West African Drumming, Dancing & Cultural Holiday
6-20 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!
This will be my 5th Sacred adventure to Gambia, where I learned Djembe drumming and dancing. The Gambian people are incredibly welcoming, friendly, fun and full of life! I am so excited to share this amazing adventure with you!
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’ll also have Batik and cooking classes to explore the flavors of West African cooking and art! We’ll kayak, bird watch and journey on boats through the beautiful Mangroves.
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 groups performing their traditional song and dance.
Our Family Compound is run by British ex-pats and the local Gambian staff. We stayed here a few years ago and had the BEST time living, laughing, eating, drumming, singing, kayaking, birding and adventuring with our Gambian friends and family!
In 2011, our son Jake was 12 and received drum lessons from Master Drummer Samba…
Day 1 – 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 2 – 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 3 – 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 Early morning Kayaking at the Tanji Reserve for Birdwatching – an unforgettable experience! Drum / Dance in the afternoon.
Day 8 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 9 Morning djembe and dance workshop. Lunch @ Family Compound. Afternoon and evening TBD
Day 10 Morning djembe and dance workshop. Lunch @ Family Compound. Afternoon and evening TBD
Days 11-14 at Senegambia Hotel. We’ll hang out in the upbeat tourist section of town for our last 4 nights. We’ll do some early morning Kayaking and bird watching, venture to Lamin Lodge and mangrove boat rides, be entertained by amazing bands and dancers and have time to chill and hang out together!
Cost: $4,000 per person based on shared accommodation.
- $500 discount for kids! Please contact Megan for details.
This includes return flights from the UK to Gambia, 10 nights shared accommodation at the Gunjur Lodge, ALL drum and dance lessons, ALL food at Gunjur, all evening performances, plus batik and cooking lessons. Also includes 4 nights shared accommodation at the Kairaba Hotel on the beach. Does not include Flights from USA to UK and some lunches. Extra excursions.
You can pay the non-refundable deposit of $400 now to hold your place. 1st payment of $2,000 is requested by July 1st and the 2nd payment of $1,600 is required by October 1st. (Pay Pal adds an extra fee)
The Gunjur Project Lodge – our stay for the first 10 days
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 10 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 programs 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.