Travel from Burkina Faso to Ivory Coast on a real African adventure! Follow historic trails from the savannas of the Volta region past cocoa plantations and tropical forests to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Off limits for many years due to armed conflict, this is a region full of hidden surprises. Be among the first to discover its last elephants and chimps, authentic villages, stunning coastlines, unique architecture in mud, brick and steel - and be welcomed by friendly people whereeveryougo.
Day 1: Arrival at Ouagadougou AirportMeet and greet with your local tour guide and transfer to the hotel (5 km).(-/-), Overnight at OuagadougouDay 2: OuagadougouBegin your trip in Burkina Faso’s bustling capital and visit the huge mudbrick cathedral and a traditional lost-wax bronze casting workshop. After lunch, head off to Laongo village, site of a Sculpture Park whose granite objects have been designed by international artists, and the adjoining Opera Village, an arts education project initiated by film director Christoph Schlingensief. In the afternoon, you can purchase your first souvenirs at the Village Artisanal, where hundreds of artists display their selection of local arts and crafts (70 km).(B/D), Overnight at OuagadougouDay 3: Ouagadougou - Nazinga RanchAfter breakfast we take south to Tiebélé, passing through the land of the Mossi, Burkina’s major ethnic group. The Royal Court and the adjoining windowless houses of Tiebélé are marvellous examples of traditional wall decoration done by the Kassena women. After the visit, we complete our road trip crossing over in the wilder habitat of Nazinga Ranch, home to buffalos, several species of antelope, warthogs, primates and a sizable population of elephants. Late afternoon is the best time to spot the animals and take great shots (ca 245 km).(B/D), Overnight at NazingaDay 4 - Nazinga Ranch - GaouaIn the morning, you have another opportunity to view elephants and other wildlife. We then set off to the pleasant town of Gaoua, centre of traditional Lobi culture, which we reach by afternoon (345 km).(B/D), Overnight at GaouaDay 5: Gaoua - BanforaAfter breakfast head off to a nearby Lobi village and visit some fortress-like mud houses. The Lobi, a largely animist people, have preserved much of their traditional customs and religious beliefs. In the village of Kouékouéra, we experience the secret and sacred world of a féticheur, a traditional healer. A short journey takes us to the mystical stone ruins of Loropeni, a World Heritage site since 2009. On a good laterite road, past marvellous savannah landscape and isolated villages, we finally reach the small town of Banfora (270 km). (B/D), Overnight at BanforaDay 6: BanforaAnother exciting day is ahead of us! Outside Banfora we explore the awesome cliff formation Dome de Fabédougou and the peaceful Karfiguela waterfall. In the afternoon, head off to Kribina, a village known for its basket making traditions. Before returning to our hotel, we embark on a boat trip on Lake Tangrela, a great location for hippo-spotting and bird watching (60 km).B/D), Overnight at BanforaDay 7: Banfora - KorhogoToday we reach the border of Cote d’Ivoire. We clear immigrations before proceeding to the towns of Ferkessedougou and Korhogo, historic stronghold of the Senoufo people. Skilled farmers living in tight-knit communities, the Senoufo hold on to their pre-Islamic animistic beliefs, and their artisans are well known for their fascinating craftwork. In the vicinity of the city, we watch woodcarvers, beadmakers, potters and weavers at work. Attend a traditional mask dance in the evening, another splendid experience of local cultural heritage (210 km).(B/D), Overnight at KorhogoDay 8: Korhogo - YamoussoukroAfter breakfast, we drive south past Bouaké, second-largest Ivorian city and until recently seat of the rebel government, to the administrative capital Yamoussoukro. Being the birthplace of former president Félix Houphouët-Boigny, this small agricultural town became the country’s capital in 1983 and was rebuilt according to a master plan to glorify the president and his family and ancestors. Today, Yamoussoukro boasts a population of more than 250,000 and high-profile vanity projects like the stunning Basilique de Notre Dame de la Paix (bearing a deliberate resemblance to St. Peter’s Basilica), six-lane highways bordered by more than 10,000 street lights or the seat of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Foundation. On our city tour, we soak up the special atmosphere of these places - the basilica, the conference halls and the stunning views over the surrounding urban landscape (320 km).(B/D), Overnight at YamoussoukrouDay 9: Yamoussoukro - ManFeeling refreshed from a peaceful night’s sleep, we embark on a road trip to Man, called “city of 18 mountains”, a reference to its scenic location at the base of lush green hills on the eastern edge of the Guinea highland. The whole region is rich in traditions, crafts and natural attractions. After lunch, we make an extended excursion to one of the country’s largest and last remaining vine bridges near the village of Lieupleu, where you will be challenged to check the bearing capacity of liana vines, suspended over the Cavally River. There is a stretch of cocoa and coffee plantations on the other side (520 km).(B/D), Overnight at Man Day 10: ManIn the morning, visit a waterfall and a sacred forest populated by a troup of Campbell’s monkeys. According to local tradition, a beautiful royal princess was once sacrificed to attract spirits of glamour and vigour to the empire. After her death, the princess turned into a monkey. Ever
since, monkeys have been revered locally. Back in town, we visit the lively market before we drive out north in the direction of Touba, a mountainous area inhabited by the Malinké and Dan people. Few Dan villages still practice the tradition of ritual stilt dances, and we are lucky to witness another authentic and spectacular dance performance in which the whole community takes part (200 km).(B/D), Overnight at ManDay 11: Man - Taï National ParkAfter breakfast, follow the Liberian border southwards on a well-maintained, well-secured gravel road before reaching our next destination, Taï National Park. At the charming Ecotel Touraco Lodge located at the edge of the forest, you can retreat to the comfort of your cabin, take a refreshing bush shower or just relax with a book and the sounds of the wilderness (280 km).(B/D), Overnight at Taï National ParkDay 12: Taï National ParkThe national park, inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1982, covers an area of 3,300 km2 and is home to forest elephants, forest buffalos, different species of antelope and the red-listed Pygmy hippopotamus, olive colobus monkey, leopard, chimpanzee and Jentinck’s duiker. Accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide, we head out on a game walk to track the wild chimpanzees. On well-maintained footpaths, we wander far into the forest, with a good chance of viewing the chimps - our closest relatives who share 98.6 percent of the human DNA. Taï is also a paradise for bird lovers, with several species of Turaco and hornbills present in the forest.(B/D), Overnight at Taï National ParkDay 13: Taï National Park - Grand BérébyToday we leave the expanses of open grasslands, savannahs and forests behind and reach the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. On a gravel road, our drive takes us to the fishing village of Grand Béréby. Perched on a hill overlooking the magnificent beach of a calm, protected bay lies our hotel le Katoum. In the afternoon, embark on a 2-hour mangrove boat trip through a maze of canals near Grand Béréby (200 km).(B/D), Overnight at Grand BérébyDay 14: Grand Béréby - Grand LahouWe depart Grand Béréby and pass San Pedro on our way to Sassandra. In the late morning, we embark on a 2-hour hippo-tracking boat trip on the pristine Sassandra River, flanked by thick gallery forest. Later in the day, we visit a plant for the production of red palm oil. Founded by the Portuguese on a river estuary, Sassandra was an important outlet of timber until the construction of the modern port at San Pedro. Today Sassandra is a bustling fishing village, with scores of rainbow-coloured boats lined up on the beach. Before evening, we reach the village of Grand Lahou (275 km).(B/D), Overnight at Grand Lahou Day 15: Grand LahouDay with excursions to Assagny National Park and Tiégba. After breakfast, take on a beautiful boat ride to the mouth of River Bandama, the country’s largest watercourse. Visit the fishing village of Ancien Lahou and the Assagny National Park, whose western entrance is only accessible by waterway. Accompanied by a park ranger, we will set off for a two hours walk through the forest and savanna reserve, home to a small population of forest elephants and a large variety of birds. In the afternoon, visit of Tiégba, a lagoon village built on stilts and accessible only by pirogue. The village’s 6,000 people are followers of six religions who live in peaceful co-existence. Attend a dance performed by the local Ahizy people before returning to our hotel in Grand Lahou (150 km).(B/D), Overnight at Grand LahouDay 16: Gd. Lahou - Abidjan - Grand BassamAfter breakfast, we depart on a new journey taking us to the economic capital Abidjan, for a long time the most modern and cosmopolitan city of the whole region. Passing the famous skyline of Le Plateau, Abidjan’s financial district, and after a short visit to the modern, elephant-shaped St. Paul’s Cathedral, we cross the lagoon into the popular districts and southern outskirts of town. Grand Bassam, some 20 km east of Abidjan, was the first Ivorian capital under French rule. Since 2012, it has been enlisted as World Heritage site as a typical colonial town with separate quarters for commerce, administration, housing for Europeans and housing for Africans. A local guide will show you the colonial-era buildings, most of them in different stages of decay, as well as the Governor’s Palace, now housing the National Costume Museum. A quite interesting collection of traditional clothing, models of Ivorian architecture, fascinating old photographs and a quality selection of masks will provide you a final overview of the rich culture in the region you just have visited (180 km).(B/D), overnight at Grand BassamDay 17: Grand Bassam - Return flight Day at leisure to enjoy your hotel, do some final souvenir shopping or relax on Grand Bassam’s splendid beach. Day rooms are provided until your transfer to Abidjan Intl. airport. (B/-), Day-use roomsPlease note that from time to time our itineraries may be amended
Highlights of this tour
•Ouagadougou: Film and arts capital•Tiebélé: Painted mud houses•Nazinga Ranch: Elephant viewing•Gaoua: Traditional Lobi tribe•Banfora: Stunning rock formations •Korhogo: Mask dance, handicraft•Yamoussoukro: Awesome basilica •Man: Vine brigde, stilt dance•Taï Ntl. Park: Prime forest, chimps •Grand Béréby: Mangrove boat trip•Sassandra: Hippo viewing •Grand Lahou: Azagny forest•Abidjan: Modern city skyline•Grand Bassam: Colonial town