Often at times when people think of Africa they think of a place with exotic wild animals and safaris or a place that’s too far away to visit. Thus, there so much more and each destination has a different story to tell….The continent of Africa is so fascinating, and each country is unique with an array of things to do.

The most visited countries in West Africa for tourism are Ghana, Senegal & Gambia. You can visit all three countries within one trip. Although, I do recommend at least staying 13 – 15 days to allow enough time to explore each place.

Ghana – Ghana is a wellspring of history and culture. It is also known for its nightlife and festivities. One of the best times to go and enjoy yourself is during Christmas season – through the New Year’s. You can visit the historic sites as well take part of the Holiday celebrations.

Historic places to visit & things to do:

-          Cape Coast Castle the slave dungeons (Door of No Return)

-          While in Cape Coast visit Kakum National Park

-          Go shopping in the Ashanti craft village

-          Be sure to visit Bonwire Village, where the famous kente cloth is handmade on looms in a time-honored tradition passed down through generations

Recommended Hotels:

Accra City Hotel, Labadi Beach Hotel, Coconut Grove Beach Hotel, and Golden Bean Hotel (in Kumasi).

Night clubs:

-          Every year, the weekend of New Year’s Eve Labadi Beach has a night beach party

-          Twist Night Club

-          Sky Bar

Senegal & Gambia  – Senegal is home to Lake Retba “Pink Lake” and beautiful white sanded beaches. Along with its stunning beaches, Dakar, the capital is filled with things to do; ranging from street vendors selling shea butter, cloth, wooden carvings, fresh fruits, vegetables and meats, and a host of nightlife options. If you are planning on visiting Senegal, I recommend at least 7 days to be able to site see and experience the cultural. If you visit Senegal, I highly recommend you take a few days to visit Gambia. It’s about a 1.5-hour drive from Senegal to Gambia. However, I do recommend using a professional tour company. It maybe very difficult crossing the boarders to enter and return from each country without a legitimate guided tour company. Gambia is a small west African country with an abundance of history. Gambia’s history is tide to the Atlantic Slave trade. There’s various historic monuments and event small islands  with ruins of one of the British Empire’s slave forts. These ruins are a must see and an unforgettable experience.

Historic places to visit & Things to do:

-          Gorée Island – World Heritage Site of Gorée Island, “Door of No Return” – Atlantic Slave Trade Museum

-          Take a Dakar City Tour

-          Experience a boat ride in Lake Retba (Pink Lake), naturally the lake has a pinkish color caused by a unique combination of high concentration of salts which gives the lake its pink color

-          Visit Wolof & Fulani Village as well as Missira Village

-          James Island – Banjul: Home of Kunta Kinte “Roots Saga” Tour – (in Gambia)

-          Take a Banjul City Tour

-          National Forest of Bandia Safari tour

Recommended Hotels:

Radisson Blu, Hotel Mermoz, Hotel Adjana, Coco Ocean, Keur Saloum, Lamantin Beach Hotel

Food: The local fish dish (Senegalese Fish and Rice – Thieboudienne) is a must try especially on Gorée Island at Chevalier de Boufflers Restaurant.

These three countries display lovely the beauty of West Africa! Its friendly people, gorgeous landscape and rich culture is a life changing experience not to be missed.  

Letta Washington – Travelista Goddess, Inc.