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TOUR TO GHANA & BURKINA FASO : GOLD COAST & SAHEL

 

Ghana & Burkina Faso

 

14 DAYS / 13 NIGHTS

 

Join this fantastic tour to Ghana and Burkina Faso.

A fantastic cultural journey to meet populations of who still live following their ancestral traditions:

the Ashanti and their  Golden Kingdom,

the Gurunsi women who paint beautiful frescoes on the walls of their houses;

the Lobi who still build fortified homes;

The natural environment is beautiful, in particular at Sindou Peaks where fantastically shaped rocks are located.

The visit of Bobo-Dioulasso with its colonial past is also a must.

For travelers who like cultural and tribal journeys in Africa

Emotions, amazement and admiration are some of the feelings you will experience each day of your tour

 

 

 

 

 

DAY BY DAY PROGRAM

 

DAY 1: Accra, Gulf of Guinea -GHANA

Arrival in Accra (Ghana) and transfer to the hotel. Free time to relax.  

 

Meals              own arrangements

Overnight       Pink Hostel or similar (dbl and / or dormitory)

 

 

DAY 2: African Metropolis, from Accra to Kumasi (250 km – 5 hr) –GHANA

Accra, the capital of Ghana, has maintained its unique identity despite the fast paced development currently underway in this intriguing African city. The luxuriant administrative area, punctuated with elegant villas built during the first half of the 19th century, reminds us that Ghana was one of the most flourishing British colonies in West Africa.

The program includes a visit to the National Museum, one of the first works of independent Ghana - the idea inspiring the Museum is to relate Ghanaian art to the rest of the continent and to prove the existence of an African history as part of the general history of humanity. We explore the old quarter of James Town, inhabited by the local population known as the Ga. Facing the Ocean is where local native people life fully unfolds: a village surrounded by the city! Here all economic activities follow very different rules from the ones governing “the city” (business area), just a few hundred meters away. Our tour continues with the visit of a workshop where they specialize in building fantasy coffins. These special handcrafted coffins can reflect any shape: fruits, animals, fish, cars, airplanes…. the only limit being imagination! Started in Africa, these flamboyant coffin designs are by now collected worldwide and exposed in museums.

Drive to Kumasi.

 

Meals              included in a local restaurant or pic nic and at the hotel

Overnight       Okubi Hotel or similar (all rooms ensuite and with aircon)

 

 


DAY 3: Ashanti, from Kumasi to Techiman (150 km – 3 hr) –
GHANA

Kumasi is the historical and spiritual capital of the old Ashanti Kingdom. A city proud of its past as much as it is of its present: a flourishing economy thanks to the exploitation of its gold mines and its forests. The Ashanti people were one of the most powerful nations in Africa until the end of the 19th century, when the British annexed Ashanti Country to their Gold Coast colony. The tribute paid today to the Asantehene (=King) is the best evidence of their past splendour and strength. With nearly one million inhabitants, Kumasi is a sprawling city with a fantastic central market - one of the biggest in Africa. Every type of Ashanti craft (leather goods, pottery, Kente cloth) is found here, along with just about every kind of tropical fruit and vegetable..

We also will visit the Royal Palace Museum - hosting a unique collection of gold jewels worn by the Ashanti court – and a few nearby villages specialised in weaving the traditional Kente cloth, praised by the socially important people and used to make special ceremonial stools.

Drive to Techiman

 

Meals              included in a local restaurant and at the hotel

Overnight       Royal Palace Hotel or similar (all rooms ensuite and with aircon)

 

 

DAY 4: Savannah, from Techiman to Bolgatanga (430 km – 8 hr) –GHANA

Drive to the North. Iis here, in this savannah, that the Dagomba live, a tribe that represents one eighth of the entire Ghanaian population. They are mainly farmers and have always shared their territory with other tribes such as the Kokomba. They build round clay huts with thatched roof. The house of the village chief, where the council of the elders meets, is easily recognizable thanks to its larger size and style: it has a central pole supporting the roof and the entry is framed with pieces of burned clay.

 

Meals              included in a local restaurant and at the hotel

Overnight       Sandgardens Hotel or similar (all rooms ensuite and with aircon)

 

DAY 5: African Frescoes, from Bolgatanga  to Ouagadougou (300 km – 6 hr) –GHANA – BURKINA FASO


Across the border with Burkina Faso
we meet with theGurunsi tribe living in adobe fortified buildings decorated with amazing black, red and white African frescoes. Their society is organized around gender: men are in charge of constructions while women take care of painting and decorating, using natural colours on an okra background. Men build houses by putting different layers of clay over support pillars and arches, walls and terraces are then made waterproof by spreading a mix with zebu dung. It is at this point that women take over and paint amazingly beautiful and intricate frescoes. An excellent example of African art where architecture and painting merge and give life to a “fluid” masterpiece, the kind of sculptural architecture that highly influenced the work of Le Corbusier. And the only way to really understand and appreciate the intense beauty of this art-work is to see it first hand.

In the afternoon we reach Ouagadougou.

 

Meals              included in a local restaurant and at the hotel

Overnight       Hotel Pavillon Vert or similar (rooms with aircon or fan)

 

DAY 6: Sahelian town, from Ouagadougou to Bobo (360 km – 6 hr) –GHANA

Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, lies in the middle of West African savannah. Life happens in and around the streets, in a unique fusion of village and town ambiances: old taxis, bicycles, scooters, donkeys pulling chariots, porters carrying big loads on the heads, traders selling colorful goods, small open air restaurants with loud music, chickens and goats everywhere eating spilled food, a colorful hand-painted board advertising a local «coiffeur» in the shade of a mango tree etc. In street markets colors are brilliant and smells very strong. In the suburbs there is a large area dedicated to the exhibition of the craftsmen’s work, a great opportunity to appreciate artists’ skills and the beauty of African craftworks.

 

Drive to Bobo.

Meals              included in a local restaurant and at the hotel

Overnight       Catholic Guest Houseor similar (rooms aircon or fan)

 

DAY 7: Sudanese and colonial architecture, from Bobo to Banfora (100 km – 2 hr) –GHANA


Bobo Dioulasso
, the second largest city in Burkina after Ouagadougou, is a charming African city, certainly the greenest in the country. Many of its neighbourhoods have maintained a peculiar colonial atmosphere while the train station was built in Neo-Moorish style. In a radically different style is the mosque, built in purely Sudanese style in 1880 or 1893. Despite being a big city, life here still moves at a slow pace and the rich diversity of its inhabitants gives it a unique charme.

In 1891, French explorer Crozat used these words to describe the importance of trade in Bobo Dioulasso: “the caravans coming from the South bring cola nuts and fabric; the Northern ones come loaded with salt; iron tools and glass beads come from the East while Gold arrives from Lobi country”.

Drive to Banfora.

 

Meals              included in a local restaurant and at the hotel

Overnight       Hotel Canne à Sucre or similar (all rooms ensuite and with aircon)

 

DAY 8: Savannah, Banfora (150 km – 4 hr) –GHANA

Today we enjoy the wonders of the Banfora region, rich in beautiful landscapes and charming remote villages. We start our day with a cruise on the Tengrela Lake, a calm and pretty landscape despite the surrounding arid savannah, and, if we are lucky, we can also spot some hippos. Later we reach the spectacular location of “Les Pics de Sindou” where we take a walk to discover these incredible limestone formations up close and to admire the view from up high. Visit of a Senoufo village, with their narrow round granaries around the homes.

In the afternoon, we remain in the region of Banfora so rich of surprises. Across vast sugar cane plantations, we reach the “Les Domes de Fadébougou”, a location where millennia of water and wind erosion have given rocks the shape of a dome overlooking the plain. And from the top we will enjoy the beautiful panorama. We then continue to Kerfiéguela Waterfalls to have the opportunity to jump into the water and freshen up, always enjoyable when surrounded by arid savannah.

 

Meals              included in a local restaurant and at the hotel

Overnight       Hotel Canne à Sucre or similar (all rooms ensuite and with aircon)

 

DAY 9: Traditional Chiefs, from Banfora to Gaoua (200 km – 5 hr) –GHANA

On the way to Banfora we shall  encounter communities of gold miners, at today still digging deep tunnels in search for the precious mineral.

Then we stop at Loropéni Ruins for a visit to this mysterious place. Loropéni figures on the UNESCO World Heritage List and covers an area of 10 sqkm. Its array of stone walls is one of the best preserved examples of fortified settlement in West Africa and it probably dates back many centuries, when gold mining was at its peak. At Obire we will possibly meet with the traditional Chief of the Gan Dynasty and his court - a great opportunity to personally ask questions on the role of traditional chiefs in modern Africa. The Gan live in polygamous compound groups: a man and his wives live around a courtyard together, the man in a rectangular hut while each wife in her own circular house.

 

Meals              included in a local restaurant and at the hotel

Overnight       Hotel Hala or similar (all rooms ensuite and with aircon)

 


DAY 10: Fortified villages, from Gaoua to Wa (270 km – 6 hr) –
GHANA

Day dedicated to the visit of a region rarely visited by tourists. Here we meet with the Dagarti and the Lobi people

Each family lives in a big fortified building made out of clay and they carve wooden statues for the cult of their ancestors. Men still move around armed with bows and arrows while old women may wear a small disc on their lower lip.

Ghana border crossing

 

Meals              included in a local restaurant and at the hotel

Overnight       Upland Hotel or similar (all rooms ensuite and with aircon)

 

 

DAY 11: Savannah, from Wa to Mole (250 km – 6 hr) –GHANA

The Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary  is a unique community-based project, protecting and preserving the wildlife and the environment of a 40km stretch of the Black Volta River in Ghana's Upper West Region.  The river is home to one of the two remaining hippopotamus populations in Ghana, and was created into a Sanctuary by local chiefs in 1999.  Since then, the project has had marked success in providing Ghanian and International tourists with a unique and unusual eco-travel experience.

A part from hippo sighing, Wechiau is home to over 250 species of birds.

 

Meals              included in a local restaurant and at the hotel

Overnight       Mole Motel or similar (rooms with fan)

 

DAY 12: Walking safari, from Mole to Techiman (330 km – 6 hr) –GHANA

The largest, oldest and most developed park, Mole began in 1957 as a game reserve. It was upgraded into a National Park in 1964. It covers an area of 4,912 sq. km.

The vegetation is savannah woodland with gallery forest along watercourses. 734 species of flowering plants have been recorded in the park. 90 mammalian species including elephant, buffalo, roan, kob, hartebeest, water buck, reed buck and other antelopes.

Among the estimated 500 elephants found at the Mole National Park are three relatively “tame” individuals.

Because of the good protection given to animals in the Park, the elephant have generally become used to visitors and allow them to get close during the guided tours of the Park. Moreover, every year, during the dry season, between January and April, when most of the watercourses dry up in the Park, many of the thirsty animals come to a pond lying near the Park’s Motel to drink and bathe.

This permits people to have a good view of them. We walk to meet them.

On the way out, we will stop at the beautiful, ancient, clay mosque of Larabanga,  built in sudanese style. This mosque is considered the oldest in Ghana, probably dating back to the XV century.

 

Meals              included in a local restaurant and at the hotel

Overnight       Premier Palace Hotel or similar (all rooms ensuite and with aircon)

 

DAY 13: Slaves’ castles, from Techiman to Abandze (430 km – 8 hr) –GHANA


Drive to the coast to enjoy tropical beach.In the afternoon visit of Elmina Castle, the oldest European building in Africa, erected by the Portuguese in the 15th century. At different times the castle has been used as a warehouse to trade gold, ivory, and eventually slaves. The castle
we visit today is the result of successive extension works and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The old Dutch Cemetery in Elmina goes back to 1806. Outside the castle, a wonderful fishing village with lots of large colorful fishing boats - every day these canoes are guided by skilled fishermen across strong ocean waves and currents, “fighting” to earn a living. In the old town we will see the Posuban, the shrines of the old “Asafo companies” - the warriors who used to put their offerings on the large colorful statues. The alleys in the old town have a very lively atmosphere, bringing us back to a time when Elmina was a busy colonial town.

 

Meals              included in a local restaurant and at the hotel

Overnight       Abandze Beach Resort or similar (all rooms ensuite and with aircon)

 

DAY 14: Beach, from Abandze to Accra (170 km – 4 hr) –GHANA

Relax on the beach

In the afternoon drive to Accra and in the evening transfer to the airport for the flight out.

 

Meals              breakfast and lunchincluded in a local restaurant and at the hotel; dinner own arrangement

 

Included:

§  Assistance at Accra airport upon arrival and departure

§  Transfers and tour in minibuses

§  Local guide (languages spoken: English)

§  Tours and visits as per the programme

§  Accommodation in standard rooms, as per itinerary

§  All meals as described, from breakfast on day 2 to lunch on day 14

§  Entrance fees to parks, concessions, protected areas and cultural sites

§  First Aid box

§  All service charges and taxes

 

 

Not included:

§  International flights to/from Accra

§  Visa fees and any airport departure taxes

§  Any meal or sightseeing tour other than those specified

§  Day use room on day 14

§  All drinks

§  Porterage

§  Fees for personal photos and videos

§  Personal and holiday insurance (compulsory)

§  Tips for drivers, guides and hotel staff

§  Any item of personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc.

§  Whatever is not mentioned as included

 

 

Important:

§  VISAS: Ghana - two entries visa ; Burkina: single entry

§  VACCINATIONS: Yellow fever – compulsory; malaria prophylaxis - highly recommended.

§  MEALS: lunch, picnic or at local restaurants (tourist menus); dinner at the hotel restaurant (tourist menu)

§  LUGGAGE: max 20 kg and in duffle bags

§  TRAVEL INSURANCE: compulsory for medical assistance and evacuation in case of emergency

§  MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION: microbus

§  All our trips are designed to be flexible so that we can adapt to weather conditions, focus on the group’s interests and take advantage of opportunities that arise once there.

§  Considering the special nature of the journey, some parts may be modified due to unpredictable factors and are based on unarguable decisions of the local guide. Costs originating from such variations will be sole responsibility of the participants. Of course the guide will do his/her utmost to adhere to the original program.

§  Prices could change in case of major changes in services costs, beyond the organizer

 

 

 

Rates p.p. in sharing double –

           

 

Number

of Participants

 

Net Rate

 

Based on 10+ pax

 1 633 Euro

Single supplement

    199 Euro

 

 

TERMS OF PAYMENT & CANCELLATION

 

PAYMENT POLICY

A deposit of 30% is required at the time of confirmation and the balance is due not less than 14 days before the arrival of guests at the destination.

If the reservation is made within 30 days of departure, the whole amount must be paid at the time of confirmation. 

Failure of the booking client  to comply with these payment terms will result in automatic cancellation of the reservation and all applicable cancellation fees will be charged. Bookings not secured by the appropriate deposit will be released.

 

CANCELLATION POLICY

In the event of a cancellation 30 days in advance the deposit will be refunded. 

For any cancellation received after 30 days the following conditions and cancellation fees apply:

29 - 18 days prior to departure                  30% of tour cost

17 - 10 days prior to departure                  50% of tour cost

09 - 04 days prior to departure                  75% of tour cost

 

03 -  0 days prior to departure                   100% of tour cost

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