“ROOTS” – THE MANDINKA LAND OF KUNTA KINTEH
Since Alex Haley’s book ‘Roots’ was published in 1976, tourists have been flocking to the villages of Juffureh and Albreda in The Gambia, where the story of his ancestor, the legendary Kunta Kinteh first began.
The book and subsequent film tell how the Mandinka warrior Kunta Kinteh was captured as a youth from Juffureh and sold into slavery in the United States. Today, around 2,000 people live in Juffereh and Albreda, including actual descendants of Kunta Kinteh's family.
We run both land and river tours. Both involving an early morning start from your hotel and transport to Banjul.
For the land tour, you will join the ferry across The Gambian River to the bustling north bank at Barra. Here, you will pick up your 4x4 vehicle for the 45-minute drive to Juffereh and Albreda, passing through local villages on the way. There will be a brief stop for refreshments.
On arrival, you will meet your official guide to learn all about the slave trade and life in the village. There is a café and bar should you require further refreshments.
We then board an authentic fishing boat for the unforgettable crossing to the former slave colony at James Island, officially renamed Kunte Kinteh Island by the President of The Gambia in 2011. You will tour the island and learn all about and see the tortuous conditions in which the slaves were kept.
Returning to the mainland, you will tour the Museum of Slavery, see an authentic version of an actual slave ship and have an opportunity to visit the children's centre in the village, which gives local children facilities to learn and play outside school hours.
You will have the opportunity to buy traditional crafts made by local people and sweets for the return journey to throw to the many children you will pass on the road. The smiles on their faces show just how grateful they are!
Depending on season, you may also wish to stop off and see the local people harvesting their peanut crops. After the return ferry crossing, you will be taken back to your hotel.
For the river tour, we will pick you up at your hotel and drive 30 minutes to Denton Bridge, where we join our boat – we have a choice of fully air-conditioned Catamaran or a local Double Deck Boat - for the two-hour voyage to Kunte Kinteh Island, following the tour described above, including visits to the village and museum. We then make our return journey, when lunch will be served on board.
Availability – Daily upon request
Hotel pick-up time – 7.00am
Form of transport - 4x4 and ferry (land tour) Choice of boats above (river tour)
Cost: Please call or email Modou Barry
Kunta Kinteh Island Day Trip. You will see all this and more