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Freetown to Accra

This incredible yet challenging adventure begins on the phenomenal beaches of the Freetown Peninsular and will head east through the remote forest region of Guinea and into the wonderful country of Cte d'Ivoire. We will then cross into Ghana and follow the Atlantic coast to its bustling capital of Accra, before continuing on to the unique and fascinating lands of Togo and Benin, two countries packed full of history, voodoo culture and stunning scenery. 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: 48 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Hiking, Trekking Physical rating: Demanding
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 158266
Starts: Freetown, Sierra Leone Finishes: Accra, Ghana
You will Visit
  • Freetown
  • Freetown Peninsular
  • 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
  • Akosombo
  • Lake Volta
  • Mont Klouto
  • Central Togo
  • Tata Somba region
  • Pendjari National Park
  • Central Benin
  • Abomey
  • Ganvie
  • Ouidah
  • Grand Popo
  • Agbodrafo
  • Keta

Itinerary

01

Day 1: 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.

02

Day 2-4: 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!)

03

Day 5: 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

04

Day 6: 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!

05

Day 7-8: 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.

06

Day 9-10: 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.

07

Day 11: 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.

08

Day 12-13: 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

09

Day 14-15: 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.

10

Day 16-17: 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

11

Day 18-19: 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.

12

Day 20-21: 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.

13

Day 22-23: 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.

14

Day 24: 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.

15

Day 25-26: 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.

16

Day 27: 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.

17

Day 28: Accra

Border information: if you are joining in Accra, then you will most likely enter Ghana at Accra Kotoka International Airport.

There will be an important group meeting at 10:00am at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting. Your leader will collect your kitty and check your passport, visas, and insurance details at this meeting.

The afternoon will be free to explore the city of Accra.

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

18

Day 29: Akosombo

This morning, we will apply for Togo visas at the Togolese Embassy in Accra. Once they are issued, we will leave Accra and head north to the village of Akosombo.

In Akosombo we will stay in a campsite next to the River Volta.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

19

Day 30: Lake Volta

Today we will have an included visit to the nearby Akosombo Dam, a major project built in the 1960s to provide almost all of Ghana's energy needs. The rest of the day will be free to relax at our campsite in Akosombo.

20

Day 31: Mont Klouto

Border information: exit Ghana at Klouto, enter Togo at Klouto.

Today we will have a full day's drive to the spectacular Mont Klouto, crossing the border into Togo.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours

In Mont Klouto we will stay in a campsite, with the option to upgrade to dorm accommodation.

21

Day 32: Mont Klouto

Today we will have a free day around the beautiful Mont Klouto region, with the opportunity to head out on optional forest walks or to visit Kpalime town nearby.

In the evening, we will head to the village centre to see a spectacular show of drumming and dancing from the local villagers.

22

Day 33-34: Central Togo

Over the next 3 days we will drive up the length of Togo, all the way through the remote northern border with Benin. We will wild camp for 2 nights en route.

Estimated Drive Times - 8-9 hours each day.

23

Day 35: Tata Somba region

Border information: exit Togo at Ketao, enter Benin at Ouaké.

Today we will cross the border into Benin, before continuing our journey to the Tata Somba region close to the town of Tanguieta. 

In Tanguieta we will stay in a basic local eco-lodge.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

24

Day 36: Tata Somba region

This morning we will go on an included walking tour of the nearby Tata Somba villages with some of the local villagers. This is a fascinating visit to an area rarely visited by tourists, where we will learn a lot about the local traditional way of life and explore the famous two-storey mud huts of the area.

In the afternoon, there is the option to walk through the stunning area to some nearby waterfalls.

25

Day 37-38: Pendjari National Park

From the Tata Somba region we have a short journey north to the beautiful Pendjari National Park.

We will stay for two nights wild camping in the National Park, where we will have freedom to explore and head out on game drives in the truck in search of wildlife.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours to the park, then as much time as required on game drives.

26

Day 39: Central Benin

Today we have a full day's drive heading south through Benin. We will wild camp somewhere en route between the towns of Natitinhou and Abomey.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

27

Day 40: Abomey

Our journey today continues to Abomey, the ancient capital of the Dahomey kingdom. On arrival we will take a tour of the Dahomey Palace and Museum.

In Abomey we will stay in a campsite, with the possibility to upgrade to rooms.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

28

Day 41: Ganvie

This morning we will drive to Abomey-Calavi (a port on the outskirts of Cotonou), where we say goodbye to the truck for the night and jump aboard motorised pirogues to Ganvie, a fascinating town built entirely on stilts in the middle of a lagoon.

In Ganvie we will stay in a basic hotel in the stilt village itself!

Estimated Drive Time - 7 hours.

29

Day 42: Ouidah

Today we will start with an included tour of the Ganvie, exploring deeper on our pirogues and soaking up the unique way of life in the floating village. Following this, we will head back to land to re-join the truck and drive along the coastal road to Ouidah, where we may hopefully many of the local fishermen bringing their catch in.

In Ouidah we will camp at an auberge on the beach.

Estimated Drive Time - 2 hours.

30

Day 43: Grand Popo

Today we will take a very interesting half-day tour of the sites in Ouidah, including the Voodoo Python Temple, the "Route des Esclaves" (Slave Route), La Maison du Bresil art gallery and the Ouidah Museum of History in the old Portuguese Fort of São João Baptista de Ajudá.

After this, a short drive from Ouidah brings us to Grand Popo, where we have 2 nights of well deserved relaxation on the beaches!

In Grand Popo we will camp at an auberge.

Estimated Drive Time - 1 hour.

31

Day 44: Grand Popo

Today we will have a free day at Grand Popo for relaxing on the beach or taking a pirogue trip around the nearby ocean and mangroves.

There is also an option this evening to visit an incredible local vodun (voodoo) ceremony in the nearby village, complete with very energetic dancing and incredible magic tricks! It may also be possible to take a night walk in search of Atlantic turtles, which lay their eggs on the beaches between November and March.

32

Day 45: Agbodrafo

Border information: Exit Benin and re-enter Togo at Hilla-Condji.

Leaving the beach behind, our journey continues over the border from Benin and back into Togo. We will head to the small quiet town of Agbodrafo on the southern shores of Lake Togo.

This afternoon we will take an included pirogue trip to Togoville, the centre of Vodun culture, where you will have a guided city tour and church visit.

In Agbodrafo we will camp in the grounds of an auberge on the lake shore.

Estimated Drive Time - 2 hours.

33

Day 46: Keta

Border information: exit Togo at Lomé, enter Ghana at Aflao.

Today we will cross back into Ghana and head for Keta, where we will visit the very atmospheric and evocative ruins of the abondoned Fort Prinzenstein, built by the Danes 300 years ago as a transit point for transporting slaves to the Americas.

In Keta we will stay in a small local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-8 hours (a time estimate for today is very difficult as the border can be incredibly chaotic and busy sometimes). 

34

Day 47: Accra

The final drive of this trip takes us back to Accra, the chaotic capital of Ghana! 

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

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

35

Day 48: Accra

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

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Accra, and is a free day to explore the city and soak up the atmosphere.

Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales Team if you would like to arrange some extra nights of accommodation here after your trip.

Inclusions:
    Activities
      Accomodation
      • 53% Camping - 47% Hotels
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