We interviewed the person behind Africa-Princess Cruise
It was at first, Jorge Horta, responsible for the Africa-Princess Cruise, accepted to answer our questions about this boat that sails the Bijagós Islands. Read the interview and start planning your trip with Africa-Princess.
Kalmasoul: AFRICA PRINCESS, a cruise in the Bijagós, why?
Jorge Horta: Basically to give the opportunity to very special and demanding passengers, to come to know this last world of 100% untouched nature and totally natural way of life. It is not the same as staying in a hotel connected to the internet and occasionally going for walks and watching ethnic paid shows ... Naturally, also to share with the sport fishermen the very exclusive experience of being able to sleep, eat and fish for days in exactly one of the exotic sites where there is more fish in the world, without having to navigate every day more than 5 or 10 minutes to get there.
Kalmasoul: How long has AFRICA PRINCESS been in Guinea-Bissau?
Jorge Horta: We are now starting our fifth season in Bijagós and ... we bring with us and with our crew all the tradition, the environment and "know how" of a mythical boat that, until its slaughter, sailed 25 years in these waters: the Africa Queen.
Kalmasoul: Does the boat only operate in our waters?
Jorge Horta: Our cruises operate exclusively in the Bijagós during the dry season. Occasionally, when a group asks for it in advance, we have taken a cruise inside the Casamance River in southern Senegal during the months of May, June and early October. But it is not usual.
On the other hand, between cruise and cruise, when the boat is anchored in Geba, we also make day trips by speedboat, to get to know BOLAMA and take a dip in its mythical beach of Ofir. Of course, we also make several private transfers from Bissau to the islands.
Kalmasoul: How can tourists visiting Guinea-Bissau book their stay and enjoy what they have to offer?
Jorge Horta: It's simple: an email to firstname.lastname@example.org , or a call to +351 91 722 4936.
Then we personally help each passenger to prepare their trip in detail (the cruise begins before the trip ...). And the coming ... we help you remember it with your friends.
Kalmasoul: When tourists are discovering Bijagós what they will be able to see, hear and feel?
Jorge Horta: A cruise in AFRICA PRINCESS is a total immersion all the time (every minute, including the night ...), in the purest and wildest Nature and the most genuine Cultural Values of the Bijagos.
If it is not a programmed safari, it is the animals that come to us in a natural way: monkeys, varans, a huge variety of birds and fish, dolphins, turtles and sometimes manatees and crocodiles.
Only sometimes of wildlife observation in both National Parks will we see the saltwater hippos and the hatching of the nests of the turtles.
We will also visit the most remote and traditional villages of Bijagós, where one of the last matrilineal societies in the world and the values of their animist religion, still mark unique life forms. And also, where the sympathy of welcome in the tabancas and the smiles of the kids, leave engraved emotions unique for the rest of our lives.
Every day we visit at least one new deserte beach where, walking a few miles along the seashore allow us to explore this unique and virgin sea-beach-forest.
And sometimes we go deep into the land to visit these primary forests of palm trees, the savannah, or to navigate the rivers (the "bolons") by boat, through the mangrove.
In total, we passed by 10 islets and islands, almost all deserte and many of them sacred. At some point we make the complete 360º walk around the sea, to observe a sample of all that a desert island can offer us
But the tourists also enjoy the "listen", since in the evenings, the "tertúlia" of the tropics replaces the television and the internet.
Likewise, travelers learn to "listen," because the night on board has "zero light pollution" and because the AFRICA PRINCESS, with its 30m2 of solar panels, that replace the traditional African generators, offers "zero pollution" sound ".
Kalmasoul: Thanks Jorge and see you soon, in a paradise of our Guinea Bissau.