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Arch Tours

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Kololi, Gambia
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About Arch Tours
Arch-Tours is a Gambian owned & managed ground tour operator with office in the Senegambia strip next to the Scala restaurant. We offer in The Gambia & Senegal ethical site seeing tours, tourist trips, safaris, educational tours, exclusive tours, cultural tours, scenic tours, airport transfers, hotel and private apartment bookings and reservation & excursions. We have being operating as a fully insured and registered tour company in The Gambia and Senegal since 2004.
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Hours Today: 5:00 AM - 9:00 PM
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Tours and Tickets by Arch Tours
Overview
This tour entails four major trips that are offered by other tour companies separately. It is not physically demanding as one may think, so we decided to do them in one day to provide our customers real value for the money that they pay to us. It is not a constant drive the whole day, in every 30-40 minutes,we stop at a place of interest.
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190722Christine wrote a review Feb 2020
Eastbourne, United Kingdom176 contributions71 helpful votes
+1
I’ve used this company for many years and their standard of service is excellent. This year we were an adult family group of 8. We did the 4 x 4, Fathala including Lion walk and the Lazy Day cruise. All amazing and very enjoyable. It does not matter which hotel your staying in Lamin will send a car and take you to the office to book your trips and return you to your hotel. I always email him prior to arriving to arrange this. He will also email a price list to see what’s currently available and on what days. Descriptions of trips and itinerary can be found on their website. It’s very easy to see why they have the Trip advisor award of excellence.
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LindsayStarr wrote a review Feb 2020
Rancho Mirage, California8 contributions8 helpful votes
After a great day of touring the Roots tour, we headed back to catch the ferry we needed to take to board our cruise ship in time for "All Aboard and Sail Away", only to discover that all the ferries had been cancelled for the rest of the day due to political demonstrations in the port. Since our ship was leaving in 90 minutes, and it took about 30 minutes to ride across the Gambia River, this was not a good scene. However, Lamen sprung into action and found someone with a fishing boat that would take us across the river to the fishing village on the other side, where we walked to a waiting car and made it back the the ship with 25 minutes to spare! We cannot thank him enough! We loved the tour, but even more we loved how he took such good care of us and made it his priority to insure we got back in time. Excellence in action!
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Ellen S wrote a review Feb 2020
Doetinchem, The Netherlands57 contributions4 helpful votes
2 weeks ago we went on the 2 day trip to Janjanbureh (also known as McCarthy Island and Georgetown) with M.L. as our guide and Tom as our driver. What a fantastic trip! We have seen so much in such a short time. Everything was well organised by Arch Tours. From the booking untill the drop-off at our hotel. M.L. and Tom took really good care of us. There where plenty cold drinks available during the entire trip (water, cola and fanta). On the first day we visited a local market, did a trip on a donkeycar, visited the stone cirkels and had a nice lunch at a lodge near the river. After lunch we went for a riversafari. We could see the chimpansees very well. The hippos we couldn't see very well. Only saw there heads for a short moment because of too much wind. But at least we have seen them! Back at te lodge we could not stay overnight, because it was fully booked. Instead we went to a lodge/ guesthouse in the centre of Janjanbureh. The accommodation was nice. There was a diner and a breakfast buffet, both very good. The rooms are basic, but sufficient. We had a bed for 2 persons with mosquitonet, good mattress and an ensuite bathroom with shower. After breakfast we went to the slavehouse and paid a visit to a family on a rural compound. It was good to see so many aspects of Gambian life. Not only by the excursions/ visits, but also on the road. On our trip back to the coast we had lunch at Abca's Creek lodge. Very beautiful place, also for just a (good) lunch. Because it was very hot that day, the shade of the trees was welcoming! After lunch we only had to drive for an hour and Tom en M.L. dropped us of at our hotel for that night. This trip is so worth it!! Thank you so much Arch Tours (especially M.L. and Tom) for this great experience.
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Date of experience: January 2020
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Rachel M wrote a review Jan 2020
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Since the boat which usually does the Roots tour by river was broken, we rearranged to do the tour by land with Arch Tours. This involves taking a ferry from Banjul to Barra (30-60mins but you have to wait for a ferry to arrive), then a Jeep for around an hour. This part of the day was actually really interesting, travelling through rural parts of the country. Then we visited the Kunta Kinteh compound, the local museum on the history of slavery and took a small boat over to Kunta Kinteh island itself. A local guide at this point told us more about the history. We then had lunch and headed back. The day was really interesting and I’m now pleased the river boat was broken! Special thanks to our guide Dawda who was excellent, he gave us lots of info along the way and pointed out local birds.
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Date of experience: January 2020
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Midge5555 wrote a review Jan 2020
54 contributions5 helpful votes
+1
Superb tours again After using Arch tours on our last visit to The Gambia, where we did the 4 in 1 trip and the trip to Fathala Wildlife Reserve, Senegal, we again decided to visit their office. Upon arrival we were greeted by Mr Conteh’s son, Lamin. We sat down and arranged a 2 day tour to Georgetown including an overnight stop at Jang Jang Borough camp, and told Lamin that we would also like to visit Kunta Kinteh Island the following week. As good as his word, both tours went like clockwork. The transport, a minibus arrived dead on time, (6-30am), and the guide introduced himself as Mo and his trusty driver Uncle Tom!! We set off and Mo explained that the ferry was not running that morning and that we would be driving across the new Senegambia Bridge, an engineering marvel only finished in January 2019. On route we stopped in a busy town so that Mo could exchange some currency for us, upon return we asked if he knew what kind of bird was feeding near our vehicle, He replied “I think it’s a Penguin” We had a good laugh about this and explained that Penguins do not go to Gambia for their holidays!! Then we moved on to a bustling township to have a wander around the market, Mo explained that a lot of Senegalese come here to sell their produce as we were not far from the border with Senegal. Mo showed us the different fruits and vegetables and told us that a lot of the donkey carts were used in the carriage of produce to market, and also if we wished to we could have a short ride on one! Upon getting closer to the carts we realised they were a little too high off the ground for us to get on both being in our 60s we declined! Our next stop was to the Stone circles of Wasssu. There we were met by the local expert who explained the mathematical significance of these burial stones. There is also a small museum showing the layout of the site and a mock-up of the discovery of a small tomb. There is also a small shop where you can purchase ice cold drinks, including Julbrew! There was a group of children at the gate to the site and we were told to give them any empty water bottles. Upon asking we were told this was so they could fill them with water from their compound. We quickly managed to find the empties in our vehicle and gladly handed them over. Next it was lunch at a lodge on the river bank, followed by a trip to Baboon Island. We and half a dozen other tourists boarded a small motor boat and within 20 minutes had pulled in to a small clearing on the far bank to pick up a local ranger, who then accompanied us to a site on the island where he knew the Chimpanzees would gather. The noise of the chimps is very loud and could be heard distinctly as we approached. We moored up about 20 feet away and observed these wonderful creatures, the ranger answering any questions we put to him. The main noise was coming from 2 Alpha males guarding their territory and facing each other across a small creek, each having a troop of their own up in the trees. To see this spectacle was absolutely fascinating, and even after half an hour when we were leaving, they were still at it! This is one of three islands with primates living naturally and the most populated with over 100 chimpanzees. Only rangers and veterinary staff are allowed to land on them. The other wildlife on this trip up the river included Hippos and lots of different birds. Next it was on to Jang Jang Burreh camp and some well-earned rest for Mo and Uncle Tom. As it was starting to go dark, we were shown to our round hut which we quickly dropped our belongings and ventured outside to find the bar/eating area for a few Julbrews before hitting the sack! Situated on the bank of the river, the bar quickly rustled up 2 ice cold Julbrews, we were soon joined by Mo and Uncle Tom for a Vimto nightcap! The bar provides an excellent view over the river and soon a small boat arrived bringing some Dutch guests for a drink. After some interesting conversation we decided to retire for the night as it was now pitch black. Luckily Mo and Uncle Tom escorted us back to our hut as our mobile phones were both flat and we didn’t have a torch! In the morning we met for the buffet style breakfast with lots of monkeys trying to steal the food! The camp is very basic with no electricity, but the huts are provided with solar powered fans and luckily ours had one of the new ones which also has an LED lighting panel on, very handy if you need the toilet in the middle of the night! Tip, if you want the light on all night, switch the fan off and the light will stay on. Next we went for the ferry to cross the river, the small car ferry was broken, so we crossed in a small motor boat to visit the slave house and dungeons on Maccarthy Island. This is quite a haunting place, especially the small dungeons which we were shown around by a very knowledgeable guide, who explained the horrors and torture that the slaves were subject to. The slave market is quite derelict, but again interesting as Mo was very knowledgeable. We also saw the slave house which has a depiction of the slave’s life on the side wall. All too soon it was time for our return back over the river where we rejoined Uncle Tom and started the long drive back, (approx. 185 miles) upon the way we stopped for lunch at Abca’s Creek Lodge. This place is in an idyllic location on the edge of a creek were people were enjoying swimming in the fresh water. We sat down with Mo and Uncle Tom and ordered our Julbrews, we then went out of the eating area for a cigarette and to admire the tranquil surroundings. Upon returning there was no sign of Mo and Uncle Tom? We enjoyed the meal of local (2) fish and chips, we then went to look for Mo and Tom. We found them outside at our transport and were told that they had been asked to eat their meal outside in a separate area which consisted of (1) fish and chips between them on 1 plate. We found this absolutely disgusting in the 21st century that this kind of behaviour still exists. We will never return to this lodge in the future. Arch tours have a policy that guests are not to be left on their own on tours for safety reasons, so I hope that this lodge will be apologising for this error of judgement. Except for the Abca lodge experience, we had a fantastic time on this tour and would highly recommend to anybody wishing to experience the ‘Real Gambia’ Special thanks to Mo and Uncle Tom for their expertise (not Penguins!), professionalism and enthusiasm on this trip and also the laughs.
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Date of experience: November 2019
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