Plan your adventure

Children in Timbuktu
Mali has some excellent bird watching along the banks of the Niger River on route to Timbuktu.


'West Africa felt like the real Africa. The pace of life was hypnotic. I actually felt like I was an important part of the every day life of the local people we met in Mali. They made me feel more like a friend visiting than a tourist staring from the window of a bus. The food was amazing and my travelling companions were superb. The 'real' world beckons but a part of me is lost to West Africa'


Grant Hackelton. Sydney, Australia.


You can always extend your policy while you are away.

"If you think you are too small to make a difference you haven't been in bed with a mosquito."

Since 2007, and our customers have funded 300 sight-saving surgeries, built a primary school and repaired another, trained over 200 teachers and helped 40 kids get through school, gave a whole village solar-lighting, installed water and sanitation facilities in 3 schools and 2 villages, provided educational supplies in 4 schools and medicines to 3 communities and 4 orphanages, helped create two kitchen gardens and buy 300 egg-laying chickens, built capture fog-nets for fresh drinking water and provided a safe-home for girls of sex workers.


dream big

Relaxing on a boat trip on the Niger River from Mopti to Timbuktu.

The key to a great experience is researching the place before you come. You will then know what is available and you can make an informed plan on what you want to see. If you want to meet the people of West Africa then we will offer you a culture based tour. If nature based photography is your passion then we will formulate an itinerary that will enable you to pursue your passion.

If you just want a great holiday and you don't want the pressure of thinking up an itinerary then we will put together a mixed package with lots of highlights. This will enable you to sit back an relax whilst sampling all that West Africa has to offer.

10 Day boat trip on the Niger River in a hand powered traditional Pirogue.
A three day boat trip on the Niger River with an engine powered traditional Pinasse.
A drumming class in Kokrobite, Ghana.
Stilt village at Ganvie in Benin

Tour styles

The following is an example of the tours The Surfing Camel currently offers in West Africa

Tailor Made Tours: We combine with you to design the perfect adventure holiday that matches your own specific tastes. We will arrange accommodation, transport, local guides and take care of all the other logistics to make your tour in West Africa both exciting and relaxing. We do all of this to match your budget and desired tour style. (back)



Cultural Experience: West Africa has a myriad collection of different ethnic groups. With religious beliefs ranging from the more traditional religions of Christianity and Islam to traditional African beliefs such as Voodoo and Animism. From the Tuareg, also known as the 'Blue men of the Desert' to the proud Ashanti people of Ghana. West Africans are justifiably proud of their heritage and the chance to learn more about these amazing cultures is a chance you should definitely take. (back)


Volunteering: Volunteering is becoming increasingly popular and gives the chance to give something back whist enjoying your time in Africa. Whether its teaching english in Mali while you learn a little Bambara or helping build a school in Ghana. The choices are endless and we can help you find a program that will suit your tastes. (back)


Photography Tours: Our photography tours are aimed at people who want to take their time to get that perfect shot. Whatever your passion, these tours will be run at your pace and we will concentrate on the things that you want to see and photograph. Patience is the key on these tours. (back)


Bird Watching: We have worked with some of the most experienced birding guides in West Africa so let us know your goals and we will develop a program to help you achieve these. (back)


Hiking: West Africa has some excellent sites for hiking but perhaps the best is Dogon Country in Mali. We hike from village to village. Soaking in the amazing atmosphere and learning about the unique Dogon people. We offer hiking trips in Dogon Country from half a day duration right up to 8 days. (back)


Camping Tours: The Surfing Camel camping tours are aimed at people who want a taste of the outdoors on their West African adventure. We utilise locally run campements or sometimes camp in the wild. The choice is yours. We prepare our meals over the campfire and fall asleep to the sounds of the bush. These tours are for people who don't mind roughing it. (back)


Hotel Based Tours: West Africa has a great selection of hotels for all budgets. We discuss with you the style of accommodation you require and most importantly match it to your budget. On these tours we rely more on local restaurants so again, your budget is a big consideration before we make our itinerary. (back)


River Expeditions: Mali has over 1300kms of navigable waterways. We offer river trips ranging from a two hour excursion right up to a 20 day trip that travels from Segou, all the way to Timbuktu. We offer trips in both the traditional pirogue and also the engine powered pinasse that can carry up to 30 people. We also arrange trips that utilise the grand old ferry's that ply the Niger River when the water level is high enough. (back)