17 days in Senegal, Guinea-Bissau & Sierra Leone Itinerary

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Drive to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Fly to Blaise Diagne International Airport, Drive to Somone
Somone, Senegal
— 3 nights
Saint-Louis, Senegal
— 2 nights
Dakar, Senegal
— 5 nights
Bissau, Guinea-Bissau
— 2 nights
Fly to Conakry, Drive to Freetown
Freetown, Sierra Leone
— 4 nights
Fly to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Drive to Washington DC


Somone, Senegal — 3 nights

A small seaside town that thrives off tourism, Somone offers tropical seaside views from the northwest coast of Africa.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Youba Tour and Musee Mahicao. Visiting Lagune de la Somone and L'Elevage d'Oiseaux Exotique will get you outdoors. Get out of town with these interesting Somone side-trips: Joal Fadiout (in Joal Fadiouth) and Plage Popenguine (in Popenguine). It doesn't end there: tour the pleasant surroundings at Reserve De Bandia and kick your exploration up a notch at Accro Baobab Adventure.

To see photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Somone trip itinerary builder website.

Washington DC, USA to Somone is an approximately 16-hour combination of car and flight. You'll lose 5 hours traveling from Washington DC to Somone due to the time zone difference. Plan for much warmer temperatures traveling from Washington DC in January, with highs in Somone at 78°F and lows at 66°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Saint-Louis.
Wildlife · Parks · Outdoors · Tours
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 22 — 25:

Saint-Louis, Senegal — 2 nights


West Africa's first French settlement, World Heritage-listed Saint-Louis (or Ndar in Wolof) shows off its colonial architectural style with an ambience of tranquility and historical charm.
On the 26th (Thu), take in the exciting artwork at Galerie Ethiopiques, then explore the striking landscape of Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary, and then look for gifts at Rama diaw. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the striking landscape of Parque Nacional de la Lengua de Barbaria.

To see ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Saint-Louis trip planner.

Traveling by car from Somone to Saint-Louis takes 3.5 hours. While traveling from Somone, expect somewhat warmer days and slightly colder nights in Saint-Louis, ranging from highs of 90°F to lows of 61°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Dakar.
Nature · Wildlife · Parks · Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 25 — 27:

Dakar, Senegal — 5 nights

Situated on the western edge of mainland Africa, the crowded and dynamic city of Dakar offers visitors booming shopping, dining, and entertainment scenes.
Explore hidden gems such as Le Village des Tortues and Mosque of the Divinity. Get some cultural insight at La Maison des Esclaves and IFAN Museum (African Arts Museum). Go for a jaunt from Dakar to Goree Island to see Paroisse Saint Charles Borromee about 56 minutes away. There's lots more to do: shop like a local with Loman Art House - Art Gallery, look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, admire the landmark architecture of Dakar Railway Station, and pause for some photo ops at Le Monument de la Renaissance Africaine.

For other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Dakar travel route builder tool.

Traveling by car from Saint-Louis to Dakar takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Saint-Louis in January: highs in Dakar hover around 78°F, while lows dip to 66°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) so you can fly to Bissau.
Museums · Parks · Historic Sites · Wildlife
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 27 — Feb 1:

Bissau, Guinea-Bissau — 2 nights

Looking out from the Geba River across the Atlantic Ocean, the little-known capital of Bissau offers the authentic experience of a West African fishing port.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): take in the spiritual surroundings of Mesquita Bissau, explore the galleries of Museu Nacional, then explore and take pictures at Fortaleza de Sao Jose da Amura, and finally browse the eclectic array of goods at Mercado Central.

To see traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Bissau road trip planning app.

You can fly from Dakar to Bissau in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. When traveling from Dakar in February, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Bissau: temperatures range from 94°F by day to 67°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 3rd (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Freetown.
Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping
Find places to stay Feb 1 — 3:

Freetown, Sierra Leone — 4 nights

Straddling an undulating coastline, Freetown serves as the capital and largest city of Sierra Leone.
Visit Bureh Beach and Lumley Beach for some beach relaxation. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Lakka Beach and Banana Divers Sierra Leone. Step out of Freetown to go to Sussex and see River Number Two Beach, which is approximately 50 minutes away. There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at John Obey Beach, browse the exhibits of National Railway Museum, admire the striking features of Hausa Mosque, and identify plant and animal life at Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

For maps, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Freetown trip planner.

You can do a combination of flight and car from Bissau to Freetown in 11.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. When traveling from Bissau in February, plan for slightly colder days and somewhat warmer nights in Freetown: temperatures range from 87°F by day to 77°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) early enough to travel back home.
Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife
Side Trips
Find places to stay Feb 3 — 7:

Senegal travel guide

Specialty Museums · Nature & Parks · Landmarks
Generous Country
Senegal boasts plenty of natural and cultural attractions to make it attractive to an international audience. The buzz surrounding the Senegalese music scene is justified, with mbalax dance music particularly popular and influential internationally. Street markets in the main towns, overlooked by the minarets of attractive old mosques, remain among top attractions in Senegal--they're ideal spots to get to know the local culture and eat and shop like a native. The wide river deltas rich in wildlife provide an alternative for visitors looking to escape city life and discover the country's natural charms.

Guinea-Bissau travel guide

Churches · Flea Markets · Government Buildings
Guinea-Bissau offers a slew of colonial-era towns and picturesque beaches, as well as some remote areas tailor-made for those eager to get off the tourist path. An adventure to the southeastern hinterland, with its forests, savannahs, and small farms, represents one of the most daring and exciting things to do in Guinea-Bissau. Though the post-independence history of the country has been bleak at times, the locals remain remarkably upbeat and hopeful for the future--their spirit and welcoming nature provide additional reasons to plan a vacation in Guinea-Bissau.

Sierra Leone travel guide

Beaches · Wildlife Areas · Tourist Spots
Rich in history, natural wonders, and picturesque landscapes, Sierra Leone remains an unappreciated destination largely thanks to the impact the civil war of the 1990s had on the country's international reputation. The coastal areas offer easy access to fine sand beaches and offshore islands, little explored by foreign visitors and therefore unspoiled by commercial tourism. The capital, established by freed slaves from the Caribbean, represents a popular starting point for trips to Sierra Leone, with a colorful look to it, a lively atmosphere, and good onward connections to the mountains of the north and mangrove swamps and rainforest to the east.