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Cruise around the Rivers of West Africa

There are some people in search for new and exciting destinations that are off the beaten track. In search of places that remain almost undiscovered, almost untouched by western civilisation where the secrets to a simple yet rich life are hidden. One of these places is no doubt West Africa that offers the chance to discover a side of the continent that most people will not usually associate. When thinking about Africa, it is usual that deserts and savannahs will come to mind, and travelling is limited to safari trips into the heart of barren lands stricken with drought. Yet the West of Africa is abundant with rivers that are bursting with life. And the best way to observe this unseen part and all its beauties is to cruise the rivers of West Africa. Here are the top three reasons to embark on a journey like this. 

The landscapes:
West Africa is home to the Gambia and Senegal rivers, as well as the Saloum Delta that are essentially the pillars of an unprecedented type of biodiversity. As water is the fuel of life, if you don’t visit this part of the world you can only imagine the wealth of the ecosystems that exit here. Landscapes that will thrill you are certainly part of the picture with their unspoilt jungle scenics full of lush vegetation that reaches up to river banks. Brimming with nature reserves, there are at least four that deserve your close attention: Tendaba, Banjul, Abuko and Makasutu will most definitely take you by surprise.

The wildlife:
There are plentiful of species that call these bountiful landscapes their home. 117 species of mammals, 30 species of amphibians and 47 species of reptiles to be precise not even mentioning the numerous bird species, that are responsible for making West Africa a top destination for bird watching. Bottle nose dolphins  and manatees are among the more docile aquatic creatures, with hippos following and nile crocodiles leading the way. On land it’s the baboons, the bush babies, aardvarks and chimpanzees that roam the infinite kilometers and by choosing excursions you can observe them all in their natural habitat, and feel like you are the protagonists of a documentary! 

The culture:
Getting to experience a kind of culture so different to our own should be considered a gift. Especially as we may have something to learn from them in order to escape the frenetic rhythms of our western lifestyles. The people of West Africa are primarily people that live off the land, lead simple lives without the numerous complications and yet they appear to be happy, as they most usually carry a smile on their face. Somewhat more evolved than the traditional tribal culture, but still not too far from it, their culture revolves around small communities that are very much connected through close bonds that arise from the interactions of their daily lives. They are people who enjoy the small joys in life, like making music and dancing to it as if no one is watching and are quite welcoming and content to receive tourists and to share their simpler ways with us. The fishing village of Djiffere is a good place to get a nice idea of this kind of community. 

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