West Africa is an unforgettable cultural and musical journey, and is quite incomparable to anywhere else in the world. From the stunning beauty of the Fouta Djallon highlands and the Beninese coast, to the myriad of remote villages dotted throughout the landscape, to the warm friendly smiles that greet you everywhere you go, to the sheer adventurous nature of the journey, the region is truly unique and very special - it is frequently the top of the favourites list of many of the most well-travelled people in the world!
Our route starts (or ends!) in the cosmopolitan Senegalese capital of Dakar on the western tip of the continent, and heads through the rarely-visited and wonderful countries of Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea and Sierra Leone, before heading east through the remote roads of the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo and Benin.
West Africa is not the easiest place to travel, and for many of us that is one of the reasons to go! Roads are rough, things don’t go to plan, and the climate can be uncomfortable – but the unpredictable and spontaneous nature of the travel here keeps things very interesting and gives us a lot of freedom! The region has a wealth of attractions including the little known highland region of Fouta Djallon, the colonial centre of Bissau, and the impressive Basilica of Yamoussoukro. You can enjoy fantastic wildlife experiences and scenery in the Sine-Saloum Delta, Kiang West, Kakum and Pendjari (home to one of the last populations of West African lions) National Parks and the Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary in remote eastern Sierra Leone. You can witness incredible voodoo and drumming displays at Mont Klouto, Togoville, and Grand Popo, and learn all about the sad history of slavery from the coastal forts of Ghana to the Route des Esclaves at Ouidah. The true highlight of West Africa is meeting the people, and you'll be greeted with curiosity and joy at every turn by the friendly locals!
An overland journey to West Africa will almost certainly involve some incredible sights, adventurous journeys, dozens of new friends across the region, many changes of plan, lots of time to relax and freely explore, and at least one truck bogging on the challenging roads! You'll go home buzzing from the life-changing travel experience you've just had, and already dreaming of when you'll return.