2024 Pilgrimage to Senegal & The Gambia

“If I have ever seen magic, it has been in Africa.” 

John Hemingway 

NYE Pilgrimage to the Motherland

SENEGAL & THE GAMBIA

December 28, 2024 – January 11, 2025

This Pilgrimage is produced in partnership with Thiossane West African Dance Institute, Africa Love & Congo Square.

Travel Itinerary:

Day 1 – Thursday, December 28
TRAVEL TO DAKAR, SENEGAL
Departure from John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, to Blaise Diagne International Airport in Dakar, Senegal.

Day 2 – Friday, December 29 {L/D}
ARRIVAL IN DAKAR/ORIENTATION/DAKAR CITY TOUR
Upon arrival, we will be transported to our 4-star hotel. After lunch and some rest, we will tour Dakar, the capital city of Senegal, and visit historical and cultural sites, including the Independence Square (Place de l’Indépendance), the Presidential Palace, the African Renaissance Monument (Monument de la Renaissance Africaine), a 49-meter tall bronze statue, the handicraft village of Marché Soumbédioune and much more.

OPTIONAL: Enjoy an African Dance Workshop in the evening.

DAKAR CITY TOUR INCLUDES…
Watch basket weaving, glass tile painting, or wood carving at Marché Kermel, a local market housed in beautiful open-air Victorian-style buildings. Then proceed to Independence Square (Place de l’Indépendance), the Presidential Palace, Our Lady of Victories Cathedral, the African Renaissance Monument (Monument de la Renaissance Africaine), a 49-meter tall bronze statue, and the handicraft village of Marché Soumbédioune. Enjoy lunch and dinner offered by Da’African Village.

Day 3 – Saturday, December 30  {B/L/D}
PILGRIMAGE TOUR TO GOREE ISLAND
After breakfast, we will travel by ferry to Goree Island, which was once a departure point for millions of enslaved Africans bound for the Americas. We will visit the house where slaves were jailed before departure and have lunch by the sea on the island. After lunch, we will take the ferry back to Dakar and visit a sand painting gallery.

OPTIONAL: Enjoy an African Dance Workshop in the evening.

Day 4 – Sunday, December 31 {L/D}
PINK LAKE & NEW YEAR’S EVE DINNER
AM: We will take an excursion to the mysterious Pink Lake. Experience floating in the lake, then enjoy a breathtaking adventurous ride over sand dunes in a 4×4. Visit a Fulani village and experience the everyday life of the people. Savor a typical Senegalese lunch with entertainment.
PM: Enjoy a special New Year’s Eve Dinner with entertainment.

Day 5 – Monday, January 01 {B/D}
HAPPY NEW YEAR! LOMPOUL ECOLODGE ENCAMPMENT
We will travel by 4WD to the Lompoul Desert, often referred to as a mini Sahara, via Mboro, a town in the Thiès Region of western Senegal. Check into our eco-lodge encampment and enjoy refreshments. You will have an opportunity to take a tour by foot and camel ride—dinner and overnight.

OPTIONAL: Enjoy an African Dance Workshop in the evening.

Day 6 – Tuesday, January 02 {B/D}
TRAVEL TO TOUBAKOUTA
Travel to the beautiful city of Toubakouta, located between Kaolack and The Gambia. Visit Touba, the Holy City. Check into your room at Keur Saloum Hotel—dinner and overnight.

OPTIONAL: Enjoy an African Dance Workshop in the evening.

Day 7 – Wednesday, January 03 {B/L/D}
TOUBAKOUTA (SALOUM ISLAND) TOUR
After breakfast, visit Sine-Saloum, a marsh area covered with mangroves and traversed by the inextricable network of canals and lakes formed by the delta of two small coastal rivers Sine and Saloum. In the evening, board a motorized boat (pirogue) to discover a reposer of birds. Overnight at Keur Saloum Hotel.

OPTIONAL: Enjoy an African Dance Workshop in the evening.

Day 8 – Thursday, January 04 {B/L/D}
KUNTA KINTEH ISLAND AND THE TOWN OF JUFFUREH
Morning departure to The Gambia, a small West African country surrounded by Senegal with a narrow Atlantic coastline. It is known for its diverse ecosystems around the central Gambia River. We’ll visit Juffureh, a town in The Gambia and home to a museum and fort. We’ll also tour the ancestral village of Alex Haley in Albreda, then travel via pirogue to Kounta Kinteh Island (formerly known as James Island). After lunch, we’ll ferry to Banjul. Arrive and check into Ocean Bay Hotel (or similar) late afternoon. Enjoy a delicious buffet dinner and overnight.

OPTIONAL: Enjoy an African Dance Workshop in the evening.

Day 9 – Friday, January 05 {B/D}
BANJUL CITY TOUR
Enjoy a full-day tour of Banjul, the capital of The Gambia, including visits to Mama Tie Dye Factory and a Crocodile pool. Enjoy rest and relax at the hotel for the remainder of the day—dinner and overnight.

OPTIONAL: Enjoy an African Dance Workshop in the evening.

Day 10 – Saturday, January 06 {B/D}
BANJUL, THE GAMBIA
Spend the day relaxing or pursuing personal excursions. Enjoy a delicious buffet dinner, then pack your luggage before bed.

OPTIONAL: Enjoy an African Dance Workshop in the evening.

Day 11 – Sunday, January 07 {B/D}
THE GAMBIA TO SALY RESORTS
Morning departure after breakfast, drive to Saly Resort in Senegal. Check-in to Royam hotel (or similar). Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

OPTIONAL: Enjoy an African Dance Workshop in the evening.

Monday, January 08 {B/D}
BANDIA GAME RESERVE
After breakfast, enjoy a tour of the Bandia Game Reserve. Drive through the reserve and marvel at the animals up close. You will see rhinoceros, giraffes, crocodiles, and buffalo, to name but a few.

OPTIONAL: Enjoy an African Dance Workshop in the evening.

Day 12 – Tuesday, January 09
JOAL-FADIOUTH & PERSONAL EXPLORATION
AM Option A: Enjoy a leisurely morning and an optional afternoon tour to Joal-Fadiouth, the birthplace of President Senghor. We’ll also tour a village and learn drumming and dancing. Enjoy the arrival of fishermen.
AM Option B: Enjoy a free day of personal exploration.

OPTIONAL: Enjoy an African Dance Workshop in the evening.

Day 13 – Wednesday, January 10
FREE DAY & NAMING CEREMONY
AM – Enjoy a leisurely day of relaxing, horse riding, and personal explorations.
PM – Attend a Naming Ceremony at The Daniel Sorano National Theater. You will enjoy Thiossane West African Dance Institute performances and receive an African name that best describes and suits your personality.

Day 14 – Thursday, January 11
DEPARTURE TO AIRPORT
Late check out for departure back to the US. Depart from Blaise Diagne International Airport to John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York.

Excursion Options:

All excursions are included except tours listed below. 

JOAL-FADIOUTH $80.00
Drive to Joal, Senegal the birthplace of President Léopold Sédar Senghor and its picturesque twin, Fadiouth is a fishing village covered in oyster and clamshells. Food supplies are housed in granaries built on stilts, visit a seashell cemetery, the Fadiouth Church, and more!

BANDIA ANIMAL RESERVE $80.00
The Bandia private reserve is a small jewel of ecological success through the surprising regeneration of its flora and the reintroduction of large mammals from Africa. Drive through the reserve and marvel at the animals up close, discover Serer pyramids with reconstructed mortuary chamber, tomb of griots

Cost Summary:

  • Deposit: $500 (this is a non-refundable/non-transferable deposit)
  • Base cost/person: $4,900.00
  • Cost for an additional single occupancy room: $492.00/person 
  • Deposit Due: Now or before July 22, 2024
  • Final Payment Due: October 22, 2024
  • Cancel without penalty: September 20, 2024

Note: Seats are limited as the price is based on a maximum of 20 people. Standard hotel rooms are double occupancy (for 2 adults).

Pricing Includes:

  • Roundtrip airfare from New York
  • All airport transfers & complimentary airport assistance
  • 10 nights in 4 and 5-star hotels
  • Meals as listed B, L, D (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • All excursions and entrance fees to game parks/reserves
  • Extensive pre-tour information
  • Comprehensive documents and itinerary
  • Transportation in an A/C motor coach
  • The assistance of an English-speaking tour guide

Note: Does not include gratuities, meals not stated, drinks, phone calls, laundry or all personal expenses and air tickets.

Visas:

Senegal does not require visas for US passport holders. A visa for The Gambia is required for US citizens and we will assist you with obtaining it.

Medical:

Only yellow fever inoculation is required for Senegal. Malaria pills are highly recommended; but please consult with your doctor for the proper type of medication for you.

Security:

Homeland Security requires us to send them pertinent information that is in your passport before you travel; we therefore request a high-resolution, color copy of your passport picture page.

Application

Before submitting your application and $500 non-refundable, non-transferable deposit, please read our cancellation policy and terms. Your submission indicates that you agree to our terms.

IMPORTANT: The name on your airline ticket and passport must match. If this is not the case, you will be charged an airline service fee of $350 to reissue your ticket in the correct name. Balance is due October 22, 2024. All airfares are subject to change until contracted or ticketed. You may email us anytime at africalove20@gmail.com or info@daafricanvillage.org.

Already paid your $500 deposit? Click below to pay the remaining balance.

Want to pay it all together? Click below to pay for both the deposit and the regular package.

Once you select a button above you’ll be redirected to Africa Love’s secure payment portal.

Cancellation Policy & Terms

AIRFARES:
All airfares and/or taxes are subject to change until contracted or ticketed.

CANCELLATION FEES FOR TRAVELERS:
90 days or more $500 per person; 89-61 days 20% off tour cost; 60 days or less only monies that may be recovered from the overseas supplier(s) will be refunded. 45 days or less NO REFUND. Travel Insurance is strongly recommended. Your deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable.

CHANGS IN THE ITINERARY:
Da’African Village will make every effort to operate all tours according to the itinerary (as shown in this brochure) or included in your final travel documents. However, due to the current COVID-19 Global Pandemic, we might be required to adjust the itinerary.

Other voluntary or involuntary situations may also arise which would require changes in the itinerary. These include weather, changes in airline schedules, government appropriation of hotel space, or events that are beyond the control of Da’African Village. If any of these events occur, we reserve the right to alter the itinerary as deemed necessary.

If there are any savings realized by these changes, it will be passed on to the traveler. Every effort will be made to confirm the hotels and lodges named in the itinerary.

If these hotels and/or lodges cannot be confirmed or must be changed once confirmed, we will select an appropriate property in the same category. All itineraries, hotels, and venues are subject to last-minute change. Any changes will be discussed with tour leaders before confirmations.

COVID-19 TESTING:
COVID-19 negative certificates or vaccination records may be required for travel.

TOUR PROTECTION PLAN:
Travel insurance is strongly recommended. Cancellations can be expensive. Contact us if you need insurance.