Explorers Connect

River Gambia Expedition 2012-1000km source to sea African odyssey

EC CommunityJames Hipkiss

Experienced West Africa travelers, husband and wife team - multi award-winning photojournalist, Jason Florio, and, photography producer and writer, Helen Jones-Florio will attempt to create a modern-day account of the people, societies, and life along the length of one of Africas last, free-flowing, major rivers the River Gambia.

There has also been talk, for a number of years, of damming the river. This journey is about documenting the communities and environment before this change happens.They will be promoting canoeing and trekking, as a means of travel thereby maintaining a low carbon footprint/environmental impact. Travelling through the through the homelands of over seven different tribes, their journey will begin at the source of the river, where it trickles out of the Fouta Djallon highlands of Guinea, on into hippo-abundant Niokolo Koba National Park, Senegal, and finally into The Republic of the Gambia following the same course as the early gold and slave traders had done century's ago to the 10km wide mouth of the river, where it opens into the Atlantic Ocean after over a 1000km journey

Jason (Flo), Helen (H), and their team, will collect - through multiple medias: visual/written/audio - stories documenting the lives and cultures of the indigenous people, who live and work along the course of the River Gambia. Using traditional protocol, relevant to each country, they will approach village chiefs to ask permission to stay in his/her village. The team plan to camp in the villages along the river, wherever possible. Staying with the local people will be an integral part of the journey, in order for them to understand and document the cultures and traditions of the numerous tribes they will encounter. They will travel with two local Gambian river men for the entire journey, along with hiring local guides in Guinea and Senegal thus making it a diverse and international team.