An unknown paradise
I have the great pleasure to present you my new fly fishing destination in the tropical sea in the Bijagos Islands (Guinea-Bissau) on the island of Kéré in exclusive partnership with Laurent Durris (M’Îles vagues de découvertes) and Pollen Voyages (APST Guarantee Lic. IM029100010)
In the Bijagos archipelago, not very far from Europe, it is possible to measure yourself against powerful and numerous game fish, which, at equal weight, make all freshwater fish and some of our emblematic cold water marine species look like sissies…
For those who wish to take a step into the wonderful world of saltwater fly fishing and confront the brutality and pugnacity of tropical species, the Bijagos archipelago is, without a doubt, one of the most interesting destinations for the European fly fisher. Come and measure yourself, with your fly rod, against the incredible power of the jacks, the king fish of the archipelago and many other strong fighting species for great sport.
The island of Kéré and more widely the Bijagos archipelago, are a first class destination for saltwater fly fishing, as long as you are accompanied and guided by a specialist in the discipline.
I say this objectively with the necessary hindsight and analysis, having visited the Caribbean (Bahamas, Cuba, Florida) as well as a few other African destinations (Mauritania, Senegal), while having the experience of guiding and teaching saltwater fly fishing for sea bass in Brittany (and Ireland) for several decades.
Whatever your level of casting and your experience of saltwater fly fishing, you will find what you are looking for at Kéré, a small, private and heavenly islet located in the North West of the archipelago, between the islands of Caravela and Carache
- Numerous species of game fish of all sizes for all levels.
- Unlimited fishing time (24 hours a day!)
- Configuration of the islands and sandbars which is particularly suitable for fly fishing.
- Tropical oceanic climate, very pleasant because it is breezy.
- An ideal destination to combine fly fishing holidays into a couple’s or family holiday (see details below). Children are welcome.
- One of the most beautiful eco-tourism destinations in West Africa.
- Many activities for accompanying persons.
- Warm French welcome.
- Dedicated and professional staff.
- Eco-responsible policy in the management of the island.
- High level of comfort considering to the isolation of the island (rooms, catering, no mosquitoes, wifi, etc.)
- Relative proximity to Europe
- Low prices compared to other saltwater fly fishing destinations.
- Advice on equipment several months before departure (preparations and possible purchases). An exhaustive check-list is provided upon payment of the deposit.
Presentation of the archipelago
The Bissagos archipelago (Bijagos in Portuguese) is a group of about forty islands located south-west of Bissau, the capital of Guinea Bissau, half an hour by plane from the coast of this West African country, wedged between Senegal to the north and the Republic of Guinea (or Guinea Conakry) to the south. The reputation of the Bissagos for sport fishing is well established, and several fishing centres have been welcoming Europeans for decades.
Located on the continental shelf, the archipelago is immersed in the Atlantic Ocean. The shallow waters and the numerous currents generated by the tides make the waters extremely rich in forage fish, hence the presence of numerous species of predatory fish : African red snapper, jacks, cobias, barracudas, leerfish, West African spanish mackerel, etc…
These shallows protect the archipelago from industrial fishing and make it a sanctuary for many game fish.
My guided fly fishing programmes* in Kéré :
I provide my students and trainees with my 35 years of experience in sea fly fishing and my knowledge of the archipelago.
It is a mixed destination to operate:
By wading more or less deep according to the configuration of the fishing spots, along the beaches and on the sandbars accessible by boat at low tide, high hunting and passage places for jacks, the biggest of which can weigh 15 to 20 kilos.
Fly casting from rocky points (which often frame sublime sandy beaches) is also possible, as they are licked by currents and the passage of multiple predators.
Note that fishing around Kéré is theoretically unlimited, you could cast 24 hours a day! (notice to the marathoners)
The fishing around the island is often top notch and there are plenty of species to be caught, just a cast away from your room! Dawn (before breakfast) and dusk (before dinner) sessions are very popular and night fishing from the shore or by boat (depending on the tide level) can bring huge surprises.
Since March 2022, we have been operating with 2 specific fly fishing boats (not like the Caribbean skiffs) ideal for 2 anglers each with a low freeboard and quiet 100 HP/4 stroke outboard motors. Each boat is operated by a French speaking marinheiro (who we have trained to meet the specific needs of fly fishermen: engine cut drifts, approaches bypassing chases, etc.)
The boats allow access to the best surrounding islands within a maximum of one hour’s sailing time (depending on the tidal coefficients and the strength of the current), to the most productive sandbars and not least, to fish efficiently the chasing frenzies that occur in the open water between the islands or to get close to the chasing fish, unreachable from the shore.
The diversity of fly-fishing sport fish is exceptional in the archipelago:
7 species of jacks:
- Jack Crevalle (Caranx hippos)
- Long Fin Crevalle Jack (Caranx fischeri)
- African pompano (Alectic ciliaris)
- Alexandria pompano (Alectic alexandrina)
- Jack (Caranx senegallus)
- Leerfish (Lichia amia)
- Blue Runner (Caranx crysos)
And not least:
- West African Spanish Mackerel (Scomberomorus tritor)
- African Red Snapper (Lutjanus agennes)
- Ladyfish (Elops senegalensis)
- Guinean barracuda (Sphyraena afra)
- Tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) (5 to 25 kg on specific trips)
- Cobia (Rachycentron canadum)
- Cassava Croaker (Pseudotolithus senegalensis)
*When I say guided trips, let’s be clear: I also fish a little (especially when operating from the shore) but I always give priority to the fishing action of my clients and I am fully available for advice and assistance: choice of flies, knot tying, eventual repairs, fighting, “fish landing” (we leave the fish in the water as much as possible), unhooking, releasing, photos, videos, etc.
Those of you who have started fly fishing on board my boat in the Bay of Morlaix or the Roadstead of Brest know my professional philosophy.
My practice is also an example because when I double haul a line, I always stay close to my students, in order to be able to assist them quickly in case of need.
My programmes are dedicated to all levels of fly fishermen (except beginners) having a real experience with rods of power 7 to 9 (preferable practice of reservoir fly fishing, predatory fish such as pike or European sea bass) without necessarily being experts. The mastery of the double haul is a plus, but not essential. The main objective of the masterclass is to help you become a better saltwater fly fisherman.
An outstanding opportunity in a paradise island and wild brutal fish sanctuary.
(source : M’Îles vagues de découvertes)
Guinea-Bissau, a former Portuguese colony, is a country of 36,125 km2, populated by some fifteen ethnic groups for a total of just under 2 million inhabitants (2018). It is a country that has not yet been affected by the major tourism projects that have impacted West Africa. The economy is mainly based on agriculture (cashew nuts 60% of the country’s income), groundnuts, rice, millet and sorghum), fishing and livestock. Guinea-Bissau also has underwater oil and bauxite reserves. These natural resources are not yet fully exploited.
Guinea-Bissau has an Atlantic coastline of 160 km with alternating beaches and estuaries with mangroves, and the Bissagos Archipelago has some forty islands. The languages commonly used are Portuguese, Portuguese Creole and French. The camp guides understand our language perfectly. The local currency is the peso l000 FCFA = about 1,52€.
Time zone: UTC-1 (time difference of minus 1 hour with France)
For the accompanying persons
Sunbathing or swimming for the older children. Games on the beach or swimming at the edge of the hut for the children in a safe area without current. Of course under the supervision of their parents. Kéré is the island for children who are free, in contact with nature.
The white sandy beach of Kéré is worthy of the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean. It is a paradise for all those who like to relax and sunbathe. Come and forget the stress of life and share with friends or family pure moments of happiness, feet in the water or feet in a fan, comfortable deckchair, drinks, shower.
The Bijagos have an incredibly varied nature (savannah, palm groves, white sand beaches, mangroves, tropical forests, etc.) and a biodiversity that is unique in the world. This is why in 1996, the entire archipelago was classified as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO and two national parks were created: the Orango National Park and the João Vieira and Poilão Marine Park.
A wild and preserved fauna and flora
Guinea Bissau has several protected natural parks, including the Campanez Park, known for its beautiful chimpanzee colony. The Bijagos archipelago was classified as a biosphere reserve in 1996 by UNESCO and has three natural reserves: Maio, Orango and Poilão reserves.
We offer you the opportunity to discover all these natural parks and to organise tailor-made trips: kayaking down the Rio Corubal, approaching the last wild chimpanzees in Africa, a boat trip in the archipelago to photograph marine hippos, dolphins, turtles and an infinite variety of birds
The Orango Reserve is home to marine hippos, endemic to the Bijagos. The Poilão reserve is the first site for turtles to lay their eggs in Africa. It is a magical sight to see dozens of turtles laying eggs and to see the baby turtles courageously launch themselves into the sea.
Sometimes dolphins do us the great honor of accompanying us for a few nautical miles, playing at the bow of our boats
Come and share with us unforgettable moments in contact with the preserved nature of the Bijagos archipelago.
Discovering the Bijagos people
The islands of the Bijagos archipelago have always been very isolated. They are preserved and authentic. We know the Bijagos people well and we work with them in a constant concern for fair trade. Sharing and mutual aid guide our relationship with this proud and independent people.
A responsible and sustainable ecotourism.
Come and share with us some privileged moments of the life of the Bijagos. Visit villages, participate in village life and festivals. Visit the dispensary and the school that we helped to build.
Dialogue and sharing to be able to grasp all this richness as closely as possible. Our guides speak Creole and Bijago perfectly. Most of them come from the villages and live with their families in the village. They will help you discover their lives.
Our love for Africa and the Bijagos archipelago is the driving force behind our desire to help and make this proud and secret people known.
Come and share with us, with them, privileged and rare moments close to nature. At Kéré, ecotourism rhymes with sharing.
The bungalows on Kéré are very comfortable. Traditionally built for a perfect integration into the natural site, our bungalows offer all the comforts of modern life: quality bedding, mosquito nets on all doors and windows (although there are few mosquitoes on Kéré), private sanitary facilities for most bungalows.
All bungalows at Kéré have a large covered lounge to enjoy moments of calm and relaxation. With a good book or a cocktail in your hand you can enjoy the sunset in complete serenity. You can also share magical moments with your family or friends.
We offer double bungalows for families or groups of friends. Children can sleep next to their parents but in separate rooms. We also offer single bungalows that offer serenity and independence.
Two chefs for your taste buds
First of all, the aperitif taken at the bar or in the lounge facing the beautiful white sandy beach: traditional alcohols, “house” cocktails made before your eyes by our barmaid or soft drinks served with popcorn or peanuts. It is a moment of relaxation and conviviality.
Our two chefs and their team have become masters in the art of cooking fish. You will eat at Kéré the freshest fish in Africa caught just a few hours before the meal: carpaccio of red snapper, Spanish mackerel, red snapper in salt crust, jackfish tartar, barracuda gratin…
Fish is the mainstay of the diet on Kéré. But for those who do not like fish, our chefs can prepare vegetarian, egg or meat menus. The meal ends with a nice little dessert: lemon mousse, chocolate cake, caramel flan or fruit salad.
The chefs cook for you. If you want a particular dish (the star is the red snapper carpaccio), if you don’t like something or if you have food allergies, tell them! They’ll cook up something to your liking. Meals on Kéré are moments of sharing.
Periods available in 2023 :
The next dates are in November 2023 with good tides and moon phases. I have blocked the accommodation and am currently building my groups of 4/5 fly fishers max. First come first served.
Let’s be clear: deposits will be fully refunded if a new pandemic episode makes the trip impossible but it seems we are out of the critical period.
9 days, 8 nights in Kéré, 7 full days of guided fly fishing (instruction, assistance and organisation).
The programme can be adapted according to the conditions and the wishes of the group.
November 2023 dates : to be precisely determined according to tides and group profiles.
- Departure from the EU: October 30.
- Transfer to the fishing camp on 31/10. Installation and recovery of the trip.
- 7 full days fishing from November 01 to 07 . 8 nights
- Return flight to EU on November 9th.
- Departure from EU: not available yet.
- Transfer to fishing camp on XX/11. Set up and recovery from trip.
- 7 full days fishing from XX-XX November. 8 nights
- Return flight to EU on XX November.
- 4 days by boat (based on 2 or 3 people per boat), 3 days from shore around the islands and on the sandbars.
- Price per person: from about €4,545 /based on 4 to 5 fishermen. The discount for a double room is 270 €.
- For non-fishermen: €2 235 per person full board (including return airfare).
Prices include :
- Round trip airfare with RAM (Royal Air Maroc) (departure Paris Orly- destination Bissau via Casablanca)
- 8 nights full board and single accommodation in a comfortable bungalow with ocean view (filtered water at will)
- All transfers from Bissau airport to Kéré Island and back (90/100′ by 4×4 to Quinhámel “landing stage” and 90/100′ by boat to Kéré depending on the tide)
- 7 days guided fishing.
Not included :
- Transfer to Paris Orly airport (ORY)
- Comprehensive insurance: approx. 160 €.
- Cost of VISA (about 60€ + postage)
- Nights in Bissau (hotel Coimbra: 70€) and dinner in Bissau (cheap) if necessary depending on flight schedules.
- Tourist tax and accommodation tax
- Alcoholic beverages
- Crew tips (at discretion)