Local Time: GMT Flight
Currency: Gambian dalasi(GMD) – can be bought in
Health: Get anti-malarial medication from your
doctor. The risk of contracting malaria
is very real.
Yellow Fever is a monkey disease which can be spread by mosquitoes to humans,so it is advisable
to get this jab. You will receive a yellow fevercertificate which lasts for ten years.
Visa Requirement: Not required
Religion: 90% of the population is Muslim
Economy: This is made up mostly from agriculture and tourism. Groundnuts (in the form of nuts, oil and cattle cake) account for 90% of total export. Fishing and forestry also provide a living for the Gambians.
Do not expect to go on Safaris in the
They call the
REASONS TO GO
Fantastic Winter sun: It is over 30C every month.
Best time to go: November to March. The climate is dry and cool. June to October is the rainy season.
Under 6 hrs flying
time: Same time zone as
Wonderful sandy beaches: Friendly people and exotic culture:
River, bush and beach excursions Value for money:
Spectacular bird life: More than 560 species have been recorded here – amazing given the country’s relatively small size.
Good buys: Wooden carvings, beaded jewellery, batik and tie-dyed fabrics, and traditional ‘Djembe drums.
OTHER PLACES TO VISIT AND THINGS TO DO
Kotu/Kolol – These resorts lie South of Banjul. While tourism is taking off in these areas, it remains fairly low key. Kotu is more a selection of hotels strung along the beach. There is an 18 hole golf course here with clubs, balls and caddies available for hire. Kololi is more developed offering a hotel based holiday resort, with a casino and several, reasonably prices international restaurants.
Pirogue Trip – A pirogue is a traditional wooden boat which you chill out in along Oyster Creek.
Cycling- If you enjoy cycling this is an ideal place to do it. The landscape is flat, bike hire is cheap, and you’ll have the chance to experience a deeper insight into the African culture.
Contact the Cyclists Touring Club (0870 873 0060) or visit www.ctc.org.uk for route details and information.
Be prepared for the culture shock. There is poverty and begging but also genuine hospitality. Unofficial guides, known as bumsters, can be persistent to the point of nuisance. There are official guides who you can use at fixed price. Most taxi hotels have a taxi rank near by. It is best to agree a price in advance and there should be a price board displaying the tariffs. Public transport is by bush taxi, there are no buses and no railway system. Bush taxis cover the main routes and some bush roads, but do not run to schedule. They are cheap and very over-crowded with both people and animals but are a great way of absorbing the local flavour.
Beaches in the
The Atlantic coast has strong currents. You must take notice of ‘no swimming signs’ it is not always possible to swim in the sea.
Credit cards are not widely accepted and when they are charges may be high. It is recommended to take travellers cheques.
Bargaining is the name of the game. Expect to reduce the price of anything from 25% to 50%.
The big towns, Serrekunda and
Most hotels have an informal dress code. The majority of Gambians are Muslim so if you go out of the hotel dress modestly.
Evenings and morning can usually be cool, so a jumper maybe useful.
There are many superstitions and taboos in the
Gambian Tourist Board – www.visitthegambia.gm
Benachin – Rice cooked with meat or fish, vegetables and tomatoes.
Domoda - Meat stew in peanut puree and served with rice.
Superkanja – A mix of okra, fish ormeat, palm oil, onions and pepper boiled together.
Chicken Yassa – Chicken cooked with fresh lime, onions and ground black peppers.
ROOTS – A historic journey 200 years back in time to Alex Haley’s Roots. This trip
takes you on a long lazy cruise (down the River Gambia). A buffet of Gambian food is served on the
boat. If you are lucky you will see
Dolphins swimming in the river. After
several hours you will arrive at the ancient trading station of Albreda. From here take a 10 minute walk to Juffure,
which houses the
BIRDWATCHING – A must for birdwatchers – get an early start and experience the dawn chorus in a dugout canoe in the mangrove creeks of the River Gambia. Many birdwatchers hire local guides to show them good areas and help identify different species. Visit ABUKO NATURE RESERVE for excellent bird watching opportunities.
FISHING – The
SERRAKUNDA – This is the
largest town in the country and is just
1.5 miles inland from the resorts. Serrakunda is hectic and feels like one big
4 WHEEL DRIVE ADVENTUR – A dusty adventure on a 4x4 truck – a great introduction to The Gambia, bumping through the countryside visiting villages and schools. Have lunchon a beautifulbeachaway from tourist.
TANJI – This coastal village has a lively fishing centre, a great little museum of culture, a camel safari centre and the country’s only protected birds.
TWO DAY TRIP
THREE DAY TRIP
And a reasonable level of fitness is required. 3 nights per person costs £499.00 per person for tented accommodation.