Makasutu Cultural Forest is a destination packed with traditional culture, nature and wildlife.
The Forest is a private, ecotourism woodland reserve in the Kombo Central District.
The protected wilderness is a pristine expanse of riverine, palm & hardwood-forest, mangrove creek, savanna & salt-flat ecosystems.
Two Britons, James and Lawrence, founded Makasutu – meaning ‘sacred forest’ in Mandinka – as both an ecology project and a place for people to come and learn about the local culture and people. Makasutu is a tropical 405 hectare reserve encompassing five different eco-systems, including gallery forest, savannah, mangroves, palm forest and wetland. Wildlife is plentiful with many bird species, monitor lizards, baboons, vervet and red colobus monkeys, the occasional crocodile and even the odd mongoose can be spotted on the riverbanks.
There are plenty of things to do. During the nature trail, your guide will show you the different tree and plant species while you will undoubtedly spot monkeys and birds.
Along the way you have the opportunity to visit a traditional medicine man (called a 'Marabout' in the local language) who makes and sells potions and who can read the future for you, if you so desire.
You can also visit a palm wine tapper. And of course you will be able to sample the delicious but intoxicating wine he produces.
After a delicious buffet lunch comes the entertainment. A group of Makasutu based dancers and drummers of the Jola tribe will perform for you and you are invited to dance along.
There are various trips available on the river, including slow meandering explorations of the labyrinthine tributaries that characterise the area. You will see lots of birds and perhaps a monitor lizard and who knows, even a crocodile.
In any case, you will have a great time while enjoying and exploring the area on foot, per canoe or just sitting around in the open space restaurant.