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Map of Cruising the Rivers of West Africa (Ex Banjul) including Gambia and Senegal

Embrace the rhythm of Western Africa on an 8-day cruise from Senegal to Gambia

Set sail from Banjul on an immersive cruise from Senegal down to The Gambia. On the way encounter the crocodiles, manatees and turtles of the Saloum Delta, learn how a fiction novel changed the history of St James Island, and visit the villages of Tendaba and meet its inhabitants. Cruising through open seas and up wide rivers, this is the perfect opportunity to discover the rich history, wildlife and aquatic landscapes of West Africa – all in style and comfort aboard the Harmony G cruise ship.

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Terms & Conditions

Banjul, Gambia
Banjul, Gambia
Gambia, Senegal
Adventure Cruising
Physical rating
Min 7
Group size
Min 1, Max 50

Why you'll love this trip

  • Explorethe Saloum Delta, a UNESCO listed Biosphere reserve and important birding area where you can spot flamingos, Eurasian spoonbills and the curlew sandpiper. 

  • Visit Kunta Kinteh, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site and island named after author Alex Haley's bestselling book "Roots".

  • Hop aboard a motorised pirogue vessel and explore Baboon Island, with the chance to observe chimpanzees frolicking by the water. 

  • Cruise down the scenic Gambia River estuary and keep an eye out for the dolphins who inhabit this waterway. 

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a small ship adventure cruise, which means you’ll be sailing on a yacht with 30–50 other people. The boat is spacious and comfortable, but it focuses more on the destination than on-board activities. Instead of a pool, we have the sea itself. Instead of a casino, we’ve got board games and a good book. There’s also no formal dress code to worry about. Wi-Fi is available for a small charge.

  • Our ship moves under engine power, rather than sailing, so all cabins will experience light engine noise when the ship is moving (and occasionally when we drop anchor). It’s probably worth packing earplugs if you’re a light sleeper.

  • Onshore activities and excursions will involve a bit of walking. You’ll be visiting sites and places, and at times you may have to cross uneven ground and challenging conditions underfoot, sometimes in hot conditions. If you have any concerns, please speak to your group leader before taking part.

  • If you’re concerned about seasickness, there are seasickness tablets on-board. The ship will experience some roll and pitch in choppy conditions, however all of our ships come equipped with stabilisers to minimise movement. Most of our departures run in peak season, when the seas are calmer. Your crew will do all they can to minimise any discomfort.

  • There are no lifts (elevators) on-board our ships, so you’ll have to navigate a few steep flights of stairs. Handrails are always available.


Harmony G

On this itinerary, you'll be travelling aboard the Harmony G.


Embarkation will take place this evening. After taking time to unpack and settle in, enjoy a welcome drink and meet your fellow passengers before dinner on board. Spend overnight in Banjul port.
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
Please note - passengers who boarded the Harmony G in Dakar will already be on board
The morning in Banjul will give you the opportunity to take part in a variety of half day excursions, such as a visit to Bakau, with its crocodile "katchikaly", the Botanical Garden and a short tour of Banjul. After lunch, depart Banjul and sail upstream. Stop at St. James Island in the middle of the Gambia River. The first settlers on the island arrived in 1651 and under the British rule it became an important slave trading post in Gambia. In 1976 James Island became famous thanks to author Alex Haley's bestselling book "Roots" and the story of a slave, called Kunta Kinteh. The island was recently renamed Kunta Kinteh Island and is now a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. After disembarking your local guide will tell you more about the history of James Island and afterwards you will have some time to explore this island by yourself. Later in the afternoon, leave James Island and sail upstream to reach Tendaba. Stay overnight at dock in Tendaba.
Optional Activities
  • James Island/Kunta Kinteah afternoon excursion - EUR15
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
From the ship we take motorised pirogues (a type of small dinghy) to reach Tendaba, which is located on the South Bank in the Lower River Division. This is the starting point of our optional morning excursion. It is a small fishing village of mainly Muslim faith with approximately 600 inhabitants. From here, walk through to Batelling, a small village at the entrance to Kiang West National Park. The area boasts over 250 species of birds; many of which are difficult to observe anywhere else. Other residents include Guinea baboons, bushbuck, warthogs, Senegal bushbaby and marsh mongoose. After a refreshing stop in Batelling, board an open safari truck back to Tendaba. In the afternoon there is a second optional excursion to the Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve. This reserve, which sits across from Kiang West National Park, features six major bolongs (creeks) that provide great birding and boating opportunities. Numerous rare and migratory birds also reside here including the Pel’s fishing owl, African fin foot and brown-necked parrot. Return to the boat and stay overnight docked in Tendaba.
Optional Activities
  • Tendaba - Kiang West National Park morning excursion (including refreshments) - EUR28
  • Tendaba Baobolong Reserve afternoon excursion - EUR28
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Depart Tendaba in the early morning and sail upstream on the Gambia River to reach Kuntaur. We arrive early afternoon in the bustling Gambian port town, the last inland stop along the river that is navigable for ocean-going ships. Later in the afternoon board a large motorised pirogue for a 3 hour optional excursion on The Gambia River. First we head to the southernmost tip of Baboon Island, one of the five islands of the Gambia National Park. A local national park ranger will join us onboard to talk about the park and its fauna and flora. Afterwards, turn downstream and motor slowly back to Kuntaur, following closely along the shores of Baboon Island. This island is home of the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project. If we are lucky, we can closely observe the chimps from the water with minimal intrusion. There is also the possibility of seeing hippos, crocodiles, Red Colobus, Green Vervet monkeys and Gambia’s famous birdlife. Return to Kuntaur and meet the “Kankurang” and a local dance group on the pier. Believed to have spiritual powers, the “Kankurang” dispenses justice and wards off evil spirits. Stay overnight docked in Kuntaur.
Optional Activities
  • Kuntaur Gambia National Park afternoon excursion - EUR71
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning there is an optional excursion to Janjanbureh. Take a bus to the ferry station then board a ferry for a short cruise over the Gambia River to Janjanbureh. Continue the excursion with a visit to one of the oldest towns of Gambia, formerly called Georgetown. Talk a walk through this laidback town and see the governor's residence, the market and the Methodist church with its school. Afterwards take the ferry and bus back to Lamin Koto. Later in the morning stop at the mysterious stone circles in Wassu, a megalithic site believed to be a burial ground thousands of years ago. Visit the little museum at this UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. After lunch sail downstream to Kaur, a small fishing village on the banks of the Gambia River. You will have the opportunity to walk around this small community and see how Gambians live today. Tonight there is a Captain's Dinner. 
Optional Activities
  • Kuntaur Janianbureh & Wassu Stones morning excursion - EUR84
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Leave Kaur early in the morning and sail further downstream towards Banjul, hopefully spotting dolphins and other animals on the way.  Arrive in Banjul around 4pm. After formalities, sail out of the Gambia estuary into the Atlantic Ocean and head northwards towards Dakar. Tonight is Gambian Night with you'll be treated to a Kora instrument concert. Stay overnight at sea off Dakar. 
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Arrive this morning in Dakar, where guests who boarded in Dakar will disembark. After breakfast there is an optional excursion to Goree Island and Dakar city. On this exploration of Dakar and its surroundings, you will discover the traces of the slave trade and see how the city has transformed. Lunch today will be off the ship.
Return to the ship in the late afternoon to meet the passengers who have boarded in Dakar. After dinner, set sail southward towards the Saloun River Delta. Overnight at sea, cruising southwards along the coast.

Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning we reach the Sine – Saloun Delta in Senegal, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and an important birding area, as designated by Birdlife International. This area is a natural habitat for many bird species as well as marine turtles, dolphins, West African manatees and crocodiles. Our optional excursion starts at the fishing village of Djiffere and continues on to the village of Joal Fadiouth, set on an island of clam shells that are also used in local buildings and crafts. In the afternoon, leave Senegal and the Saloun Delta and sail south to Gambia to reach Banjul, the capital of Gambia and gateway to the 700-mile Gambia River. Arrival in Banjul. Disembarkation on arrival.
Optional Activities
  • Joal Fadiouth morning excursion (including lunch) - EUR97
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note - arrival will be late in the day so it is recommended to book onward travel the next day and stay in Banjul overnight.


7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners


Small Cruise Ship


Small Cruise Ship, 7 nights

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Important notes


Your voyage is operated by our partner company, Variety Cruises.


Shore Excursions are not included in the cost of the cruise and are payable on board the ship in Euros. A description of the excursion on offer is included in the day to day itinerary.
Please note that the excursions and excursion prices for 2018 departures are yet to be confirmed and will be updated once advised by the operator.

Adventure Cruising trips have a deposit of A$600 per person (different amounts apply in other currencies) and the balance is due 90 days before departure.
If a booking is cancelled 90 days or more before departure - the cancellation fee is the full loss of the deposit paid.
If a booking is cancelled between 89 and 31 days before departure - the cancellation fee is 50% of the total booking cost, or the deposit, whichever is greater.
If a booking is cancelled 30 days or less prior to departure - the cancellation fee is 100% of the total price of the voyage.
Other fees may apply for air tickets and other arrangements booked in conjunction with a voyage.


It is not possible to share with a stranger on a Variety Cruises voyage and single travellers must pay the Single Occupancy rate.


Children from the age of 7 can be accommodated on these voyages. Each boat has one cabin category that will accommodate a 3rd person allowing for triple sharing. Any child under the age of 18 must share with an adult.


Please note that the itinerary is the same as 'Cruising the rivers of West Africa (ex Dakar)' (Trip code: PFWR:), however this tour departs from Banjul instead of Dakar and returns to Banjul.

Essential trip information

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