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In the secret lands of the Atlantic, off the coast of Guinea-Bissau, where the infinite blue of the ocean meets the lush green of the islands, a rare jewel hides: the Bissagos. A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, this archipelago, one of the most preserved on the planet, consists of 88 islands, most of which are uninhabited. In an environment that is often still unspoiled by man, these islands offer the few visitors who explore them the chance of a unique and authentic experience. PONANT has designed an all-new and exclusive 9-day journey aboard Le Lyrial, into the heart of this string of islands featuring preserved nature, a land of ancestral civilisations and a refuge for many terrestrial and marine species.
You will humbly sail towards these extraordinary lands, which hold the promise of a interlude where time may stand still. During your exploration, its backdrop a symphony of sounds and colours, you will be as close as possible to exceptional nature, between white sandy beaches, mangals stretching as far as the eye can see, mangrove trees, savannah, palm trees and baobabs. Sea turtles, those majestic creatures, choose these isolated beaches to lay their eggs, while brightly coloured lizards skilfully weave in and out of the lush vegetation. During your hikes in the heart of the tropical forest, you will be lucky enough to admire the hypnotic ballet of many species of migratory birds such as pelicans or pink flamingos on the island of Kere or to contemplate the spectacle of vervetmonkeys.
You will move through this world, the cradle of the Bissagos culture, where life follows the pace of the tides and the surrounding nature. The villages, lying in the thick vegetation, seem to emanate from the earth itself. The houses made of woven palms and the rough wooden dugout canoes melt into the background, almost inseparable from the natural environment. This unique journey will be punctuated by many encounters with the Bissagos people, in particular on the islands of Caravela, Carache and Orango. You will take part in traditional ceremonies accompanied by the sound of drums, and discover their customs and traditions, which have not changed for thousands of years and are based on a matriarchal society where the sacred lies at the centre of everything. Nature is a divinity here, and every bird call, every rustling of a tree, every sparkle of the sun on the water is a ode to the beauty of these sacred lands.