Introduction10 days | Freetown to Freetown
Trip Style: Classic
The trips we've build our reputation on.
Designed for maximum variety, these trips are geared towards travellers searching for a healthy mix of active exploration, uncommon landscapes, amazing wildlife and local cultures.
Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average about 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16.
Service Level: Basic
- Excellent value, amazing prices, quality experiences
- Simple and clean hotels, guesthouses and hostels chosen for location and character
- Affordable public and private transport for maximum cultural interaction
- Plenty of optional activities tailored to your interests and budget
Physical Grading: 2
There'll be some light walking and hiking. Suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Day 1 Freetown
Day 2-3 Rogbonko (2B,1L,2D)
Day 4-5 Tiwai Island Wildlife Reserve (2B,1L,2D)
Day 6-7 John Obey Beach (2B,2D)
Day 8 River No. 2 (1B,1D)
Day 9 Freetown (1B,1D)
Day 10 Freetown (1B)
Rogbonko village visit and community walks; Entrance fees guided walks, and boat rides in Tiwai Island Wildlife Reserve; Tacaguma Chimpanzee Sanctuary entrances and visit.
Experiencing life in a local village, tasting the local cuisine, trekking through the rainforest looking for resident monkeys, Being inspired as you speak to the resilient people of Sierra Leone, learning about life on the coast, exploring historic Freetown.
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1. This tour goes to some very basic, undeveloped areas of Africa, which is the least developed continent. This means that standards of roads, food, hygiene, and customer service will be far from what you are used to. Accommodation is rustic and basic in many places.
2. This itinerary spends 4 nights camping. Below details are given about our “bush camping”, but in general, these nights are among the most basic camping nights that you will find on any G Adventures tour—no running water, no toilets, and no formal showers—but we do offer a bag/hose shower with curtains.
4. Pollution: we do not give away to local people any kind of plastic; gifts are offered to chiefs and teachers; no photos are permitted of police stations, borders crossings, and airports.
Group Leader Description
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by a Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, be your conduit to the local culture and experiences of this tour, recommend some local eating venues, help the group with translation when visiting local communities, and introduce you to our local friends. In West Africa, we actually use the term "guide" more than Chief Experience Officer (CEO), as it comes from the equivalent word in French, which is used regularly there.
In addition to managing the tour itself, you can expect your CEO to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting, but compared to many places, the quality of local guides in this region is low. (Remember very few tourists actually visit these areas. Your leader will speak english, but often English is the 3rd, 4th, or 5th language of our guides. As such, please be patient - English speakers in the French speaking countries is rare.
We also have drivers, all of whom are an integral part of the team, and add their own contributions to the success of the trip. Often these members of our crew will have limited English language skills.
Group Size Notes
Max 10, avg 8.
Your Fellow Travellers
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and are likely to be of a variety of ages too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
9 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 8 dinners.
When a evening meal is not included, your hotel will have a restaurant or your will be advised of a good local restaurant.
All camp meals you have during your trip will be prepared from fresh local produce. Shopping for food will be done before the trip departs, fresh vegetables and fruit will be bought along the route from local shops and markets. Breakfasts will generally be light, and if time allows a warm breakfast may be prepared. Many lunches will be provided en-route and will usually be cold meals such as sandwiches or salads. All evening meals will be hot and will consist of a variety of continental and local dishes, with good quality wine served. Meals will be prepared by the cook, and you are welcome to help, though this is not compulsory. Hygiene is extremely important, and we use disinfectants, bleach, and cleaning products for washing the dishes and for sanitation purposes.
Breakfast in the hotels are usually continental : coffee or tea, and toast, and fruits.
Vegetarian meals and other dietary requirements need to be specified prior to arrival.
Please note all bottled drinking water and other drinks will be at your own expense.
Often, in rural areas, especially during days 4 to 8, bottled drinking water is not always available. As such, your CEO will plan for the group to buy water before embarking on the bush camping section of the tour. In addition, small notes and coins for change is very sparse in the regions we travel. As such, often the only way possible for each individual person to buy their own drinks is to pool money together, from which drinks and common items may be purchased.
Allow USD90-110 for meals not included.
Boat, ferry, 4x4 vehicles, minibus.
About our Transportation
We use a minibus for this tour, normally Toyota Hiace, or for large groups Toyota Coaster.
With a small group of up to 3 travellers, we may use Toyota Land Cruiser. The 4WD is not compulsory in our itinerary, apart in rainy season when in the convoy we use also at least one 4WD (just in case)
With sliding windows, bench seats, and an aisle on one side, these vans that we use are common in the region and comfortable.
Road conditions can run the full range of conditions from relatively new in the cities to old, deteriorating, very poor, and even almost non-existent. During dry seasons, the roads can become very dusty.
This style of travel is by no means luxurious, but the seats are comfortable and having our own private vehicles allow us the flexibility of making stops when needed, visit far out of the way destinations, and take with us our camping gear to be self-sufficient in the less-developed areas.
Please note for your own safety it is mandatory to wear your seat belt at all times when in a vehicle.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotels (3 nts), simple huts (4 nts), basic tented camp (2 nts).
My Own Room
Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room/Tent" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all nights in hotels and your own tent for all the nights at campsites.
West Africa is one of the poorest areas of the world, and as such, basic infrastructure such as sealed roads, reliable electricity, constant access to tap water that you will find in other areas of Africa and the world are less common in West Africa.
The hotels and accommodation venues that we use on this trip are unfortunately no exception. Most hotels advertise hot water, but if the electricity is working at the time we are there to heat and pump the water is another question. All hotels and accommodation that we use are simple and basic, but clean and safe.
The nature of the destination means that there is very little choice of accommodation venues. There is little to no local and foreign tourism or travel demand to justify the existence of the hotels that you, as a foreign traveller has come to expect in less developed countries. Choices are thus limited in many of our destinations, so we try to choose the best or most appropriate accommodation in each area.
On arrival in Freetown, an arrival transfer is not included. Please make your way to the joining hotel.
A taxi just outside of the airport terminal costs approximately US$ 20 to the Joining Hotel. DO NOT GIVE YOUR PASSPORT TO ANYBODY APART FROM THE POLICE if asked. Take care of your luggage personally and ignore all the people ready to help you (apart from official representative of airport officials).
If you have a pre-booked transfer, please look for the driver, who will be holding a sign with the G Adventures logo on it. For security purposes, your name will not be on the G Adventures sign. As well, please do not tell the driver your name straight away, but rather ask the driver first to tell you who they are meant to pick up. This will ensure that you go with the right driver. Note that the driver may have limited English skills.
Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, though a brief departure meeting will be held in the hotel reception area in evening of day 1, or on the morning of day 2. Here you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. Upon arrival to the hotel, look for a notice from your CEO with information regarding this group meeting. If you arrive late and miss the meeting, he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
The tour departs Freetown in the morning of day 2.
We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your trip leader (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (Lome, Togo)
During office hours, Mon-Fri, 8:30am-12:30pm, 2:30pm-6:00pm, Local Time, Saturday: 8:30am-12:00pm, Local Time
From outside of Lome: +228 2221 6823
From within Lome: 02221 6823
After hours emergency telephone
From outside Lome: +228 9074 0561
From within Lome: 09074 0561
G Adventures Local Office (Nairobi, Kenya)
From outside Kenya: +254 727 208 832
From within Kenya: 0727 208 832
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labeled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase, or sports bag, maximum 15kg, plus a daypack. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced and space on vehicles is limited. Porters are not often available, so be prepared to carry your own bags. It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings.
• 5 shirts/t-shirts
• Sun hat
• 2 pair of shorts
• 2 pairs of long trousers
• Long sleeve shirt/thin jacket
• Thin rain jacket/rain poncho/Small umbrella
• Sturdy walking shoes
• Sun block
• Watch or alarm clock
• Flashlight (with extra batteries and bulbs)
• Money belt
• Small travel towel
• Small pillow for camping nights
• Personal female hygiene products (as they are difficult to purchase locally)
• First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, band aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, dehydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
Camera and film, reading/writing material, binoculars, cover for backpacks
• G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and Trip Details
• Passport (with photocopies)
• Travel insurance (with photocopies)
• Airline tickets (with photocopies)
• USD cash
• Credit card (see personal spending money - note cards are rarely accepted)
• Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
• Yellow Fever Certificate
In addition to the hotel in Freetown, laundry can be done in during our time village visit, as well as in John Obey Beach. Best to bring clothes that can be hand washed on the go.
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.
It is recommend to arrange visas prior to your departing your home destination.
For practical information on weather, typical costs, visa information, special events and much more, our Destination Travel Guide is the place to visit! This handy guide will tell you everything you need to know about everywhere we go! Head to http://www.gadventures.com/travel-guide for detailed information on the countries and cities we visit.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The Cedi (GHC), is the currency of Ghana.
Cash is the best method of money in Ghana. Travellers cheques are accepted only at some banks and forex bureaus in Accra, and often give a lower rate. Credit and Debit cards and not very useful while on tour, though in Accra there are ATMs where you may be able to access funds from your cards. But it is not guaranteed that the machines will accept your card, that they will actually work, or have money.
Again, cash is the best method of money in West Africa.
Visa is the most widely accepted of the card types.
Please bring cash money, in foreign currencies (USD is best), to change for GHC locally at the start of the tour.
Large denominations are better, as they receive better rates. If you have USD, new bills from the year 2000 or more recent are best, as older bills may not be accepted.
Foreign currencies are rarely accepted outside of the capital cities, and as such, you will need GHC for your tour. And, your tour visits primarily rural areas. As such, it is advisable to change your foreign currency to GHC in Accra, and as soon as possible upon arrival.
At the airport in Accra upon arrival, you can change Euro, Pounds, or USD into GHC if the money exchange office is open at the time when you arrive, and if they have money on hand at the time. You may have to pay a commission on changing money at the airport or at banks.
When changing money, please ask for small notes, as small denominations are important, as local vendors rarely have change.
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
Tipping is appreciated with small service providers such as restaurant and bar waiters, hotel staff, and reception.
Even though this might not be customary to you, nor such common practice in your home country, it is generally expected and of great significance to the people who will be assisting you during your travels.
Depending on your preference and/or that of the group, you may choose to tip individually, organize the tipping with your traveling companions, or your CEO will offer to collect the tip money at the beginning of your tour - and tip as a group with your participation as the tour progresses. A recommendation for tipping small service providers is about $2 USD per day, depending on the quality of the service (this does not include your G Adventures CEO).
Feel free to ask your CEO for the breakdown / distribution of the tips. Note that if you have been really disappointed by a particular service, please inform your CEO right away, and the tip will be adjusted accordingly.
Also at the end of your trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is also expected and appreciated. The precise amount is entirely a personal preference, however $15-20 USD per person per week can be used as a general guideline.
All prices are listed in USD amounts, per person, and are examples of the entrances fees charged - this does not include hiring transport to/from the destination. And the majority of the activities should be paid in local currency.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
We recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, infectious hepatitis and polio. Malaria does exist in these countries and it is recommended to consult a travel clinic for Malaria prevention. For details on how to best prepare and what to do in the unlikely event you are effected on your Adventure, please consult your physician.You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit, hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Being a responsible tour operator is at the heart of what G Adventures is all about. From the start, G Adventures has been committed to offering low-impact tours that benefit traveler and host alike. While our sustainable tourism policies are constantly evolving, our commitment to socially conscious, grassroots style travel has never changed. We work with local communities, businesses and individuals to develop sustainable tourism opportunities that help local economies while minimizing negative environmental and cultural impacts.
We would like to give you a couple of tips to start you thinking about traveling sustainably.
-Please bring rechargeable batteries, a battery charger (and plug adapter if necessary). Batteries are incredibly toxic and many places that we travel do not have proper disposal facilities. Rechargeables are best but if this is not possible we recommend that you bring any used batteries back home with you for proper disposal.
-Please ask before taking pictures. Just as you would not like to have a stranger come up to you and take a picture of you while sitting on your front porch either do the locals of the places that we visit. As you can imagine pictures of their children are also not appreciated.
For more information about our commitment to responsible travel, please visit the Sustainable Tourism section of the G Adventures website: www.gadventures.com
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org
Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.
To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that you'll receive a special discount code for free online prints and we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Please visit http://www.gadventures.com/evaluations
Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.
Keeping in Touch
If you need to be contacted while travelling we recommend that you set up an email address that can be accessed on the road, rather than relying on postal mail. Email cafes are becoming increasingly commonplace and cheap throughout the regions we visit, and have quickly become the preferred way for our CEOs and travellers to stay in touch. If someone wishes to contact you in an emergency while you are on one of our trips we recommend that they contact your local booking agent, or refer to our Emergency Contact. We recommend that family and friends don't try to contact you through phoning hotels en route, as our hotels are subject to change, and our hotel receptions often don't have English speaking staff.
Interested in seeing more of West Africa? Check out our Voodoo Trail tour DVVT for some deep cultural immersion.