Dakar to Accra

This amazing yet challenging adventure includes the highlights of Senegal and the Gambia and explores the region's marvellous wetlands and birdlife, We then plunge into the remarkable but lesser-visited countries of Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, visiting the area's stunning and remote mountains and the phenomenal beaches of the Freetown Peninsular. We will then head east through Guinea's remote forest region, before entering the wonderful country of Cte d'Ivoire and finally following the Atlantic coast of Ghana to its bustling capital of Accra. Unlike their more visited cousins in East Africa, these countries truly are hidden gems that are largely untouched by tourism - every trip through the region is therefore an incredible adventure involving fantastic community interaction, some wonderful wild camps, some difficult roads, and a rare opportunity to experience a more traditional way of life. West Africa boasts a huge arts and craft scene, colourful and vibrant markets, and incredible traditional music - however, what makes West Africa especially wonderful are the people - the fascinating cultures, incredible atmosphere, and warm friendly smiles that greet you every day are what makes a trip here so very special, and why the area is frequently on the top of the favourites list for many of our most seasoned travellers. Join us for this incredible adventure!

Duration: 50 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Physical rating: Demanding
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 158264
Starts: Dakar, Senegal Finishes: Accra, Ghana
You will Visit
  • Dakar
  • St. Louis
  • Touba
  • Toubakouta
  • Tendaba
  • Cap Skirring
  • Bissau
  • Northern Guinea
  • Labé
  • Fouta Djallon
  • Mamou
  • Southern Guinea
  • Freetown Peninsular
  • Freetown
  • Tiwai Island Sanctuary
  • Kabala
  • Gberia Fotombu
  • Faranah
  • Macenta
  • Gueckedou
  • Nzerekoré
  • Forested Guinea
  • Western Côte d'Ivoire
  • Korhogo
  • Yamoussoukro
  • Grand Bassam
  • Elmina
  • Kakum National Park
  • Cape Coast
  • Kumasi
  • Accra



Day 1: Dakar

Border information: if you are joining at Dakar, you will most likely enter Senegal at Dakar Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport (IATA code: DKR).

Today is an arrival day with a pre departure meeting at 10:00am. Your leader will leave a note in reception telling you where this important meeting will take place. Your leader will collect your kitty and check your passport and insurance details at this meeting.

The afternoon will be free to explore the cosmopolitan city and perhaps take an optional trip to the famous Île de Goreé.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Dakar before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Dakar.

In Dakar we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.


Day 2-3: St. Louis

Today we head north through the dry Sahel region to the old colonial city of St. Louis, formerly the capital of French West Africa.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

On the following day we will have a free day to explore the streets of the old city and take an optional trip to the Langue de Barbarie National Park or the nearby Djoudj Birdlife Reserve.

In St. Louis we will stay in a colonial-era hotel with good facilities.


Day 4-5: Touba

Today we start our journey south to the small town of Toubakouta, situated close to the Sine-Saloum Delta. On the way we will see the landscape change as we enter the greener wetland region, and we will stop to see the Grand Mosque of Touba, one of the best known mosques in Senegal and most holy site in the Mouride branch of Islam.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

On our full day in Toubakouta we will have an optional morning pirogue trip to a nearby village to see a slice of rural Senegalese life and to meet their charismatic female chief. In the afternoon we have an included pirogue trip to the mangroves, the 'Shellfish Island' and the 'Island of Birds' - if the weather is good, there are often some stunning sunsets across the delta.

In Toubakouta we will camp in the grounds of a small locally-run hotel.


Day 6-7: Tendaba

Border information: Exit Senegal at Karang, enter The Gambia at Fass.

Today we will head across the border from Senegal into the small country of The Gambia, then cross the Gambia River on a local transport barge to arrive at the famous Tendaba Camp on the southern shore of the Gambia River. The ferry can be quite a chaotic local experience! Tendaba Camp was the first inland hotel in The Gambia, and is one of the most popular spots in the country for birdwatchers.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-9 hours (depending on the ferry crossing).

Tendaba is located opposite the Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve, one of the premier birdwatching sites in Africa. On our full day here we will have an included morning boat trip into the wetlands to spot some of the stunning area's wildlife and natural scenery. We will also have an opportunity to take an optional safari drive around the nearby forests of Kiang West National Park.

In Tendaba we will stay in a basic guesthouse.


Day 8-10: Cap Skirring

Border information: Exit The Gambia at Soma, enter Senegal at Senoba.

Today we will cross the border into the southern Casamance region of Senegal, arriving at the beautiful beaches of Cap Skirring.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

We will have 2 full days in Cap Skirring, where there will be good opportunities for optional activities such as swimming, biking, fishing, quad-biking and sun-bathing! While in Cap Skirring, your co-driver will travel to the nearby town of Ziguinchor to obtain Guinea-Bissau visas for the group at the consulate there.

In Cap Skirring we will camp in the grounds of a good beach hotel, where there will likely be the opportunity to upgrade to rooms.


Day 11-12: Bissau

Border information: Exit Senegal at Mpack, enter Guinea Bissau at São Domingos.

Today we will drive across the border into the very rarely-visited country of Guinea-Bissau, and drive to its capital of Bissau.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

On the following day, we will have time to freely explore the city and the old Portuguese centre of Bissau Velho.

In Bissau we will stay in a local hotel.


Day 13-15: Northern Guinea

Border information: Exit Guinea-Bissau at Kandika, enter Guinea at Kandika.

From Bissau we will journey through Guinea-Bissau and into the remote hilly areas of northern Guinea on our way to the town of Labé, the gateway to the stunning Fouta Djallon highland region. The roads on this section are very challenging dirt roads which take us through some incredibly remote areas, and our speed will largely be determined by the state of these roads - although getting to these areas is very special and a great adventure, even more flexibility will be required on these days!

We will stop for 2 wild camps en route - the first is likely to be next to the Guinean border at Kandika, the second is likely to be in the highlands past the village of Seriba.

In Labé we will stay in a pleasant local hotel.

Estimated Drive Times - 9-10 hours each day. 


Day 16-17: Fouta Djallon

From Labé we will set off for an included 2-day excursion to the heart of the Fouta Djallon region of Guinea.

On the first day we will travel in 4x4 jeeps through very remote country roads to the small rural community of Aïnguel (approximately a 4 hour drive). After lunch there will be a short 3-hour trek to a waterfall viewpoint and to the nearby 'Pont de Pierre' rock bridge where we have the change to swim in a beautiful natural lagoon.

On this night we will stay in a very small and basic community-run guesthouse - please note that if the group is large, some people may need to sleep in tents just outside.

On the second day there is a long 8-hour trek through the surrounding hills and villages taking in the incredible scenery. We will stop for a picnic lunch next to a stunning waterfall, where we have the opportunity to swim in the lagoon beneath. In the latter stages of the trek, we hope to be able to get to the base of a much larger and incredibly powerful waterfall, although this is dependent on the ground waters having receded enough after the rainy season to make this route passable.

Upon returning after this walk, we will immediately drive back in the 4x4s to Labé to spend the night in our guesthouse there.


Day 18: Mamou

Leaving the Fouta Djallon region behind us, we head south through central Guinea to the town of Mamou.

In Mamou we will stay in a local guesthouse. 

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.


Day 19: Southern Guinea

Today we will continue our drive south through Guinea, stopping to wild camp close to the border with Sierra Leone.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.


Day 20-21: Freetown Peninsular

Border information: Exit Guinea at Pamalap, enter Sierra Leone at Kindia.

Today we leave Freetown for the stunning beaches of Freetown Peninsular, where we will spend 2 nights for some well-deserved relaxation after our journey through the tough roads of Guinea.

There are a few different options for which beaches we could choose to visit, our favourites being Bureh Beach at the south of the peninsular and River Number 2 Beach in the western part.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

We will have a full day for optional activities on the wonderful beaches - we could go fishing, take a boat to explore the Banana Islands, get to know the local communities, and of course relax on the beautiful beaches!

On Freetown Peninsular we will camp on the beach, with some options to upgrade to basic guesthouses.


Day 22: Freetown

Today we will have a short drive up the western side of the Freetown Peninsular to arrive in the Aberdeen district of the city of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone.

In Freetown we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.


Day 23: Freetown

Border information: If you are starting at Freetown, you will enter Sierra Leone at Lungi Airport.

The fastest and most reliable way to Freetown from the airport is by water-taxi, as Lungi is across a bay from the city. The departure times for the water-taxis are linked to each flight in and out of the airport, so there will be transport available for you when you land. Exit the airport and walk to the right, and you'll see the water-taxi office at the end - you'll have to buy your ticket there for USD40 or EUR35, and check in your large bags. You'll take a minibus for 15 minutes, then the water-taxi for 30 minutes. The boat lands at the jetty, where you hand in your luggage ticket to get your large bags back.

The jetty is in the Aberdeen district of Freetown, only a 200m walk from our hotel. Just walk up the hill to the main road - the Raza Guesthouse is slightly further down and on the other side of the road.

Today is an arrival day with a pre departure meeting at 10:00am. Your leader will leave a note in reception telling you where this important meeting will take place. Your leader will collect your kitty and check your passport and insurance details at this meeting.

The afternoon will be free to explore Freetown and it's surroundings.

Tonight we stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.


Day 24-26: Freetown Peninsular

Today we leave Freetown to spend 3 nights exploring the beaches of Freetown Peninsular. There are a few different options for which beaches we could choose to visit, our favourites being River Number 2 Beach and Bureh Beach.

On the beaches there will the be chance to go fishing, take a boat to explore the Banana Islands, get to know the local communities and of course relax on the beach!

Estimated Drive Time - 3 hours. (Please note that all drive times are approximate estimates only - these times will vary due to road conditions, weather, roadworks, road closures, traffic jams, police checks, and many other mitigating factors - flexibility is an absolute necessity when travelling in West Africa!)


Day 27: Tiwai Island Sanctuary

Leaving the Freetown peninsular behind we have a long drive southeast through Sierra Leone to the Tiwai Island Sanctuary, one of Sierra Leone's largest inland islands.

We will stay here for 2 nights sleeping in tents perched on covered platforms.

Estimated Drive Time - 10 hours


Day 28: Tiwai Island Sanctuary

Today is a full day on Tiwai Island to enjoy various nature walks through webs of trails that weave through the Tiwai Forest. We'll be in search of the rare and colourful primates that inhabit the sanctuary, and if we're very lucky we may spot a very rare pygmy hippo!


Day 29-30: Kabala

Over the next 2 days we travel north up through Sierra Leone to the small town of Kabala. Kabala is famous for a being an oasis of cool air in the hills of northern Sierra Leone, and for its traditional Ronko dyed clothes - shirts or gowns made of strips of cloth, typically dyed a rusty reddish-brown using local pigments. 

We aim to wild camp near the town of Makeni en route, or we may stay in a local guesthouse depending on the size and wishes of the group. In Kabala we will stay in a local guesthouse.

Drive times - 6-8 hours each day.


Day 31-32: Gberia Fotombu

Border information: Enter Guinea at Gberia-Fotombu

The next 2 days are spent travelling through the remote border region between Sierra Leone and Guinea, wild camping en route. The road conditions in this area can be pretty tough going and unpredictable, and progress can be greatly affected by the weather conditions, so flexibility is very important over these days.

In Faranah we will stay in a small local guesthouse.

Drive times - 5-8 hours each day.


Day 33: Macenta

Once inside Guinea we travel through the mid region of Guinea stopping in one of the towns (depending on how the drive goes it may be Macenta or Gueckedou), on our journey south towards Forested Guinea (Guin e foresti re).

This particular region is both forested and mountainous.

We will aim to stay in small locally run hotel or guesthouse.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.


Day 34-35: Nzerekoré

We keep on driving through the forested region of Guinea, visiting one of the famous vine bridges (Pont de Liana) en route. We'll base ourselves for 2 nights in the small town of Nzerekore in the heart of Guinea's Forest Region, where we will have free time to explore the town, the nearby villages and the surrounding forests.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours


Day 36-37: Western Côte d'Ivoire

Border information: Enter Cote d'Ivoire at Danane.

The next 2 days are spent crossing the border and driving through central Cote d'Ivoire. These days take us through some very remote areas and some very poor quality dirt roads, so a great deal of flexibility is needed as our progress will largely be determined by the state of the roads.

Both nights will be spent wild camping en route.

Drive times - 7-9 hours each day.


Day 38-39: Korhogo

We will reach the northern Ivorian town of Korhogo and stay here for 2 nights, famed for the multitude of crafts that are made there. We will get a chance to visit many of the craft artists in the area, from painters to bead-makers to cloth weavers, and also to enjoy some walks around the surrounding area.

We stay in a small local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours


Day 40-41: Yamoussoukro

Today we will drive to Yamoussoukro, the tiny and bizarre capital of Cote d'Ivoire. Yamoussoukro was the birthplace of Felix Houphouet-Boigny, the first president of independent Cote d'Ivoire, and is also the location of the collosal and breathtaking Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, the largest Christian church in the world.

We will stay here for 2 nights in a local hotel, allowing lots of time to explore the sites on offer.

Estimated Drive Time - 6 hours.


Day 42-43: Grand Bassam

Leaving the capital behind us, we head south to the old French colonial capital of Grand Bassam situated east of Abidjan.

We stay here for 2 nights in a local hotel allowing time for you to explore the old colonial town and to relax on the beautiful beaches around our hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.


Day 44-45: Elmina

Border information: Enter Ghana at Elubo

Today we cross into Ghana and then head east to the Atlantic coast and Brenu Akynin near Elmina.

We camp here for 2 nights at a beach resort allowing to time to visit Elmina castle and also to get involved with a local community project.

Estimated Drive Time - 7 hours.


Day 46: Kakum National Park

Today we head into Cape Coast for a fascinating and moving tour of the old slave fort there. Then we will then head up to Kakum National Park where we can go on an evening walk in the rainforests in search of wildlife, bugs and snakes! We may also have the chance to visit a small animal sancutary en route.

We will camp tonight in the grounds of the National Park HQ. 

Estimated Drive Time - 3 hours.


Day 47-48: Kumasi

Today we have an early start with a morning visit to the Kakum National Park canopy walkways. These are a long series of hanging bridges at the forest canopy level that gives us a unique perspective of the rainforest - and at that time of the morning we will have the place to ourselves!

After this we will drive north to Kumasi where we will base ourselves for 2 nights, allowing lots of time for exploration of the town and museums. Kumasi is the home of West Africa's largest market and was the centre of the Ashanti Kingdom. 

We will stay in a local guesthouse in Kumasi.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.


Day 49: Accra

The final journey of this section brings us to Accra, the chaotic capital of Ghana!

We will most likely head out for a final group meal together tonight in Accra.

Tonight we stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.


Day 50: Accra

Today is your final day and there are no activities planned.

No accommodation is provided for tonight, unless you are continuing on with us, however we are able to book you additional accommodation in Accra. Please ask at the time of booking.

Border information: If you are leaving at Accra, you will most likely exit Ghana at Accra Kotoka International Airport.

    • Visit the stunning Grand Mosque of Touba, one of Africa's largest mosques and the holiest site of the Mouride Brotherhood, a sect of Islam that focuses on hard work as a form of salvation
    • Take an evening pirogue trip into the heart of the Sine-Saloum Delta to explore the fascinating islands and enjoy the spectacular sunset
    • Explore deep into the stunning wetland delta of the Bao Balong Reserve on a motorised pirogue, discovering one of Africa's best birdwatching areas
    • Guided 2-day excursion to the stunning highland region of Fouta Djallon, with treks through the scenic hills to the incredible waterfalls and local villages, and an overnight stay in a community guesthouse

    Tour Staff
    • 2 crew, local guides where necessary
    • 40% Camping - 60% Hotels
Why book with us?

Trusted by travellers since 1979

We guarantee to beat any price

Low deposits, Book now. Pay later.

24/7/365 Help on the road

Tour Highlights:
  • Adventure Activities