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2023 – SACRED ARCHIPELAGO, 9 days: Guinea Bissau

2023 – SACRED ARCHIPELAGO, 9 days: Guinea Bissau

Tour Type:
Special Event
International group
Group size:
From 2 to 16 participants
PRICES per person:
- Group of 4/5 guests: 3291 €
- Group of 3 guests: 3832 €
- Group of 2 guests: 4917 €
- Single room supplement: 354 €
High season prices departure December 27th: + 100,00€ per person
GUIDE: English, French, German, Italian speaking


The deposit is intended as 30% of the total. For more information, you can view our information.

A journey that will take us to virgin forests, remote villages, animist ceremonies, and the largest African archipelago, the Bijagos. Guinea Bissau remains an unexplored country where the boundaries between water and land change with the changing tides, covering and discovering mangroves, beaches, and estuaries.


27 December 2023

PRICE FROM: 2739 €

Dates Departure:
  • 27 December 2023 - 4 January 2024
Total: 1475

Special offer



Guinea Bissau is still an unknown country where borders between water and land change with the changing of the tides, covering and uncovering mangroves, beaches, and estuaries. A trip that will take us to pristine forests, remote villages, animistic ceremonies, and the largest archipelago in Africa, the Bijagos. Most of the Bijagos islands have no permanent settlements and are a real paradise for many bird species and rare fauna. Finally, Bissau gives a great opportunity to experience the intriguing mix of Portuguese and African styles, spreading unique vibes. An itinerary aimed at discovering nature and culture as well as some relaxation to enjoy the blue ocean and wild beaches where our footprints are the only tracks.For travelers who are looking for something new and very special in Africa!

Arrival in Bissau and transfer to the hotel.

Leaving Bissau, we will visit Bandin the largest market in the country. Full day dedicated to exploring the region inhabited by the Manjaco. This ethnic group calls their traditions “Gendiman” and keeps them still very much alive. It is indeed a unique opportunity to enjoy tribal art in its original cultural context, the village.

By car and by foot we reach some remote villages inhabited by the Felupes and Baiotes, both tribes part of the Diola ethnic group. They live in an isolated ecosystem where, thanks to their complex “tribal technology”, they manage to desalinate the land and farm rice. We will walk in a unique landscape made up of streams, salt swamps, flat lands, clay dams, and rice farms. In the afternoon we will assist in ritual dances of the sacred mask, rarely shown to foreigners, this mask belongs to a secret society, and the identity of the dancers is not revealed, it is said that the mask is animated by the spirits. Drums, dances, and a colorful crowd will enliven the tiny village in the shade of larges kapok trees.

We drive to Quinhamel to visit a traditional healer who specialized in the treatment of bone injuries. He will show us the herbals and traditional medication and explain to us his way of proceeding and how he became a “healer”. We will visit an old-style local rum distillery (Cana) dating back to the old colonial days and walk across a cashew nuts plantation, the main export product of the country.

Morning spent discovering the magical and animistic traditions of the intriguing Pepel people. In this region the forest hides a fetish endowed with feared powers, only the initiated young men can carry it on their shoulders. In the afternoon we arrive at Bissau. We will stroll around Bissau-Vehlo, the lively old quarter with its sleepy streets and alleys. Here we will be amazed by the interesting Portuguese architecture which gives Bissau an atmosphere that reminds us of Portugal back in the day. Old wooden cafés where you drink Portuguese wine and watch Portuguese news. Or an open-air restaurant where you find the best mojito in town.

Aboard a speedboat, we start our sailing to discover the Bijagos Archipelago with its remote islands and isolated human settlements. Due to the remoteness of the destination, the lack of transportation, and the deep attachment to the local traditions, the Bijagos inhabitants have been little influenced by the external world, during ceremonies women still wear the saiya, a traditional skirt made of straw, and the rhythm of life in villages is given by initiations and secret ceremonies, for example, young men have to go through a seven-year initiation rite during which they live in a “convent” without any contact with women. Our first stop will be Bolama Island, the former capital of Portuguese Guinea from 1871 to 1941, In the Governor’s Palace, we can still admire columns in the classic style, where now goats graze! Bolama, although inhabited, it’s plunged into a fairy-tale atmosphere of a ghost town. Arrival on Rubane Island where we will stay at the most beautiful lodge of the Bijagos Archipelago.

We move to reach the southern islands hidden in the remotest part of the archipelago. After dark, we will remain silent on the beach until the magical moment when the turtles emerge from the ocean to dig deep holes in the sand and lay their many eggs. If we are lucky, we will witness this wonder of nature and we might even see the hatching with the tiny turtle coming out of the sand already looking for the ocean to begin a long journey that will end on this same island when sexual maturity is reached, 30 years after males come back to the same place to mate with the females.

In the morning we depart by speedboat to the largest village in the archipelago and the only one connected to the continent by a ferry once a week: unpaved alleys, a tiny colorful market, local bars, and traders. Quite interesting is also the ethnographic museum dedicated to the Bijagos culture. In the afternoon, time to relax on the beach or discover the lush vegetation and villages of the island.

Relax on the beach. Arrival by speedboat in Bissau, the actual capital of the country. Here a vehicle will be waiting to take us to the hotel to have the last shower. In the evening transfer to the airport for the flight out.

VISAS: single entry visa required.

VACCINATIONS: Yellow fever – compulsory; malaria prophylaxis – highly recommended; cholera not necessary at the moment but to be checked upon departure

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

LUGGAGE: Due to frequent transfer from vehicles to boat and wet shores, please contain your luggage in approximately 20 kg preferable in waterproof duffle bags. when on the speedboat, passengers may get splashed by water or foam, we advise to protect any camera and electronic equipment.

TRAVEL INSURANCE: Not included. Mandatory for medical assistance, repatriation, material and physical damages. In the event of a claim, our liability is limited to the coverage of our local insurance.
Discover our insurance policy proposal:

TRANSPORT: on roads and tracks by Minibus or 4×4, motorboat fitted for ocean sailing to the Bijagos Archipelago.

TIDES: with each departure, visits and itinerary could be re-scheduled as per the tides; all visits will be done but, maybe, in a different order.

ACCOMMODATIONS hotels and lodges are always chosen with maximum care, however due to possible lack of availability in some hotels, the Tour Leader may have to replace some hotels during the tour itself with others of similar standard. In some hotels single rooms are not always granted.

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. Meteorological condition can change or cancel some navigations and visits.

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.

  • Assistance at airport upon arrival the first day and at the departure the last day of the tour
  • Transfers and tour in 4WD vehicles, minibus and boats
  • Tours and visits as per the programme
  • Accommodation in standard rooms, as per itinerary
  • All meals, from breakfast of day 2 to breakfast of last day
  • The equivalent of one bottle of mineral water during the transfers
  • Entrance fees to festivals, cultural sites and events; parks and protected areas
  • First Aid box
  • All service charges and taxes


Prices do not include:

  • International flights
  • Earlier (prior to day 1) and/or later (after last day) transfers from and to airport
  • Visa fees
  • Mineral water and drinks at restaurants and hotels
  • Fees for personal photos and videos
  • Personal and travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Tips for drivers, guides, portage and hotel staff
  • Costs related to delayed program or lost luggage
  • Any item of personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc
  • Whatever is not mentioned as included

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