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Colorful African pirogue canoes on the beach in Dakar

Adventure in the Bijagos Archipelago: Darkar to Darkar

Example 9 Day Cruise aboard Le Dumont-d'Urville
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The Bissagos archipelago, located off the coast of Guinea-Bissau, is one of the most preserved and protected on the planet. Classified as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, it is made up of 88 islands, most of which are uninhabited. Nestling in the heart of an environment which often remains untouched by humans, they offer the rare visitors who explore them the opportunity for a unique and authentic experience. Get as close as possible to nature, between pale-sand beaches, mangrove stretching as far as the eye can see, savannah, palm trees and baobabs. Birds of prey, pelicans, monkeys, sea turtles, crocodiles, saltwater hippos and all kinds of snakes are at home here. Discover their way of life, which has not changed for thousands of years. Theirs is a matriarchal society centred on the sacred.
 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Dakar, Senegal | Embark
Day 2 : Maio Island, Bijagos
Day 3 : Caravela Island, Bijagos
Day 4 : Carache Island, Bijagos
Days 5-6 : Orango Island, Bijagos
Day 7 : Carache Island, Bijagos
Day 8 : Caravela Island, Bijagos
Day 9 : Dakar, Senegal | Disembark

Highlights

  • Admire the diversity of the fauna: saltwater hippos, crocodiles & dolphins
  • Encounter with the Bidyogo people to learn about its ancestral traditions
  • Explore the mangrove, covering more than a third part of the archipelago
  • Visit Dakar and Gorée Island, both major sites in the history of slavery

Ship

Le Dumont-d'Urville

Places Visited

  • Africa
  • Senegal
  • Cape Verde Islands
  • Carache Island
  • Caravela Island
  • Dakar
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Maio
  • Orango Island
  • West Africa

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Colorful African pirogue canoes on the beach in Dakar A Hippopotamus glides through the swampy waters. Beaches of Cape Verde Islands Panoramic photo of beach in Senegal A dolphin jumps out of the water

Day 1 Dakar, Senegal | Embark

On the tip of the African continent, the buzzing capital of Senegal stretches along the narrow peninsula of Cape Verde. You may be overwhelmed by its sheer size, but Dakar wins you over with its richly diverse districts, appealing cultural scene and rich natural surroundings. In the historic centre, enjoy the pell-mell of colours and tasty delights in Kermel market. A visit to the island of Gorée is deeply moving; for several hundred years this island was the largest slave trading centre on the African coast. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you are looking for pristine, unspoilt nature, the wildlife in the heart of Madeleine Islands' national park never disappoint.

Day 2 Maio Island, Bijagos

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Some 20 kilometres off the coast of west Africa, the Bissau-Guinean archipelago of Bissagos is famous for its abundant biodiversity. The richness of its marine animal and plant life afforded it the status of Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Of the 88 islets and islands in the archipelago, only 23 are inhabited. At Maio, still called Chediã, you can meet the Bissagos people and get to know their ancestral ways and customs. In this region, cut off from the rest of the world and secluded from Western influences, discover how locals really live.

Day 3 Caravela Island, Bijagos

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Off the west African coast of Guinea-Bissau, the Bissagos archipelago rolls out its 88 islands and islets of black rock and white sand in the heart of the Atlantic. Declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1996, this string of islets has exceptionally rich land and sea fauna. In the heart of luxuriant nature, you can enjoy Caravela Island's wild charm and its Bijago inhabitants, fascinating men and women who have adapted to and melted in with their natural environment.

Day 4 Carache Island, Bijagos

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 5-6 Orango Island, Bijagos

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

Day 7 Carache Island, Bijagos

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Off the west African coast of Guinea-Bissau, the Bissagos archipelago rolls out its 88 islands and islets of black rock and white sand in the heart of the Atlantic. Declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1996, this string of islets has exceptionally rich land and sea fauna. In the heart of luxuriant nature, you'll meet the Bijago inhabitants, fascinating men and women who have adapted to and melted in with their natural environment.

Day 8 Caravela Island, Bijagos

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Off the west African coast of Guinea-Bissau, the Bissagos archipelago rolls out its 88 islands and islets of black rock and white sand in the heart of the Atlantic. Declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1996, this string of islets has exceptionally rich land and sea fauna. In the heart of luxuriant nature, you'll enjoy Caravela Island's wild charm and its Bijago inhabitants, fascinating men and women who have adapted to and melted in with their natural environment.

Day 9 Dakar, Senegal | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark after breakfast and continue your independent trip back home. 

Le Dumont-d'Urville

Per person starting at
$5,480
Cabin
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Deluxe Stateroom
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² Private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Deluxe Suite
Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 6m² private balcony
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Prestige Suite Deck 5
8m² private balcony King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Suite Deck 6
8m² private balcony King-size bed or twin beds
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Privilege Suite
Area: 32 m² Capacity: up to 4 passengers per cabin 8m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Grand Deluxe Suite
Area: 45 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 30m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Owner's Suite
Area: 45 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 30m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds

Notes

*Rates are capacity controlled and are subject to change without notice.

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
  • All meals while on board the ship 
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • Evening entertainment and events
  • 24h Room service (special selection)
  • English speaking lecturer 
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite
  • Highly experienced bilingual (French-English) Expedition team 
  • Park entry fees into protected areas
  • Complimentary boot rental on select cruises
Cruise fares do not include:
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned 
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions mentioned
  • Visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable
  • Luggage handling
  • Gratuities to onboard crew, local guides and drivers
  • Optional Spa package to be booked prior to your departure
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned
  • Laundry services, hair salon and à la carte Spa treatments
  • Personal expenses, on board medical consultations and drug prescriptions
  • Cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s)
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Erin Correia
Erin C

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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