Welcome to West Africa

African Landscapes

From the Sahara to tropical rainforests, from volcanic outcrops to stony depressions in the desert's heart, West Africa is an extraordinary sweep of iconic African terrain. There are many West African views that will define your journey: an oasis-like clearing in the heart of a rainforest; stirring sand dunes sculpted to perfection by the wind; a gloriously deserted arc of sand along a gloriously deserted coastline; and improbably shaped rocky outcrops in the heart of the Sahel. And through it all runs one of Africa's longest rivers, the Niger.

African Peoples

The mosaic of peoples who inhabit West Africa is one of the region's most beguiling characteristics. The sheer number of peoples who call the region home will take your breath away. Drawing in a little nearer, you'll discover that traditions survive in West Africa like nowhere else on the continent, revealing themselves in fabulous festivals, irresistible music and the mysterious world of masks and secret societies. These are peoples whose histories are epic and whose daily struggles are similarly so. West Africa is in-your-face, full-volume Lagos or the quiet solitude of an indigo-clad nomad – not to mention everything in between.

A Musical Soundtrack

West Africa's musical tradition is one of extraordinary depth and richness. Youssou N'Dour, Tinariwen and other musicians may have been 'discovered' in recent decades, but the region's music is so much more than mere performance. The griots of ancient African empires – Mali's master kora player Toumani Diabaté is a 71st-generation griot – bestowed upon West Africa's musicians the gift of storytelling as much as the power to entertain. They do both exceptionally well and their ability to make you dance or learn something new about the region may just rank among your most memorable travel experiences.

Secret Wildlife

You wouldn't come to West Africa looking for an East African–style safari, but there's more to West Africa's wildlife than initially meets the eye if you know where to look, including elephants, primates, big cats, pygmy hippos and some of the world's best birdwatching. And unlike East or Southern Africa, you're likely to have whatever you find all to yourself.

Top experiences in West Africa

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West Africa activities

$34.25 Tours & Sightseeing

Island Adventure with Shark Experience from Santa Maria

Start the tour at 9:30am with a pickup from your Santa Maria hotel. The first stop will be on the beautiful beach of Ponta Preta. There, your guide will brief you about the rest of your day. Next, drive to Murdeira and Palmeira, a small local fishing village. While you're on the way, see Lion Mountain before stopping at Burraconna, a natural pool where you may swim and see the blue eye. Once you have finished your visit at the natural pool, drive off-road to see the Fata Morgana on Mirage. After this it's time to stop for lunch at a local bar in the capital city, Espargos. There, you can eat the local food or just have some drinks. Next, head to the top of the mountain where you have a nice view all over the island. Finally, head to the water to see Lemon Sharks up close and personal. Then, float in the Salinas, also known as Salt Lake, rumored to make one appear 10 years younger. From here, drive back to your accommodations and conclude the tour.

$34.25 Tours & Sightseeing

Segway Tour of Santa Maria

After the pick up at you hotel you will be taken into Santa Maria where you will be explained how to use a Segway and you will have the possibility to try it.There are 2 types of Segway tours:The Short tour of 45 minutes starting on the green road to Santa Maria in order to get used and feel comfortable on the Segway. The tour takes you off-road up to Vila Verde, then to Ponta Preta which is the most beautiful beach of the island and back by the beachLong tour of 1h30m. Starting on the green road to Santa Maria in order to get used and feel comfortable on the Segway, followed by a Santa Maria tour, off-road to the salt flats of Santa Maria, Kite beach - a white sandy beach which is the favorite beach of the kite-surfers, Vila Verde, Ponta Preta, the most beautiful beach of the island and back by the beach.

$57.09 Day Trips & Excursions

Full-Day Tour of Sao Vicente from Mindelo

At 9.30am you will be picked up at your hotel in Mindelo by a bus with your guide (the groups are 2 -20 persons depending on the amount of people booked for the day). Afterwards you will go to city center and do your first walking tour.Mindelo has beautiful colonial architecture, being famous as a born place of Cape Verdean world-wide known singer Cesaria Evora (also called "bare-feet diva"), having rich history connected to British army and international trade from 18th till 21st century, because Mindelo bay is the biggest natural harbor in the world. Afterwards you visit the fish-market, harbor, famous Rua Lisboa, a house where Cesaria Evora was born, main square and many others.After (around 12:00), you enter the bus and continue to Monte Verde, the highest mountain of the island, with spectacular view over the island, where you can shoot great panoramic pictures. Then, you drive to Baia das Gatas, Calhau and Salamansa - fisherman villages on the north of the island. In Calhau there will be a 3 course lunch, dedicated mainly to typical local dishes (you have a choice of fish plate or meat).Around 2.30pm ypu will drink a coffee and leave the north-east back to Mindelo.On the way back you pass through Madeiral, a green long valley with many local farms - seeing plantations of banana, papaya, mange, palm dates, sugar cane, etc. You will return to your hotel around 4.30pm.

$210 Tours & Sightseeing

Half-Day Somone Lagoon and Bandia Park Safari from Dakar

Your tour guide will meet you at your Dakar hotel at 8am before driving you towards Somone lagoon located in the south of Dakar (approx 75 km from Dakar). Depending on road traffic you will arrive around 9:30 am to embark on a local boat for a 1 hour ride and enjoy the beautiful scenery of mangroves dotted with birds.Around 10am, you will proceed to Bandia park, which is very close to Somone lagoon (approx 20 min drive). You will then change vehicle and get in a pick up jeep for a 1.5 hour game drive in this reserve that covers 1000 hectares, where you will spot African wildlife in their natural habitat - such as giraffes ,buffaloes, rhinos, a variety of antelopes, zebras, monkeys, crocodiles, tortoises and more. Lunch will be served around 12:30 am at the Bandia park restaurant (included) Around 2pm, you will drive back to Dakar and arrive at around 3:30 pm at your hotel in Dakar.

$39.96 Outdoor Activities

Turtle Walk from Santa Maria

Cape Verde is the third biggest nesting point for the Caretta Caretta, loggerhead turtles. This night tour will take you to one of the protected nesting beaches of Sal island where you can experience the emotion of seeing a loggerhead turtle laying her eggs. You will be picked up at the reception of your hotel and taken to one of the nesting beaches on Sal island.The transfer lasts approximately 20 minutes and in this time an experienced guide will explain you everything you need to know about the life and habits of the turtles as well the rules that you need to respect. Once arrived to the beach one of the guides will stay with you seated on the sand while the other guide will start searching for the turtle. When the guide finds a turtle, you will be informed by VHF radio and start walking on the beach to arrive to the turtle. It is recommended to bring a beach towel to be more comfortable while waiting on the beach. Dark colored clothes and closed shoes are recommended. It is forbidden to take photos with flash and use white or bright lights on the protected beaches. Please note that since it's nature, we cannot guarantee to see a turtle.

$34.25 Day Trips & Excursions

Full-Day Road Tour in Sal Island

The Island is small in dimension but quite revealing in terms of landscape and attractions.Be ready for a breath-taking trip where the word “stress” is out of the lexicon.Meet at the front desk of your hotel at 9:15am. As soon as you meet your guide, you'll start the tour and your first destination will be “Ponta Preta”. At this spot you´ll witness a contrast between white natural sand dunes and dark coloured volcanic rocks entering the sea.This amazing combination creates a unique phenomenon of huge and beautiful waves. And this is the reason why this location is the stage for the performance of water sports competitions like surf, windsurf and others of a world known level.While in Ponta Preta you will be introduced to the itinerary and you´ll be also provided with a brief explanation of the history of Cape Verde.After witnessing and feeling the power of nature in Ponta Petra, you will head up to Murdeira.Murdeira is geographically located at the centre of the island. It´s Bay is bathed with crystal waters and filled with corals, enabling marvelous conditions for the practice of snorkeling.Apart from the mention above, you can easily see “Monte Leão” from there, one of the greatest marks of the island.Well, now is time to go more to the north and meet with the City of Espargos, where you we’ll be in a local tour ending in a panoramic view of the city through the belvedere.The next stop is the fishing village of Palmeira, where you can find the only port of the island.To the East of Palmeira, we can spot Buracona a place with natural pools and an incredible rocky landscape of volcanic origin. This combination allows us to enjoy the wonderful phenomenon called "Blue Eye".From 12pm to 1pm the sun shines inside a cave 25 meters’ deep, allowing you to glimpse the image of a shiny blue eye staring at the majestic sky.More to the west of the island is “Terra Boa”, the only land for growing crops and there you can enjoy another spectacle of nature, a "Mirage" in the middle of the desert.On your way back to Espargos, you’ll pass the peripheral area of the island visiting some social institutions such as kindergartens and schools.In Espargos you'll have a break for lunch at the Spot restaurant where you are able to taste a typical dish at a very low cost (from 5 to 10 Euros) or enjoy one of the best pizzas in town.After lunch, you will continue the tour with destination to Pedra de Lume, where the famous Salinas (Salt pans) are found inside of an extinct volcano crater. In Salinas you can bath in the therapeutic waters within the same.On the way back to the West of the Island you can catch sight of lemon sharks in the “Parda Bay” around 4pm, please be reminded to wear appropriate shoes. After a unique and enjoyable tour you shall be ready to return to the hotel around 4:30pm.