West African Drumming, Dancing & Safari Holiday
Most likely 14-28 January, 2023
This is the BEST time to go to West Africa!
Please email me if you want to be on the list! We already have a group of 8 and we can take 16 people!
Join us for an unforgettable experience of cultural immersion in Gambia, West Africa. The focus of this holiday is on dancing and drumming lessons each day with Master Djembe drummers and master dancers from highly successful troupes from Gambia and Guinea-Bissau.
Beginners, intermediate and advanced drummers are all welcome! We’ll have different levels of lessons and we’ll have fun learning in the Family Compound and on the beautiful beaches of Gambia.
We will also have an unforgettable 3-day excursion to a Safari Lodge in Senegal – Safari West African style!
We’ll also have Batik and cooking classes to explore the flavors of West African cooking and art!
Immerse yourself in the amazing culture of West Africa and experience community West African style. We’ll have evening entertainment with local musicians showcasing their talent, and women groups performing their traditional song and dance. Our Family Compound is run by both British ex-pats and the local Gambian staff.
This will be Megan’s 5th Sacred adventure to Gambia, where she learned Djembe drumming and dancing.
Days 1-4 at Fathala Safari Lodge in Senegal. With Game drives each morning and evening, Boat trips into the Mangroves and a morning Bush Walk and Bird Watching! This will be an unforgettable experience in the West Africa Bush and Mangrove rivers!
Day 5 – Arrive at Gunjur Lodge Health and safety brief – meet the team – meet your teachers. Guided walk around Kajabang village and down to fishing center and understand the importance of the fishing community. Evening Camp fire
Day 6 – Morning walk around bolong fenyo protected nature reserve, spot wild crocodile and see the indigenous trees and large array of bird life. Lunch at Family Compound. Afternoon djembe workshop. Evening: Djembe and Kora band come to perform.
Day 7 – Morning Batik and tie dye workshop with Mr Bojang, arts and crafts teacher. Lesson will include 2 colors and 2 meter of cloth. You may decide to bring a t-shirt or garment to work with. Go to Sanyang beach around 130pm – time to relax and chill on paradise beach – watch Gambian wrestling 330-430pm then meet with Sanyang drummers. Have lesson on beach – interactive and fun. Evening: Have a BBQ on beach with the drummers and return to Family Compound.
Day 8 Go to the village with Fatou to collect ingredients for compound cooking. Go to Omars compound and cook lunch for the family. Everyone eat together at the compound. Lunch at Family Compound. Afternoon djembe & dance workshop Family Compound. Evening: Roots of Gunjur band perform at Family Compound
Day 9 Morning visit to Brikama market – see the hustle and bustle of a Gambian market. Option of buying material and have tailor make up clothes for everyone. Option of lunch in Brikama or Family Compound. Afternoon djembe workshop at Gunjur project
Day 10 Morning djembe and dance workshop on Gunjur beach. Lunch @ Family Compound. Late afternoon visit women’s gardens – help pull the water from the well and see how the crops are food security for the women and their family
Day 11 Morning djembe and dance workshop. Lunch @ Family Compound. Evening celebration with Bamba Dinka 20 piece djembe and dance troop from manjikunda – BBQ / buffet dinner
Day 12 Morning djembe and dance workshop. Lunch @ Family Compound. Afternoon and evening TBD
Day 13 Morning djembe and dance workshop. Lunch @ Family Compound. Afternoon and evening TBD
This includes flights from the UK, 4 nights shared accommodation at Fathala Safari Lodge, animal game drives, safari excursions, plus 9 nights shared accommodation at the Gunjur Lodge, ALL drum and dance lessons, ALL food at Gunjur, all evening performances, plus batik and cooking lessons. Does not include Flights from USA to UK and Dinners at Fathala Lodge.
The Gunjur Project Lodge – our stay for the last 9 nights
Located in the village of Gunjur Kajabang you will find The Gunjur Project Lodge. The size of this lodge and its family feel is what makes it so unique and stand out from the rest. The Gunjur Project is a model of responsible tourism with a focus on community development.
We ensure that your visit to The Gunjur Project Lodge will give you a fabulous Gambian experience and ensure visitors have a positive impact on the surrounding area. A walk through Kajabang village will submerge you into daily Gambian life where a smile always greets you. The beach is just ten minutes walking distance where you can walk or run for miles along the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean.
What we offer
If you are looking for a holiday with busy resorts, disco music, nightclubs, retail shops, television etc then you have to go elsewhere! We do offer evening entertainment with local musicians showcasing their talent, or women groups performing their traditional song and dance.
You can join in with djembe or dance workshops. There will be options for peaceful days around the pool or days exploring the area or you may want to get involved with supporting a community project.
About the owners of the Gunjur Project where we will stay the first 9 nights:
“We are a family who visited The Gambia for several years before deciding to leave our lives in the UK and make a new life in The Gambia.
We established the Gunjur Project in 2005. We chose Gunjur as it was the home village of our good friend and now business partner and trustee of the Gunjur Project Association charity Mr Alagi Bojang.
We initially opened the Gunjur Project as a residential centre offering a safe place to stay for groups of students from Europe so they could visit The Gambia and engage in cultural exchange and promote global citizenship for all involved. With backgrounds in youth management and healthcare management, we have a combined passion for working with people.
As the years have gone by we have opened our doors to travelers who want to come and experience the Gambia away from the hustle and bustle of the Senegambia and tourist areas.
We have a fantastic staff team of 17 Gambian staff that are employed 12 months of the year and most of whom have been with us since we moved to The Gambia. We invest in our staff team offering comprehensive training programs and personal development opportunities.
Group Facilitation: The main strength of Gunjur Project is its superior ability to organize and facilitate groups of people. We have 12 years hands-on experience of providing exciting programmes for groups of young people and adults from the UK, Holland, Germany & The Gambia. Within the team we have over 50 years experience of managing youth service provision, working with disadvantaged young people, providing high-quality services to vulnerable adults, managing staff teams, care planning, multidisciplinary working and facilitating music workshops as well as having a wealth of knowledge of life in The Gambia.
Musical: We offer African Drumming, African Dancing and singing, Kora and Balafon (traditional instruments). We also have a full range of Afro Cuban percussion instruments including congas, bongos, timbales, clave etc and and tuition in these is also available on request.
Other workshops: Tie and dye, sand painting, batik or pot of drum painting or cooking workshops are available. Whether you want some lessons or a complete specialist week, it is all possible.