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Saloum Delta, the Casamance and Niokolo-Koba NP, Senegal

Sensational Senegal

£2,795 per person sharing

At a Glance

Dates: 30th November - 13th December, 2022

Extension: No extensions currently available

Prices: This tour is available for £2,795 per person sharing. There is a £200 single supplement.

In a sentence: A novel safari offering species as diverse as Giant Eland and African Manatee, this is a truly unique trip and one that any serious mammal-watcher shouldn't miss!

Overview

Senegal is rarely on a list of top safari destinations but it has a huge amount to offer committed wildlife-watchers. The country's rich coastline offers opportunities to encounter the rare Atlantic Humpback Dolphin and African Manatee. Inland, the arid north is a good bet for the shy Pale Fox. The highlight of any visit, however, must be the beautiful Niokolo-Koba National Park. Here, with a slice of luck, Lion, Leopard and even African Wild Dog can be encountered, and the remote Mount Assirik holds populations of Bush Elephant, Forest Elephant, Lord Derby's Eland and Chimpanzee.

Itinerary

Day One

Dakar

On arrival into Dakar, you will be taken to your comfortable hotel to rest before the trip ahead. For those arriving early enough, we can arrange a trip into the city. Overnight accommodation will be at the Novotel or similar.

Day Two

Delta du Saloum National Park

This morning we will drive the c.300km south to the town of Toubakouta, where we will met our captain and set out into the Saloum Delta. The delta is renowned for its birdlife but is also known as one of the best destinations in the world for Atlantic Humpback Dolphins. These rare cetaceans are difficult to find but with local expertise we stand a good chance of locating them. Once back on dry land, we will drive the local area in search of Pale Fox, an elusive canid, that here can often be found near human habitation. We will overnight at a comfortable local hotel, Keur Saloum or similar. 

Day Three

Delta du Saloum National Park

Today we have a full day to traverse the Saloum Delta in search of Atlantic Humpback Dolphins, Common Bottlenose Dolphins and even Orca. We will time our trip such that we arrive after the wet season, but before the runs of fish into the rivers that will take the dolphins upstream and beyond our reach. Lunch will be served at a local campement, with the night spent at a comfortable local hotel.

Day Four

Pointe St Georges

An early start today, as we drive c.350km south, through the Gambia, to the Casamance region of Senegal. We will take a boat to the Pointe St George on the Casamance River, aiming to arrive by early evening. This will allow us a first visit to a local viewing platform overlooking a small spring which attracts African Manatee regularly. With a rising tide, sightings are likely although never guaranteed!

Day Five

Pointe St Georges

A full day can be spent at the viewing platform today, staking out the spring for African Manatee. The local area is also rich in birdlife, as well as bats, Green Monkeys and Guinea Baboons. We will overnight at a local campement.

Day Six

Niokolo-Koba National Park

Today we have a c.520km drive ahead of us towards the far south-east of Senegal. Arriving at the entrance to the park before nightfall, we will stay in simple local accommodation tonight.

Day Seven

Niokolo-Koba National Park

This morning we set out into the national park at first light, and will spend the morning in the core Simenti area of the park. Previous groups have seen Lion, Leopard and African Wild Dog here, although game densities are undoubtedly lower than in eastern and southern Africa. Our afternoon drive will take in this area, as well as the nearby Lingue-Kountou, and we can expect to see Roan, Bushbuck, Buffon's Kob, Waterbuck, Hippopotamus, Red-Flanked Duiker, Green Monkey, Patas Monkey, Guinea Baboon, Gambian Mongoose, Side-Striped Jackal, Savanna Buffalo and more. We will overnight in simple tented accommodation within the park.

Days Eight to Ten

Niokolo-Koba National Park

A morning drive around Simenti will once again give us the opportunity to flush out Lion or Leopard, as well as tick off any species we may have missed. We will travel to the south of the park during the heat of the day, reaching Mount Assirik in time for an afternoon drive. This remote corner of the park hosts low densities of wildlife, but what game there is can be very special. Ground-dwelling Chimpanzees, the vanishingly rare Western Giant Eland, and the last Bush and Forest Elephants in the country can all be found here with a lot of luck. We will bivouac in the area over the next two nights, in true wilderness.

Days Eleven to Twelve

Niokolo-Koba National Park

We will spend the morning of day 11 in the Mount Assirik area, targeting the area's rarer species, before returning to the main game-viewing area of the park. The Grand Mirador offers an excellent view of the Gambia River and we will stay at a luxury lodge here. It is not uncommon for Lion and African Wild Dog to be seen from the lodge itself. We will spend these two days in the vicinity of the Nioko Lodge.

Day Thirteen

Dakar

Today will be used to return to Dakar (c.530km), with accommodation provided at Royam Saly.

Day Fourteen

Tour end

After breakfast, you will be accompanied to the airport for your flights home.

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 from November 30th to December 13th, 2022. The tour is timed to maximise our chances of encountering Atlantic Humpback Dolphins, African Manatees and the big game of Niokolo-Koba before the intolerable heat of the dry season sets in.

The cost of this trip is £2,795 per person sharing, with a £200 single supplement. This excludes all drinks and some meals outside of Niokolo-Koba - exact inclusions and exclusions will be provided upon enquiry. To secure a place on this tour, a deposit of £1,650 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.

British nationals do not require a visa to enter Senegal or the Gambia. Clients of other nationalities are advised to check well before travel whether they require an entry visa.

Weather and What to Bring

The weather in Senegal in December is very hot, with little rain and maximum temperatures of around 35 degrees Celsius. At night, temperatures will drop to around 20 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.

Do also remember to budget for any expenses not included in the cost of the trip, including for gratuities and additional activities. All major currencies can be exchanged in Dakar.

Safety and Security

There are currently no security issues in any of the areas visited by this tour.

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