West Africa is the western region of Africa. In the north the region is bounded by the Sahel, and in the south and west by the Atlantic Ocean. The most densely populated area of Africa and home to thousands of languages and dialects native to the region. However, due to the influence of European colonizers, common languages spoken in the region are French, English and Portuguese. West Africa is an extraordinary sweep of iconic African terrain. Revealing themselves in colorful festivals, irresistible music and the mysterious rituals of traditional religion. West Africa’s musical tradition is one of extraordinary depth and richness.
West African Safari
There are many West African views that will define your journey: an oasis-like clearing in the heart of a rainforest; stirring sand dunes sculpted to perfection by the wind; a gloriously deserted arc of sand along a gloriously deserted coastline; and improbably shaped rocky outcrops in the heart of the Sahel. And through it all runs one of Africa’s longest rivers, the Niger. View the diverse West African wildlife at the National Parks in five West African countries. You will tour Mole National Park, National Park du W, National Parc D’Arli, Parc Niamey and Pendjari National Park. Visit places such as Parakou, Kakum National Park, and Ganvie and interact with people of different ethnic groups such as the Somba people in Natitingou. Featuring the natural rugged side of West Africa including elephants, primates, big cats, pygmy hippos and some of the world’s best birdwatching.
West African Culture and Traditional Religion
Beautiful and fierce, seductive and spiritual, natural and rugged—West Africa travel covers an array of interests and features the culture of several ethnic groups. Experience West Africa’s soulful traditional religion (Vodoun). Voodoo originated in West Africa and is practiced by the people of the region. The religion was exported to the new world during the slave trade, and today is practiced in the Caribbean, the Southern United States and in Central and South America. Attend an authentic Voodoo ceremony, including sacrifices, followers in trances and much more. The cultures of West Africa is religious, and much of the cultural life and monuments revolve around spirituality. Of Muslim architecture, most travellers find the mud-built Sudano-Sahelian mosques to be of the most interest. The region’s most famous, both of the Volta basin style, include Larabanga Mosque just outside Mole National Park in Ghana and the Grand Mosque of Bobo-Dialassou.
West African Food
West African food staple dishes are starch plus some version of soup. Rice is the most popular starch, but fufu—a thick paste, with the consistency of soft dough, usually made by boiling starchy root vegetables in water and pounding with a mortar and pestle. Fufu are most West African dishes should be eaten with the right hand, and usually dipped in the sauce, stew, or soup provided. Simple “chop bars” (there are plenty of different names) nearly always provide these meals, with some chicken, beef, goat or fish.
We would like to invite you to explore Landtours Guided Experiences. They encompass everyday cultural activities that West Africans perform. Let us show you the wonders of Panafest, our own Black History Month tour, Ghana’s annual Independence Day celebration, and spiritual festivities throughout West Africa.