was a fabulous tour of a truly undiscovered destination. Far exceeding my expectations, this was one of the best trips to Africa that I have ever done. Guinea-Bissau is such a beautiful country, with interesting history, lively ceremonies, lovely people and (surprisingly for a country that sees so few tourists) absolutely no hassle on the streets.

 

Lynn, UK