We (Cor and Grietje van NoFear Travel), travel with our Toyota Hilux 4×4 camper by Africa. The African continent is the Mecca for 'overlanding' with many challenging routes and beautiful destinations. The first African country we visited during our trip to South Africa is Morocco, followed by Mauritania en Senegal. From Senegal we then cross the border to Guinea Bissau, one of the five poorest countries in the world. From there we drive to neighboring country Guinea. For our travel story about Guinea, we first dedicate an extra blog to guide Hassan in Doucki, simply because he has such a remarkable personality that it deserves a separate story.
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About Hassan, the guide in Doucki
In addition to staying with him in his compound for three days, we have the opportunity to interview him and learn more about his background.
Hassan is a vital man of 61 years old and lives in the village Doucki. Doucki is in the heart of the Fouta Jallon. The Fouta Djallon is an overwhelmingly beautiful mountain area in Guinea, west Africa. It has beautiful rock formations, fantastic vistas, breathtaking waterfalls and a few, often challenging, hikes. And precisely as a guide, Hassan is the one who shows you the way through this remarkable area.
What does it cost and what do you get?
Let's get straight to the point…Hassan does it for a reason. You will have lost about fifty euros per person per day. For this you get a traditional meal from the surprising Guinean kitchen three times a day, a mud and thatched shelter which can be considered simple by European standards and at least one walk a day through the area. Beforehand we had read various reactions on the internet, which were sometimes quite divergent.
And indeed, if you are traveling on a small budget, it may be quite a hit. But it is worse to have been to Guinea and not to have visited Hassan and his compound in Doucki. Immediately on the first day, the guestbook was pushed under our nose. To be fair, we had never had such a thick guest book filled with wonderful stories in our hands before.
The compound in Doucki
In a part of the village of Doucki there are several round mud houses and a few more modern accommodations. Some are for Hassan and his family, others for guests. You can always find a place to camp in your own camping equipment. Hassan's family consists of about 250 people. Relatives ultimately descended from three grandfathers. There are 10 different lodges where a total of 25-30 people can stay overnight. But unfortunately they haven't been there since Covid.
The atmosphere in the village is great. As an outsider you are included in the village community and you just live among the playing children, the washing women, the free-range chickens and bleating goats. The oranges are ready to pick and in a month the sweet mangoes will be ripe.
Energetic and welcoming
Hassan is a very energetic man, he climbs over the rocks like a young dog and is not afraid to show that a handstand is also possible. His motto in life is, among other things, to make other people as happy as possible, and he can do that like no other. Very regularly he comes by to ask if everything is still okay, or he brings a bottle of honey or a bucket! fresh oranges. He knows a lot about nature, culture and environment. An entertainer par excellence. From the heart and for the community.
The 6 walks with names such as “Chutes and ladders” and “Indiana Jones” differ in difficulty, but are all very worthwhile. We dare to say that we have been able to see quite a lot of mountain areas, but in the vicinity of Doucki there is an added dimension. The rock formations, the waterfalls and the beautiful vistas are fantastic.
Hassan organizes the walking day entirely according to the wishes and fitness of the guest. He has a nephew (Alhassane Bah) whom he is training to be a guide and who now has almost the same qualities as his uncle. Relaxation and hospitality are of paramount importance.
Supporting the community
The proceeds from Hassan's activities largely go to projects with which he supports the community. If something needs to be done around infrastructure, a water pump or other projects in the public interest, Hassan pays. Of course, money is set aside for worse times and maintenance of existing facilities.
One of the reasons for Hassan's success is his good knowledge of the English language. This enables him to provide a large group of travelers with the right information.
French-oriented Guinea left Hasssan for a while in his younger years to go to school in Sierra Leone and later to engage in scouting and learn the English language there.
But since 2001 he has returned to his home base Doucki where he feels like a fish in water and has built up quite a reputation.
There is no question of mass tourism, pure, hardly discovered, quality tourism!
WhatsApp Hassan: +224 627792954
Call only +224 622457553