The Gambia: Kankurang Festival – January 2024 – 3 days / 2 nights
Gambia’s Kankurang Festival: A Journey into Tradition
Join us on a mesmerizing 2-night, 3-day excursion from January 26th to 28th, 2024, exploring the vibrant cultural tapestry of Janjanbureh.
Day 1: Animal World of the River Gambia Experience the authentic Gambian countryside, from rice pudding making in Njau to the mystical Gambian Stonehenge at Wassu.
Day 2: Janjabureh City and Kankurang Festival Immerse yourself in the heartbeat of Janjanbureh, exploring the Kankurang Center, sacred sites, and joining the mesmerizing Kankurang Festival parade.
Day 3: Jola Village Experience Indulge in Gambian bread-making, oyster collection insights, and hands-on tie-dyeing in Ndemban.
Unveil the Essence of Gambia’s Kankurang Festival with Us.
The Gambia Kankurang Festival – 26th-28th January 2024 – 3 days and 2 nights
Day 1: Animal World of the River Gambia
We set off on a long journey towards the country’s interior in the early morning hours with our breakfast to go. The pleasant route offers us many opportunities to observe the countryside. Local villages, thatched roofs and fences made of stakes or reeds near the mosque and, in some places, schools and authentic sub-savanna vegetation conjure up an image of authentic Africa.
We will make a few short stops to stretch the legs and use the washroom. Our first stop is at Njau, where we will participate in making the famous rice pudding – porridge, which is commonly prepared for breakfast. Together with the musical and dance entertainment of village ladies, we will start to feel the positive vibrations of the countryside.
We will make a few short stops to stretch the legs and use the washroom.
Our first stop is at Njau, where we will participate in making the famous rice pudding – porridge, which is commonly prepared for breakfast. Together with the musical and dance entertainment of village ladies, we will start to feel the positive vibrations of the countryside.
Our next destination is Wassu, where we will see the Gambian Stonehenge, 11 megalithic circular stone structures. The city became a national monument in 1995, and in 2006, it was added to the UNESCO list of natural and cultural heritage.
In the neighbouring village of Kuntautr, we will enjoy our lunch. From here, we will take a boat trip on the Gambia River to spot the hippopotamus, the most dangerous African animal, many colourful birds and different types of monkeys. With a bit of luck, we will also be able to observe chimpanzees, which are part of the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project, living on two of the three islands on the river. After a short drive between rice fields, we will arrive at the point of crossing the river with a ferry that takes us to the historic village of Janjabureh, where the Kankurang festival will be taking place. Here where we will spend two nights;We will reach here just in time for a cultural blast and the introduction to the Kankurang Festival. After dinner, you can join the late evening festival program or get some rest for the following day.
Day 2: Janjabureh City and Kankurang Festival
After breakfast, we will explore the culture and history of Janjanburreh. With a local guide, we will visit the Kankurang Center and learn about the famous masks of the ethnic groups living here – a perfect introduction to the evening performances. We will visit the holy place with a strong spiritual meaning for the locals: the sacred baobab site which is also the hosting ground of the festival. We will learn about the history of the Liberation Tree and be present in the process of making silver jewellery at the silversmith’s workshop.
After we finish our city tour, you will be able to join the famous parade, one of the most anticipated parts of the Kankurang Festival Day program.
After lunch, you can rest and prepare for the festival’s main program or go for a kayaking experience around the island (*additional fees apply).
The mystical powers will be felt in the air as we approach the festival ground in the late afternoon. Get ready for a night of culture and dance.
Due to the schedule of the main part of the festival, you can decide to return to the accommodation place for dinner and return to the festival ground or opt-in for a late dinner after the program ends.
Day 3: Jola Village Experience
Our last day starts with breakfast and check-out from the accommodation place. The drive back will be quite long, so we will make a few short stops to stretch our legs and use the washroom.
We will visit the Jola community of Ndemban, a village located about 2 hours away from the popular coastal area. As befits, we will first greet alkalo (the village chief) and head to the bakery, where we will witness and participate in making a famous Gambian bread – tapalapa. While rising and baking, we will pay a visit to the ladies at the community garden and help them carry a bucket of water or two to their vegetable garden beds. Ndemban is strongly connected with the River Gambia, or more specifically, with its bolongs (creeks) from where the oyster collection still takes place. We will visit a shed where oyster collectors prepare oysters for sale and accumulate shells for cement or building materials.
When we return to the village, delicious freshly baked tapalapa and tasty lunch from a local restaurant await us.
When we fill our bellies, it is time to make ourselves a special souvenir with the techniques of tying and dyeing with natural colours. At the same time, you will learn how to produce salt from the river’s muddy water, using only a homemade filtration system, open fire and metal plate.
The estimated arrival back is in the evening.
The Pick up and drop iff will be from/to Senegambia area.
This tour includes in the price:
– Transportation: All means of transport and road taxes covered.
– Inclusive of all meals throughout the tour.
– Authentic Accommodation: Two-night stay in a traditional village Lodge.
– Entrance Inclusions: All entrance fees and the ticket to the Festival are taken care of.
– Diverse Activities: Participation in various activities (excluding optional kayaking).
– Expert Guidance: Services of a professional guide throughout the journey.
– Tips are covered within the tour package.
– Community Contributions: Contributions to the local community embedded in the tour.
This exclusive tour is specifically scheduled for the mentioned date as it is a unique and standalone event. Once booked and confirmed, the reservation for this tour is non-refundable.
More about past year’s festival:
More about Us: