GULF OF GUINEA: GUINEA CONAKRY, LIBERIA & SIERRA LEONE
We will drive down forgotten tracks and cross the longest liana bridges in the forest that hide the mystery of the birdmen.
Masks and tam-tam echoes across the sacred woods while you will discover a villa revealing a forgotten part of “History” and ancestors reincarnated in chimpanzees. In Monrovia you will admire a rough coastline. Monrovia is the capital of Liberia: “Land of freemen” , the only country that has never been either a colony or a protectorate.
The freed slaves coming from the Americas developed the powerful Krio culture. Between Liberia and Sierra Leone, you will discover the Krio culture’s main places and the metaphysical symbols recorded in the unique architecture of wood and stone.
The trip ends with the visit to the intriguing Freetown peninsula and with some relax on Banana Island, the most spectacular island of the Gulf of Guinea; isolated beaches, sun and coves surrounded by a lush vegetation.
- Duration: 16 days
Arrival in Conakry
The road will bring us at the heart of the Fouta Djalon massif. In the afternoon visit to Dalaba small and quiet town. Of an interest is the “casa a palabra” (the house of words) with fine bas-relief showing a Peul style. Here the chiefs used to get together to meet the colonial administration.
Today we discover the largest massif of West Africa: Fouta Djalon where the mountains meet the savannah and the deep valleys hosting rice fields and forests. Visit to small villages
Kissi cultural group is known for praying stone gods called Pomo which have been mysterious found in the forest. Kissidougou (the city of Kissi) had a small but interesting museum which shows the ritual objects of the region.
This region is rich in markets, the Guekedou one, on the border with Sierra Leone, has been considered one of the largest of Africa, surely it is the most crowed and sadly the starting point of Ebola epidemic till 2016.
We discover forests, masks and a mysterious villa hiding part of the history of West Africa.
The forest hides many secrets. The liana bridges are masterpiece of “tribal technology” and can measure 70-meter length. They are realized exclusively with vegetal materials, such as wood and lianas without the use of nails or rope nor other foreign materials to the forest.
We will go to Bossou, where the small community of chimpanzee (Pan Troglodytes) lives in the forest. The inhabitants consider them the reincarnation of their ancestors and therefore hunting them is forbidden. The chimpanzee are constantly monitored by the researchers and therefore they are easy to meet.
Arrival in Liberia: “the land of free men”. Sightseeing of Monrovia
By foot, we will visit another main symbol of the town: the temple of the Masonic Lodge. We will leave Monrovia heading to a village to discover the masks of the region. At the edge of the estuary we find the sleepy Robertsport, a small town which lays near a rocky range (known by the Portuguese as Cabo de Monte). In XIX century, the first freed slaves disembarked in Robertsport, they faced the locals’ opposition and finally funded “the land of freemen”.
We will take a track to reach a village with huts made by clay and straw. In the village we will encounter a local who will take us to a place where we can meet the diamonds’ seekers.
among the Mende people and among the neighbours populations the masks Bundo are a female’s domain and they have crucial role in the initiation rites. We reach a tiny village to assist at the exit of these masks, an event that calls for the participation of a colourful crowd.
In the afternoon, we drive to the coast to reach Kent village where a boat will take us to Banana Island.
Discover the island and overnight there
Once we reach the continent, we will drive along the coast at the slopes of the rocky Freetown peninsula. Short stop at the wild beaches of Bureh and of River number two, before arriving in Freetown. Freetown sighseeing.
Outboard sailing to discover Bunce Island. The island lays in the large estuary of the Rokel river that creates a gulf which used to be the preferred shore point by the slave traders’ ships.
Retour to Freetown and transfer to the airport for the flight out.