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8 day Bissau The Sacred archipelago

DAY 1: Bissau, the capital – GUINEA BISSAU
Arrival in Bissau and transfer to the hotel. Free time to relax.

Meals own arrangements
Overnight Hotel Maikala or similar (all rooms ensuite and with aircon)

DAY 2: Cult for the ancestors – GUINEA BISSAU
Full day dedicated to explore the region inhabited by the Manjaco. This ethnic group calls their traditions “Gendiman” and keep them still very much alive. We visit some tiny villages hidden in the forest to discover sculptured wooden poles called “Pecab” and representing the spirits of their ancestors, they are kept in a sanctuary known as “Cab Balugun”. With the permission of the villagers, we have the opportunity to admire sacred wooden sculptures dating back to many generations and of different styles, it is indeed a rare opportunity to enjoy tribal art in its original cultural context.

Meals included in local restaurant or pic nic and at the hotel
Overnight Casa Cachungo Eco Hotel in Cachungo or Mar Azul in Quinhamel (all rooms ensuite and with fan)

DAY 3: Magical villages – GUINEA BISSAU
Visit of an old style local rum distillery (Cana) dating back to the old colonial times and walk across a cashew nuts plantation, the main export product of the country.
Interesting afternoon spent discovering the magical-animistic traditions of the intriguing Pepel people. In this region the forest hides a unique fetish endowed with much feared and respected powers; it is the initiated young men only who can carry it on their shoulders.

Meals included in local restaurant and at the hotel
Overnight Hotel Mar Azul or similar (all rooms ensuite and with fan)

DAY 4: The Bijagos Archipelago – GUINEA BISSAU
In the morning departure by speedboat for a five-day journey across the Bijagos Archipelago to discover remote islands and isolated human settlements. The Bijagos Archipelago is located approximately 40 miles off-shore and, with its 88 islands (of which only 21 are permanently inhabited), is the largest archipelago in Africa. With its wild and pristine landscapes, its unique fauna and its genuine tribal culture, Bijagos is a “geographical jewel”. The colors of Orango Island will simply fascinate us: the green vegetation, the white sand beaches, the brown rocks and the blue ocean. We will meet the Régolo (local King) and after an hour walk we will reach the sacred village of Okinka Pampa, hosting the graves of the Queens - a really fascinating place since this population live in a semi-matriarchal society.
For the departures of: Nov. and Dec. 2016 the itinerary will be slightly modified to participate to the visit of saltwater hippos
For the departures of: Mar. and May 2016 the itinerary will be slightly modified to participate to the “Vaca Bruto” mask dances.

Meals included in a local restaurant or pic nic and at the hotel
Overnight Parque Hotel or similar (all sea-front bungalows ensuite and with aircon)

DAY 5: Southern Islands – GUINEA BISSAU
An intense speedboat ride will take us to the southern islands. Hidden in the remotest part of the archipelago, they recently became the «Marine Park of Poilao and Joao Vieira», a protected area of absolute purity stretching across over 495 square kilometers. We will explore Meio Island with its perfect lagoons and its appealing forests ... swimming and walking really at the heart of nature, the only footsteps will be ours.
For the departures of: Nov. and Dec. 2016 the itinerary will be slightly modified to participate to the encounter with nesting turtles.

Meals included in a local restaurant or pic nic and at the
Overnight Chez Claude on Joao Vieira Island (all bungalows and permanent tents ensuite and with fan)

DAY 6: Initiates – GUINEA BISSAU
Always by our speedboat we reach Canhabaque Island (Ilha Roxa) where we will spend part of the day walking to villages hidden in the forest (5 hours walk on flat sandy track). Alternatively, a person can visit fewer villages and relax on the beach. Canhabaque is the most traditional island of the archipelago and it is considered sacred.
Due to the remoteness of the destination, the lack of transportation and the deep attachment to the local traditions, the Bijagos inhabitants have been little influenced by the external world: women still wear the saiya - a traditional skirt made of straw - and the rhythm of village life is given by initiations and secret ceremonies – for example young men have to go through a seven-year initiation rite during which they live in a “convent” without any contact with women.
In the afternoon arrival in Rubane Island.

Meals included pic nic and at the hotel
Overnight Hotel Ponta Anchaca or Fishing Club on Rubane Island (all bungalows ensuite and with aircon)

DAY 7: Island life – GUINEA BISSAU
Boat excursion to the wild beaches of Anguruma, passing by Soga Bay with its large colony of pink flamingos. Visit of Bubaque, the largest village in the archipelago and the only one connected to the continent by a ferry once a week. In Bubaque we will find unpaved alleys, a tiny colorful market, local bars and traders. Quite interesting also the ethnographic museum dedicated to the Bijagos culture.
Time to relax on the beach or walk around the island.

Meals included in a local restaurant and at the hotel
Overnight Hotel Ponta Anchaca or Fishing Club on Rubane Island (all bungalows ensuite and with aircon)

DAY 8: from the ghost capital to Bissau – GUINEA BISSAU
Early morning departure to Bolama Island, the former capital of Portuguese Guinea from 1871 to 1941, before they moved it to Bissau. When the Portuguese left, native people came to live in the town which is now falling apart and is partly invaded by tropical vegetation. The city was built following the plans of a «Castrum Romanum» (roman citadel) so today we can witness its large sunny lethargic avenues, its empty squares, its dry fountains, its bush-like gardens and its charming administrative buildings in neo Palladian style. In the Governor’s Palace we can still admire columns in the classic style and … surrounded by peaceful goats! Bolama, although inhabited, is plunged in the fairy-tale atmosphere of a ghost town.
In the afternoon, we end our speedboat navigation by arriving in Bissau, the actual capital of the country. Here a vehicle will be waiting to take us on a brief tour of this tiny and intriguing capital.
In the evening transfer to the airport for the flight out.

Meals breakfast and lunch in a local restaurant included; dinner own arrangement
Day-use Rooms in day-use till 18.00 hrs in a comfortable hotel in the liveliest district in town (all rooms ensuite and with aircon)
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Listing Details

+256.392.897.704, +44.790.863.9450
Based on 6+ Pax 2221 Euro
Based on 2-5 Pax 2824 Euro
Single Supplement 237 Euro

Assistance at Bissau airport upon arrival and departure
Transfers and tour in: minibuses/microbuses, 4WD vehicles, and speedboat fitted for ocean crossing to the Bijagos Archipelago.
Local guide (languages spoken: English, French, Italian and Spanish)
Tours and visits as per the programme
Accommodation in standard rooms/bungalows, as per itinerary
All meals as described, from breakfast on day 2 to lunch on day 8
Mineral water in the bus/car/boat during the visits
Entrance fees to parks, concessions, protected areas and cultural sites
Pass for carnival when applicable
First Aid box
All service charges and taxes
Credit Cards
Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, Amex (surcharge may apply depending on method of payment
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