Upriver Gambia adventure

Last season we started our first Upriver Gambia adventure. Read what Jo Heath said about it!

We had an amazing trip with the rangers at C4RC from the moment we were picked up on motorbikes to the moment we were dropped back to the River Gambia.
Our first encounter was with a huge troupe of baboons who were congregated in the fields. I stopped my motorbike driver and took some time to follow them (at a safe distance) to get some photos.
Back on the bike we rejoined our small group and set off through the villages pointing out the striking bird life as we went.
We came to a stop by a Baobab grove and then went on foot through the forest. The number of Red Colobus that we saw, performing all their acrobatics, in such a short time was astounding. What made the trip so special was the knowledge and passion of our guides, particularly Buba and Samsideen. We learnt how C4RC are working with the local communities and farmers to ensure the long-term stability of the habitats for these monkeys which is also positive for a wide range of species.
We stopped for a short while at the visitor centre for refreshments before heading back. It was great to see that they have a few lovely rooms for guests and I know that I for one will be back!
Thank you Buba and Samsideen – keep up the excellent work.
Thank you to Footsteps Eco Lodge, The Gambia for arranging the trip

We are delighted to be partnering with Communities for Red Colobus “C4RC” & being able to offer you this new and exciting three-centre holiday. Which is available only as an extra to your stay at Footsteps Eco-Lodge.

Your itinerary

Welcome to The Folly

Day 1

Arrive Fridays & Sundays in The Gambia and transfer to The Folly Gambia Boutique Hotel, a delightful accommodation situated in Brufut midway between the airport and Footsteps.

Here you will be met by Nikki and Neil, a really lovely couple who can’t do enough for you! Kick off your holiday with Nikki’s famous 3-course slap-up meal.

Upriver here we come!

Day 2

Early breakfast and set off for Kuntaur in the district of Niani on the north bank of The Gambia River. We aim in having you there around lunchtime. Our first stop is a world heritage site of significant importance, The Wassu Stone Circles where you will have a guided tour of the circles and the museum dedicated to its preservation.

From here we proceed ( 25 minutes ) to reach Kuntaur and Kairoh Gardens, where you will have lunch and be spending the next two nights. After lunch and checking into your room you will now be joining a boat to head further upriver.

This is where Stella Marsden founded three “Monkey Islands” for the protection and rehabilitation of Chimpanzees. As an added bonus it’s very likely you will see Hippos too. The trip takes approximately 2 hours. So you’ll be back in plenty of time to see the sun setting over the river with a cold drink and your evening meal.

A day with The C4RC team

Day 3

Early breakfast then a full day with the team C4RC Project.

Join the rangers on a unique safari to see the largest known population of Temminck’s Red Colobus in West Africa. 

The C4RC project is overseen by international primatologists. They support a team of highly trained Gambian rangers to protect one of the most threatened primates on the African continent for the benefit of the local communities.  

Primate safari

The day starts with an early morning primate safari. Samsideen and his team will take you deep into the enchanted forests of the Central River Region. Along the River Gambia you will track their Red Colobus study troops and contribute to ongoing research efforts. 

Along the way, the rangers will teach you about the ecology of Red Colobus and the threats they face in our modern world. You may be lucky to see other spectacular primates such as Guinea baboons and Patas monkeys as well as countless birds. This sees you returning to the project site around 11 am.

Back at our visitor centre, the C4RC team will give a presentation about the initiative and then treat you to some local cuisine at lunch and a visit to the local village to experience the community engagement we have developed.

As the day cools down around 3 pm you will visit our tree nursery where Cashew trees are grown as a cash crop. Also, there is an opportunity to visit the local school and meet the children and teachers there to see how C4RC is impacting our younger generation and changing the mindset of days past.

Late afternoon sees us saying goodbye to the C4RC team, heading back to Kairoh Garden to relax, chill out by the river and have dinner.

A better future!

The welfare and biosecurity of the primates are the highest priority of the C4RC team so safaris will only be conducted in small groups, and you will be asked to observe minimum distances and refrain from feeding the monkeys.

All the fees generated through ecotourism are shared equally amongst the local communities to reduce their dependence on logging and charcoal production and to secure a brighter future for endangered primates and their forest habitats. 

Day 4

After breakfast, we will start our journey back to the coast & Footsteps Eco-Lodge, ETA around 1 pm. I and my team will be waiting to welcome you, have some lunch and hear about your upriver adventure!

Cost per person for the Upriver Experience

The cost of this part of your holiday is £395 pp and includes airport transfer, accommodation at The Folly ( includes a 3-course evening meal & breakfast ) accommodation in Kuntaur full board, admission to The Wassu Stone Circles, a boat trip to see Chimpanzees & Hippos, a full day with the team at C4RC and all transportation. Min 2 persons | Min age 12 yrs old.


( This coincides with TUI flights & Gambia Experience from LGW & MAN )

For group bookings ie. more than 4 people please contact us directly for pricing!

NB. When booking online please remember to begin your stay at Footsteps 3 nights after your arrival in The Gambia. We don’t want you paying twice now, do we?

Of course, if you prefer, I can take care of the booking for you here.

Alternatively, you may like to experience a sleep onboard Gambia River cruise and we can help with that too!

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