Guinea-Bissau Discovery


Guinea-Bissau Discovery

Style: PioneerGroundbreaking tours to unique destinations
Duration: 8 days
Type: GroupSmall group tours with a maximum of 12 travellers

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival Bissau - Manjacu Tribe

Arrive in Bissau and check in to your hotel in Bissau (Hotel Azalai or similar). Due to a lack of international flights to Bissau you will arrive in the early hours of the morning. You will then have some rest and at around 10am we will spend the rest of the day dedicated to the Manjacu 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 Casa Cachungo Eco Hotel or similar. (BLD)

Day 2 – Villages of the Flooded Forest – Felupes and Baiotes tribe

Today we travel along the Cacheu River to observe the abundant bird life including huge Pelicans, Goliath Herons, egrets, storks and flamingos. We then leave the main river to start navigating through the flooded mangrove forest. Our destination is some isolated villages inhabited by the Felupes and Baiotes, both tribes of the Diula ethnic group. We will witness their complex tribal technology and how they manage to desalinate the land for crop cultivation and we will hope to see their ceremonies and distinctive adobe huts. Overnight Casa Cachungo Eco Hotel or similar (BLD)

Day 3 – Pepel Tribe

This morning visit a local rum factory which has been in use since colonial times. Spend this afternoon discovering the culture of the Pepel people, who still follow animist traditions. We learn about their customs and visit a traditional ‘clinic’ where healers treat patients using their knowledge of local plants. Overnight Hotel Mar Azul or similar. (BLD)

Day 4 – Orango Island

Cruise to Orango Island in the Bijagos Archipelago, known for its unique saltwater hippos as well as crocodiles. Walk in the forest and try to follow the tracks of the saltwater hippos– these can be difficult to find but we hope to be lucky. Overnight Parque 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:

January 29th 2017, April 9th 2017, April 23rd 2017 and May 21st 2017

Tour dates for Saltwater Hippos and/or turtle nesting

November 19th   2017 and December 31st 2017

Day 5 – Secret Islands

Today we explore small islands and untouched villages where visits from westerns are very rare. We leave our boat parked on the beach and set off on foot across the island vegetation. We will make our way to small villages and pay tribute to the traditional chiefs and then with their permission be allowed into the villages and the sacred shrines. Later we return to Orango Island. Overnight Parque Hotel or similar (BLD)

Days 6 – Rubane Island

Today we walk to the sacred village of Okinka Pampa resting place of the queens. After lunch we take a boat acorss to Rubane Island where there will be some time to explore the villages or just relax on the beach. Overnight Ponta Anchaca or similar (BLD)

Please note that for the November and December 2017 tours the night of Day 6 will be spent at a basic fixed camp as we will be looking to observe nesting turtles.  

Day 7- Bubaque

After a relaxing morning take a boat excursion to Anguruma via the Bay of Soga with its colony of pink flamingos. Enjoy the unspoilt beaches and visit Bubaque, the largest village of the archipelago, with its tiny museum of local culture. Later return to Rubane Island. Overnight Ponta Anchaca or similar (BLD)

Day 8 – Bolama – Bissau

This morning we head for Bolama, the former Portuguese capital of Guinea-Bissau but now an atmospheric ‘ghost town’, with charming remnants of its former importance. From Bolama we continue to Bissau where day use rooms are available until your transfer to the airport. Please note that flights usually leave Guinea Bissau in the early hours of the morning. (BL)