In the context of the of socially responsible touristic activity of the OntunLan N’do Botor Project, IMVF and Artissal organised on the 10th of November 2011, the first test of a tour package to be offered by the tourist complex Djorson 7 – Circuit of Balobas.
The circuit allows a better understanding of the ethnicity of the Papel people, the majority in the area, and was tested firstly by 14 Spanish tourists, part of the package offered to these tourists by the Orango Park, managed by CBD ? Fundación Habitat. With a two and a half hours duration, the route led visitors to sites of sacred symbolism and rituals of the Balobeiros and Irãs, mystical figures of animistic worship for the Papel people.
The trail begins at the entrance to the Kingdom of Tôr. A 500 meters walk on a dirt road that intersects with the everyday life of local communities: their houses – which are built along the road, the fields – where women show their irrigation work, building homes and caring for children.
In all the tabancas (villages) visited ? Bissã, Balobas, Ndafe and Quinaple ? the reception was warm and the experience for the visitors was unique. At the end, the group, which was received with music, dance and short traditional ceremonies, expressed unanimous satisfaction with the trip.
According to Mariana Ferreira, local Coordinator of the Project, it took almost 3 years to prepare the circuit. «I’m proud of all those who organised meetings and ?djumbais? with the community, tested many, many times the places, the trails, raising awareness amongst the people, ?tabanca? leaders and traditional entities (…) stimulating the natural hospitality of the host communities so that today we can provide our tourists unforgettable moments in Guinea-Bissau», she said.
The Project Ontunlan N’do Botor – Socially Responsible Tourism in the Quinhamel Sector – Guinea-Bissau, is an initiative of IMVF and of the Guinean NGO Artissal, co-financed by the European Commission.