Hi everybody,

After leaving the UK in September 2016 for another expedition down to West Africa and back, Aminah is home!


Our last trip of the season arrived into Marrakech at the end of May 2017 after the long journey north through Senegal, Mauritania, Western Sahara and southern Morocco. After a couple of days turnaround in Marrakech, Aminah, Zoe & Jason headed to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, crossing the Mediterranean to Algeciras where they began the long drive back to the UK via Spain and France.

Rainy season is now well underway in West Africa, a time that makes travelling in the region challenging at best, so time for Aminah to have a well deserved break back home in the UK.


We’d like to say a massive thank you to Zoe and Jason who ran the trips for OWA this season, they both did a truly fantastic job! With trips in West Africa it’s so important to have good crew on board, they’re an essential part of any overland expedition, and Zoe and Jason’s hard work and enthusiasm is highlighted by the overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve received from the passengers that travelled with us. Thanks very much indeed Zoe and Jason!


Guinea-Africa-Fouta-Djalon-Tours (Kath)

You can read some of the great comments the passengers from this seasons trips wrote about Zoe, Jason and OWA (as well as previous seasons comments) by clicking on the photo below. Thanks so much to all of those who took the time to write such positive feedback for us. Cheers guys!


Dave the Hat headed up to the Drago workshop a few weeks ago to give Aminah some TLC and a good deep clean, as well as a good mechanical inspection. As you can imagine the road conditions take their toll on Aminah and the mud and dust clings to everything, so it takes some time to get her cleaned up properly. After a few long days and nights Hatter parked her up under cover until our next season of trips begin in late 2018/early 2019.

So what’s next? Well, over the next few months we’ll be jigging things around a little to take into account what has and hasn’t worked well on our trips to date. We’re going to start the 2018-19 season slightly later in the year, with our Dakar to Freetown trip starting in early November rather than mid-October. Hopefully the extra few weeks will give the roads more of a chance to dry out!

You can see all of the dates for our trips in late 2018/early 2019 here: 

If you haven’t done so already please send us an Enquiry Form to register your interest in joining our trips in the future.

Remember, you can keep in touch with all the latest happenings at Overlanding West Africa via our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Pinterest and Google +) by clicking on the icons close to the top right hand side of each page on this website.

We look forward to hearing from you and hope to see you on board Aminah in 2018-19 for another adventure through magical West Africa!

David Oades (Hatter), Al Goodridge, Jimmy C and Aminah

Below is a wonderful selection of photos that our passengers took over the course of the season. If these don’t tempt you to visit the region with us then we don’t know what will! Many thanks to Mahesh Patel, Zinzi Speear, Kath Donaldson, Knut Ovrebo, John Stenson, Melanie Smith and Jim Stolk – your photos really do show off what a magical region West Africa is to visit!











Overland-Group-Tours-West-Africa (Melanie)

Ankassa-National-Park-Ghana-Africa-Tourism (Jason)



Casamance-Senegal-Tours-Africa (Jim)

Hi everybody,

As many of you who are on our email list will already know, we’ve just started taking bookings for our trips in late 2016/early 2017 – and are pleased to say that seats are selling fast! If you are keen on joining us for a trip please get in touch with us via our Enquiry Form and come and see some of this magical part of the African continent for yourself.

We ran our new Accra to Ouagadougou trip for the first time last month, and welcomed Frank, Tracey, Tony F, Tony K and Sam to join those who had travelled with us from Dakar and Freetown. After some initial confusion, it was revealed that Frank was the owner of the trumpet that had mysteriously found its way onto the truck the previous evening!

We visited Ghana, Togo, Benin and Burkina Faso on this trip, and this blog post covers the first 2 weeks of the trip.

Ghana Tours West Africa

One of the highlights of southern Ghana is visiting the coffin makers around Accra, who make some lively and unusual designs. Above are some of the impressive examples we got to see.

A number of the group went on a walking tour of Nima, a lively residential district of Accra for an insight into the lives of the local people. The guide was the principal of a primary school: as you can see the children were rather excited when we visited their classroom!

Ghana Tours West Africa

From Accra we headed to Ghana’s Volta region, a beautiful but relatively little visited area which is sandwiched between the artificial reservoir of Lake Volta and the Togolese border. We enjoyed the cool air and beautiful views up in the hills, a lovely contrast to the weather on the coast. Frank even had some time for trumpet practice!

Ghana Tours West Africa

The views from the top of Mount Gemi down to Lake Volta and across to Togo would have been great if it wasn’t so hazy!

Ghana Tours West Africa

Ghana Tours West Africa

Above are waterfalls near Amedzofe that most of the group visited after the trek for a refreshing dip.

Before we crossed over the border to Togo, we visited a community of habituated Mona monkeys which are revered as sacred by the locals. Jase seemed to be feeding them the tastiest bananas!

Ghana Tours West Africa

Our first stop in Togo was among the cool green hills close to the summit of Mount Klouto. We walked among coffee plantations, explored villages, learnt about medicinal plants and natural dyes, cooled off under waterfalls, and looked for butterflies.

Togo Tours West Africa

We enjoyed a great evening of drumming, dancing and fire breathing with plenty of opportunities for dancing practice which we so clearly needed!

Togo Tours West Africa

Togo Tours West Africa

After a brief stop in Lome to visit the famous fetish market, we arrived in Grand Popo in Benin where we camped on the stunning beach for a couple of nights. Some of us enjoyed boat trips to visit fishing villages and to see salt production where the Mono river meets the sea.

Benin Tours West Africa

Benin Tours West Africa

Above and below are photos from the voodoo ceremony we witnessed in southern Benin. Voodoo continues to play a huge role in the culture of  the people in Togo and Benin, fascinating though a little bewildering at times! We were encouraged to try the local palm spirit while watching the ceremony, sprinkled with talcum powder and sprayed with perfume. Al and Jase smelt the best they had in weeks!

Benin Tours West Africa

Ouidah is known as a centre of the voodoo religion, as well as having a tragic history as a port from which many millions of slaves were transported across the Atlantic to the Americas. We visited the famous python temple, numerous other temples and shrines, and learnt about how the voodoo religion travelled across the Atlantic with the slave trade to parts of Brazil and the Caribbean.

Benin Tours West Africa

We spent Christmas in Ganvie, staying at the famous stilt village on Lake Nokoue, an area originally settled by people escaping the slave trade. After a tour of the village we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening watching the world go by. Frank entertained both the locals and the group by playing Christmas carols on his trumpet! Many people were celebrating by singing and dancing on boats parading around the village; it was certainly a memorable Christmas!

Benin Tours West Africa

Having spent 2 weeks slowly exploring Ghana’s Volta region and the south of Togo and Benin, after Christmas we had a couple of days driving up to the north of Togo.

The grounds of this primary school made for a great bush camp – the children were fascinated as we set up camp for the night!

Togo Tours West Africa

Togo Tours West Africa

We had plenty of interesting stops along the way. In the photo above, Alice is standing in front of the Aledjo Fault, a stunning geographical feature through which the main road passes. On the right, Frank is trying to get through the entrance of a sacred Baobab tree, which has a large cavity inside with room for about half a dozen people to stand in. It was a bit of a tight squeeze!

Below are the weavers hard at work at a local co-operative we visited. They were weaving long but narrow strips which were then sewn together to make a range of colourful garments.

Togo Tours West Africa

Togo Tours West Africa

The Tamberma Valley World Heritage site is home to the Batammariba people. We spent 2 nights with them in Togo, visiting their fascinating ‘Takienta’ (mud fortress houses), learning about their customs and beliefs, and witnessing traditional music and dance ceremonies.

Togo Tours West Africa

Togo Tours West Africa

Below, Tracey tries her hand at archery. It’s a good job we weren’t relying on her to catch our dinner!

Togo Tours West Africa

Togo Tours West Africa

As the day cooled off we trekked up to a cave network, formerly inhabited as a retreat in times of tribal war. From here we were treated to some spectacular views of the valley below.

Togo Tours West Africa

From here a short drive took us over the border to Benin and the Atakora hills, home of the Tammari people. We learnt about their animist traditions, and saw the similarities between their fortress houses with those of their cousins in Togo. Most of these were spread out among their agricultural land rather than being grouped into villages.

Benin Tours West Africa

We trekked to see waterfalls, caves and farming land. Above are examples of giant grain storage jars which are partitioned inside. They’re in a cave, near a water source that was used as a retreat in times of tribal conflict as well as to escape the slave raiders. It is believed that people could have hidden for up to 6 months inside!

Below, Frank, Tony, Al, Alice, Theo and Tony stand outside a sacred Baobab tree which we visited on another trek.

Benin Group Tours West Africa

Benin Tours West Africa

Millett is a common crop of the area and is made into millet beer. Above, Tony and Sam share a gourd of it, wondering if it might be a little more palatable cold! We watched 2 locals down a gourd, drinking simultaneously from the same vessel, but didn’t manage to pull off this same feat ourselves!

Below, Jason climbs up to look inside a grain storage hut on the roof of a house, which is partitioned inside for different crops. A bell on it’s rain hat stopped thieves getting inside without waking the household who would sleep nearby for security.

Benin Tours West Africa

Another short drive took us to Pendjari National Park, part of the WAP complex, the largest protected wildlife zone in West Africa. We boarded a couple of 4×4’s for a bumpy and dusty day of wildlife viewing.

Benin Tours West Africa

We were lucky enough to see buffalo, water-buck, warthog, jackals, crocodiles, antelope, many different types of bird, and numerous herds of elephants. At our first coffee stop we were treated to a rather special encounter with a group of elephants that wandered right past us. We also visited a pool where we saw many hippos up close.

Benin Tours West Africa

Benin Tours West Africa

Below, Tracey, Janet and Sam were getting as dusty as possible on the game drives!

West Africa Tours Benin

West Africa Tours Burkina Faso

From Pendjari we headed across the border to Burkina Faso and after a great bush camp we stopped in Fada where, above, Al is in front of the signs. Here we encountered a major problem…no eggs! Jase and Al were both very concerned about the next few breakfasts!

West Africa Tours Burkina Faso

We then travelled west to Bobo Dioulasso, home to skilled artisans and a fantastic live music scene. Some of the group visited the impressive domes de Fabedougou (above) and the nearby Karfiguela waterfalls.

Burkina Faso Group Tours West Africa

The trip ended all to soon in Ouagadougou, but we’ll be back in Burkina Faso very soon to explore further on our current Accra to Freetown trip.

Many thanks to some of the passengers for allowing us to use their photos we very much appreciate it!

Hi everybody,

After many weeks of planning, writing, and HTML, we’re pleased to announce our new itineraries for late 2015-early 2016 are ready to go and now live on the website! All of our trips can be viewed here or you can navigate to the trip that interests you by hovering over THE TRIPS tab at the top of each page. This will bring up a sub menu to take you to any of the trips we operate.

West Africa Overland Adventure Travel Tours

All of our existing trips are still there, but with some minor changes:

Dakar to Freetown – stays the same

Freetown to Accra – much the same as last year, except we will visit the south of Ivory Coast instead of the north, and not visit Burkina Faso

Accra to Ouagadougou – very similar to our Ouagadougou to Accra trip, but visiting more of Togo and the east of Burkina Faso

Accra to Freetown – stays the same, but includes a visit to the Gurunsi homes of the Kassena people in Tiebele, Burkina Faso

Freetown to Dakar – stays the same

Dakar to Marrakech – Brand new trip, taking in northern Senegal, some of Mauritania, Western Sahara, and southern Morocco

Marrakech to Tangier – Brand new trip in Morocco, visiting many of the key highlights in the Sahara desert, Atlas mountains, and Rif mountains

Morocco Tours West Africa Overland

Our Trips And The Situation In West Africa

The ebola outbreak continues to affect many lives and communities in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. From watching the mainstream media news channels, the situation seems as bleak as ever.

However, all this doom and gloom is not a fair representation of the facts and decidedly unbalanced. There has been a huge improvement in all 3 of the affected countries:

  • The rate of new cases being reported throughout Liberia has drastically reduced in recent weeks, things really are looking alot better there now
  • The east of Sierra Leone around Kaliahun and Kenema (where the outbreak first surfaced in Sierra Leone) has improved dramatically, with virtually 0 cases being reported over the past month. In and around Freetown and the west of the country, the number of new cases being reported has declined by a huge amount
  • The outbreak continues to rumble on around Guinea, though at a much lower level than before, with the number of new cases reported being significantly lower than in Liberia and Sierra Leone

A lot more is being done by the governments and the international community to help improve the situation, though there is of course a lot more work to do. It does appear slowly but surely the outbreak is being brought under control, and we are very hopeful that the region will return to some sense of normality very soon.

West Africa People Guinea

We want to reiterate that we cancelled our trips in late 2014-early 2015 due to the closure of a number of key borders throughout the region. That was the only reason we cancelled – the logistics of operating multi-country trips became impossible.

All sensible advice from health professionals continues to be the same – the risk of travellers contracting the virus is considered very low, you need to come into direct contact with the bodily fluids of somebody showing symptoms of the virus to become infected.

Launch Of The Unite 4 West Africa Initiative

Since October 2014 we have played a key role in setting up and promoting the Unite 4 West Africa initiative, along with West Africa Discovery, Barefoot Liberia, and Another World Adventures. The aim of this collective effort is simple – to challenge the mainstream media portrayal of the affected countries in West Africa, and to raise funds for organisations working on the ground to combat the outbreak.

Unite 4 West Africa Travel CampaignWorld Travel Market Unite 4 West Africa Campaign

The Unite 4 West Africa initiative was launched to the media at World Travel Market in October 2014. We’re pleased to say it was a huge success, the room was heaving with journalists interested in hearing what we had to say!

On the panel were the Ministers of Tourism for Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria, as well as Ben Keene from Tribewanted Sierra Leone, Dr Ron Behrens from the London School of Tropical Medicine, and David Oades (Dave The Hat) from Overlanding West Africa. Everybody gave a 10 minute presentation about the situation in the region.

In addition to helping put the outbreak into perspective, Unite 4 West Africa is raising funds for organisations who are working hard in the region to help combat the spread of the virus:

  • 50% of the money raised will go to Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF – Doctors Without Borders), who have worked tirelessly from the moment the outbreak was confirmed as ebola back in March 2014
  • 40% of the money will go to 3 grass roots organisations in each of the affected countries, being TINKISSO in Guinea, KRITERION MONROVIA in Liberia, and WELT HUNGER HILFE in Sierra Leone
  • 10% will be distributed to other grass roots organisations who are doing great work who might approach us for funding – if not, this 10% will instead go to the 3 organisations receiving 40% of the funds raised

All money raised will go directly to the organisations listed above. All of the time we have spent setting up and promoting Unite 4 West Africa is entirely voluntary.

Dave The Hat Overlanding West Africa Unite 4 West Africa Campaign West Africa Travel Awareness Campaign

We’re pleased to say we have secured the support of a large number of other travel operators and organisations who run trips and have an interest in the countries of West Africa, including Exodus Travels, G Adventures, Explore, and Intrepid Travel. We’re proud to say we’ve raised over £4,000 since November 2014, and hope to raise much more. We want to take this opportunity to thank all the organisations who have donated to the initiative so far, and all the individuals who have made a personal donation – thanks so much to everybody!

Please visit the Unite 4 West Africa website to learn more about the initiative, and help promote a more positive image of the countries in West Africa. There is also a Unite 4 West Africa Facebook Page and a Twitter Page where you can keep up to date with all the latest news. Please use the hashtag #Unite4WestAfrica when posting about the initiative.

Unite4WestAfrica Supporters Logo Collage

With so much negative media coverage coming from Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia in recent months, there is a real danger that these countries will be associated and stigmatised with this image for years to come. We all need to work together to help promote a more positive image of the affected countries and the West Africa region in general.

Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia were just starting to develop a tourist industry, something we want to see flourish once again as soon as possible.

Unite4WestAfrica Travel

Remember: A huge number of people throughout dozens of countries all over Africa rely upon tourism for their livelihoods, and many are now starting to struggle due to a decline in tourism. Nearly every major tour operator is saying bookings for trips all over Africa are down. Lets put this in perspective – only 3 countries have been significantly affected by the ebola outbreak to date, just 3!

Africa is a continent, NOT a country, help us put the situation into perspective!

Cheers guys, we hope you are all well, and we hope to see you on Aminah in late 2015-early 2016 for another adventure through the countries of West Africa!

Dave The Hat, Al Goodridge, and Jimmy C

Unite 4 West Africa Travel Campaign