At a Glance
Dates: April 12th - April 19th, 2023
Extension: We do not currently offer any extensions to this itinerary.
Prices: £2,895 pp sharing (with a £250 single supplement), excluding international flights.
In a sentence: Few places drip with untapped potential quite as much as the massifs of south-eastern Guinea - which the chance of megafauna including forest elephant and chimpanzee, as well as a wealth of smaller mammals, this is a really exciting trip.
Mt Nimba and the surrounding ecosystem is well-known for its remarkable levels of endemism, including amphibians, mammals and plants found nowhere else on earth. Lamotte's horseshoe bat and Nimba otter shrew and perhaps two of the best known endemics here, although guests could also spot a remarkable range of mammals from the regularly-seen forest elephant and chimpanzee, to Johnston's genet, Bourlon's genet, Liberian mongoose and a range of forest duikers and small predators. There is no question that even a seasoned mammal-watcher will come away with several "lifers" from this intrepid tour.
On arrival into the airport in Conakry, guests will be met by their tour leader and escorted to their local hotel. There will be a pre-tour briefing in the hotel this evening, but the remainder of the day is at leisure.
Early this morning guests will transfer to Conakry Airport for the 90-minute charter flight to the remote south-east corner of Guinea. Arriving at Nzerekore by 10am, it is a bumpy two-hour transfer to the small village of Serengbara at the foot of Mt Nimba. Lunch will be served at the Hotel Bel Air, a tiny and basic hotel where we will overnight this evening. This afternoon, the group is free to explore the foothills of Mt Nimba, exploring this hive of endemism. Potentially undescribed species are around every corner here and, as such, the walk, whilst tiring, will be at a sedate pace as we admire a wide range of flora and fauna. Large animals remain rare here, but a range of rare rodents, viverrids, insects and amphibians are sure to keep the committed naturalist entertained.
Days Three to Four
Mt LeClerc and Mt Richard-Molard
The next two days will be spent exploring two of West Africa's highest mountains, Mt LeClerc and Mt Richard-Molard. Standing at over 5,000 feet, we will aim to summit both of these mountains, spending plenty of time exploring the range of habitat present at different altitudes. Primates are often seen here, including Lowe's monkey and Diana monkey, and lucky guests may spot Jentink's duiker or Nimba otter shrew. Each night will be spent camping high on the mountains, with night walks offering a fantastic opportunity to spot the rare nocturnal creatures that call Guinea home.
Today is a real highlight of this itinerary, heading to the forests of Mt Gban, where the region's only habituated population of chimpanzee can be found. Like their cousins across the border to the Cote d'Ivoire, these chimpanzees are well-known for using tools routinely and, as we can approach them to a distance of just three metres, this will make for memorable and sensational photographic opportunities. After several hours spent with the chimpanzees, the group will return to Serengbara for some rest.
Leaving Serengbara early, we now travel to the Ziama Massif, one of the largest forested areas anywhere in West Africa. Arriving by mid-afternoon in Irie, the group will have several hours to explore the lower reaches of the massif before overnighting in Irie.
Today we have a full day to explore the Ziama Massif. Largely impenetrable, the massif does not give up its wildlife easily, but for the determined visitor there is the chance to track down one of the few remaining populations of forest elephant in West Africa. Sightings are more a matter of luck than judgement but, even if the elephants remain elusive, guests may spot a range of forest species including duikers, mongoose and bats. Basic accommodation is once again provided in Irie.
Conakry & Tour End
Today the group will transfer back to Nzerekore for their flight back to Conakry, arriving at 18.30. Guests can then connect to their onward homeward flights, or we can arrange an extras night's accommodation in Conakry for an additional fee.
Please be aware that whilst we make every effort to follow the above itinerary as closely as possible, circumstances may
occasionally arise that mean the tour deviates from the itinerary.
Dates and Prices
This tour will run in April 2023, aiming to take advantage of the dry season when travel is at its easiest. The tour will run from April 12th to April 19th.
The cost of this trip is £2,895 per person, with a single supplement of £250, excl. flights. This includes all meals, accommodation and wildlife-focussed activities. Drinks are not included. To secure a booking, a deposit payment of £1,200, plus any single supplement, must be paid.
Flights and Visas
Pictus Safaris do not offer flight booking services. However, we do recommend the use of travel comparison websites such as skyscanner.net or momondo.com to identify the best fares, and then booking with the airline directly where possible. This will reduce the likelihood of complications and fees should any issues with your booking arise. If you wish to spend an additional night in Conakry at the beginning or end of your tour, we can arrange this for you at an extra cost. We strongly recommend booking flights leaving Conakry after 21.00 on your return, if leaving on the same day that we return to Conakry to avoid disruption to your plans.
British nationals do require a visa to enter Guinea. Clients of other nationalities are advised to check well before travel whether they require an entry visa. Details of the process of obtaining a tourist visa for Guinea will be provided to you upon booking. The cost of a Guinea entry visa for UK citizens is $80 - these must be obtained prior to arrival into Guinea.
Weather and What to Bring
The weather in Guinea in April is hot and humid with maximum temperatures of around 31 degrees Celsius. At night, temperatures will drop to around 25 degrees Celsius.
A full packing list will be circulated at least two months prior to departure. Pictus Safaris will be able to provide one extra set of binoculars and two spotlights per group, and clients are welcome to bring additional camera, videography and scope equipment should they wish to. Please note that the use of drones is not permitted in many protected areas. We strongly recommend bringing comfortable, loose-fitting and neutral-coloured clothing on safari - please do not bring camouflage clothing. We recommend against dark coloured clothing (e.g. black or dark blue) as this attracts biting flies. Worn-in hiking boots with ankle support are a must, as are sunglasses, sun protection and a hat.
Do also remember to budget for any expenses not included in the cost of the trip, including for gratuities and additional activities. We recommend bringing US Dollars and Euros.
Safety and Security
This tour does not visit any areas where there are currently security concerns.