Our first adventure is ready to go.
Our first Bus Fare, African Jungle Skills expedition is flying out of Birmingham to Banjul on 2nd December 2014, returning on the 16th December with Fly Thomas Cook for £334 return (there are a few seats left for about £300 from Birmingham and a few at £286 from Gatwick on Dec 5th but this flight would exclude you from the Bijagos Island extension). This price includes a 5kg hand baggage allowance, which believe me will be enough for two weeks. We can give you an essential breakdown of all you'll need to take. I've opted for a one way 20kg hold baggage allowance on the way out, which costs £22, everything in there will be donated to the Jatta family, including the bag! The flight is on a Tuesday, you’ll be met in Banjul by guide Lucas Jatta and our taxi. You'll arrive in Kotu in time to have an afternoon on the beach and to get know Lucas and his son, George who will be accompanying us.
We are offering you a choice of accommodation, a locally owned Kotu guesthouse, about ten minutes walk from the beach, a homestay in a family compound in Brikama, Gambia’s music capital or a quiet British owned ecolodge on Brikama’s outskirts. Wednesday you can relax before we make an early start on Thursday morning, arranging your Guinea Bissau visa and heading off through Senegal, with a lunch stop in Zuinguanchor, the Cassamance regional capital and a chance to collect your West African Francs, the common currency in Senegal and Guinea Bissau. Thursday night should find us in the Bissau border town of Sao Domingos, where you can party on good quality Portuguese wine and beer, at a tax free price. Friday morning we'll take a sept plas taxi to Bissau City, in time to catch the afternoon ferry to the Bijagos islands, somewhere rarely visited by Western tourists. Sunday evening we'll return by ferry to Bissau City for some of the capital's nightlife. Monday morning we'll be back on the road to Sao Domingos to find transport to the jungle village of Cassalol, where we'll be spending the next four nights, living like the villagers and learning those basic survival skills. This is a very rare chance to live your life in a very simple, stripped down way, a unique opportunity to be in touch with your essential self. We'll return you to the Gambia for Friday night and a local club/bar where you can dance until dawn or just head back to your hotel for a good night’s sleep. You'll then be left to your own resources for the next few days for a relaxed spot of winter sun before our afternoon return to Birmingham on the 16th. I do hope that there are a few of you out there, who are looking for adventure and an opportunity to put some money into the pockets of some very poor but very lovely people, who can still show you how to be happy with very few possessions.
We've made a rough cost breakdown, depending on your choice of accommodation.
Prices, not including your flight will start from about £200 (excluding the Bijagos Islands side trip, approx £95 including ferry, three nights’ accommodation and local transport). The basic price includes 3 nights’ B & B in a guesthouse in either Kotu or Brikama, expect to pay a little more for the ecolodge. Full board and accommodation in Cassalol village, Guide fees, Visa cost and local transport. Palm wine will be included during your village stay but all wine and beer costs will be down to you, along with meals on route and at the Sao Domingos, Bissau City and Bijagos hotels. An average good meal should cost around £1-£2. Extensions at your chosen guesthouse will start from £5 bed & breakfast per person sharing a room with communal bathroom. Prices at the Alla La Daaro ecolodge are £10-£12 B & B per person per night. As you can see these are very good prices for some African winter sun.
Please note that prices may vary slightly according to the exchange rate