Excursions & Day Visits
Visit the best preserved forest in The Gambia. Home to a troupe of over 200 baboons, who stroll through the park causing mischief wherever they go! Explore the untouched creeks and bolong on traditional ‘dug-out’ canoes. Watch the palm wine tappers scale the trees and then taste the wine in a forest clearing. Meet the marabout – the holy man of the forest – and then try a traditional delicious Gambian lunch prepared using the freshest of local produce. Exercise off lunch with some vigorous dancing - Jola style!
Bush Trackers Breakfast
The "Bush Trackers Breakfast" is a chance to study, track and observe the wildlife and environment for a greater understanding of the eco-systems of Makasutu and The Gambia.
This is an early morning excursion, exploring the forest, following the baboons as they pass through the canopy in search of food, marvel as the dawn chorus breaks turning Base Camp into a colourful display of tropical birds singing in the start of a new day.
There is a chance to see mongoose playing in water pools or maybe monitor lizards lazily strolling along the river bank in search of breakfast.
Following traditions from East Africa, a full breakfast is cooked by the guests on shovels over an open wood fire (or by the chef if preferred), the perfect way for a now qualified "Bush Tracker" to satisfy the appetite worked up after exploring the forest.
The "Night Extravaganza" begins at 6pm, in time to see the thousand or so white egrets passing overhead on their way to The Gambia river, their prefered roosting site for the night. Sample atire tea in the bantaba, as you are serenaded by the sounds of the kora (harp lute) and djembe (drum). Sample freshly roasted ground nuts by the fire, after which a trip to the marabout (holy man) where you can have your fortune told in this traditional jungle setting, while musician's play in the back ground.
A buffet BBQ is served at dark, consisting of locally caught fish, beef brochette, chicken and many different salads and pastas, with alcoholic and non-alcoholic punch to wash the food down with.
This mellow beginning leads the way to the extravagant finale , as the fire`s are lit and the forest comes alive to the sounds and sights of the Zin Zani cultural troupe:
Stilt men dance spreading puppet like shadows through the trees, as fire breathers and dancers amaze the crowd with their energetic displays of local cultural dances and traditions, before the grand exit with the guests dancing in a lantern lit procession through the forest before departure.
Day trip (in conjunction with The Gambia Experience)
Starting around 7.30am with a drive to the international award winning Makasutu Cultural Forest, a palm forest situated on a beautiful meandering tributary of the River Gambia (Mandina Bolong) encompassing many different eco-systems including mangroves, savannah and dense forest.
A chance to see vultures, gathered together for their morning breakfast, as well as some other European and African birds such as Lilly Trotters, West African River Eagle, Black Heron and the Goliath Heron. The morning is spent exploring the mangroves in dug out canoes followed by a nature walk through the forest hoping to catch a glimpse of a few monkeys, mongoose, monitor lizards and possibly even baboons.
After an African lunch members of the Jola tribe will come to demonstrate their dancing and you will have the chance to join in!
Leaving Makasutu en route back to the hotels, we make a final stop at KIM KOMBO, a plantation and wine distillery producing quality Gambian liquers where you can enjoy a short tour of the plantation and a sample of the homemade liqueurs.