What to do in The Gambia

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What to do in The Gambia
« on: October 15, 2004, 13:33:02 »
Organised trips are plentiful and the best mini adventures and romantic trips I will list(you'll know the difference by description;
bird watching within or outside your resort and early morning canoe with breakfast and birdwatching.

Makasutu nature park area.

Tanji village

A day trip to senegal - usually kaffountine is nice once there but a rough ride(a good day)

Pirogue up river for evening meal and till sunset

Katchakally croc pool or the other one i forget the name.

Janjanbureh to meet the alledged grandmother of alex haley(roots tv series writer) and shopping for carvings- ferry crossing is interesting.

Banjul market and centre for the serious business of trading and daily business..

Serrekunda market for the same but lower down the scale than banjul and in my opinion a lovely time of a dusky evening at a local bar watching the world go by.

Lonelu or romantic beach walks.

Visit a jola village - organised or by meeting 'a friend'

Georgetown up country and the hinter lands staying a night or two in a bird camp or lodge - see the thatch palm roundhouses that are home to the indigineous population.

Visit a school and donate pencils, paper or something

See about jinack island and how the trip might work for you...

Deep sea fishing in big sea going catamaran.

Deepish sea in a tatty old boat that looks like it wouldn't float..

Beach casting, creek and river fishing - catch barracuda, ladyfish, grouper, tiger etc...


There are many fantastic restaurants and interesting bars of high class, there are cafes and nice little places and some nasties and it's fun to go...

Local affra food bar

Reggae disco's - good nightclubs and open air venues of many types.

Befriend a bumster or local stall holder or hotel worker(somebody) and visit there home and family and give them £20 for your time with them for a day say like meet at 9am and travel by bush taxi see the family for green teas or buy refreshments sit and chat see the home and get back beach side for your sunshine by 2pm(suggestion)

Use the same guy as a guide where possible and tip him for his 'friendship' with a £1 or £2 and how you feel really as wages are low here even the equivalent of 20p is appreciated.

Give someone your t shirt who hasn't got one, and your shorts, socks, shoes jeans- it's up to you, i go home next to naked after 2 weeks but that's practised as i am clothing my 'friends' at the same time.

Choose quiet piece or loud reggae, there's a vast diversity here and everything is no problem..

Do it how ever you like - locals are happy to help if you are lost out on your own and organised trips/charity/things to do are very good as everything is so interesting..

I like it as if it was my first visit every time - 11 years on and double the in visits at least.


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What to do in The Gambia
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2004, 17:57:54 »
We hired a Landrover with driver and guide for the day and simply asked to be shown the real Gambia.  It was the best 'organised' trip I have ever been on.  Cost for the day, all in, including buying lunch was under £50 about 3 years ago.

The driver was a rasta called Jesus with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the country and we also took along one of the official guides who was also very knowledgeable and friendly.  We certainly got to places we wouldn't have seen on a more conventional trip.
I don't know if he is still there but Jesus used to park the Landrover outside the Palma Rima hotel.  If he isn't there just ask for his brother - Omar Sharif !!  I kid you not.[:D]


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What to do in The Gambia
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2004, 15:42:25 »
Jesus was my first argument outside the palma rima. Back in '94 I hated the country, the people, it was my first holiday there and I was getting such hassle. As a man every gambian was touching my arm and complimenting my beautiful white skin and then god forbid a man told me I had ''lovely bottoms''... I wouldn't mind but PLURAL!!! I know I'm fat but never has a compliment been so insulting to a white guy... from a black man???

Well anyway, after I had insulted the people and there constant begging, sucking up and general harping on!!! Before this I had  attempted a bush bus ride and Jesus's crowd of taxis were upset that i didn't want to ride with any of them, they thought I was going to meet another driver up the road. Well that's how it all started, I've written this back to front but I'm in full flow now.

Anyway, Jesus flung himself at my feet grabbing my ankles and crying as he and the drivers did not want to upset a tourist - It ended up a very emotional begging from him, makeing me realise that my presence was the thing that was causing people to 'bother' me not me being bothered by them if you get my drift- his intense desperation to make me happy in gambia made me immediatly humbled to his cause. Without me every year taking one landrover drive he is hungry! and desperate! He's still outside palma rima and he comes highly reccomended.


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What to do in The Gambia
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2004, 21:21:35 »
Jesus was recommended to me by an English couple who have been visiting The Gambia for years and I certainly wasn't disappointed.  The bumsters are a nuisance but how many of us can say, hand on heart, that if the positions were reversed we wouldn't be doing the same as them?
My understanding of the average wage is that it is in the region of £1 to £2 per day.  They see tourists with money apparently to burn so want a piece of the action.  The creation of the Official Tourist Guide was a direct attempt by the government of The Gambia to put some focus into these guys and it has had an effect.  It certainly hasn't stopped them but has reduced the problem.  Our guide said to walk in the sea to get away from them as they don't like to get their trainers wet[8D]  We didn't try that one.

Offline Carolinian

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What to do in The Gambia
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2004, 00:54:08 »
With all the inventory DAE seems to get in The Gambia, it sounds that this might be an interesting exchange.  What is the best time of year to go?  I imagine that the best air routing would be from the US through the UK to The Gambia.


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What to do in The Gambia
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2004, 12:22:37 »
yes us to uk gatwick, then to gambia.. or check out via amsterdam
or a clever one to senegal direct from somewhere in the usa(sorry i don't know which place) then senegal has a ferry that goes to banjul the gambia. or a coach/drive or an internal flight from senegal to banjul(yundum airport)...

best time of year- well basically it doesn't or at least hardly is possible to be able to rain between november to march... rainy season is july to sept but it's mostly at night and lovely and warm rain too- it's sticky and humid a bit much at that time. average temp is always about 32 degrees but lunch time high can be beyond 56 degrees.
please use high factor sun cream- i have seen fresh white skinned people blistered in about 2 hours and in hospital. not the place but the persons stupidity!!!

There is no best time really, but i like late may/june and maybe the first week of july- why- because flight is a little cheaper then and it's locally off season, so ornaments/fabrics and goods are cheaper. not too humid, not too busy for tourists, because it may rain once or twice of an evening for the experience of wet and warm(it's nice rain, honest), june is the roots homecoming festival period too where musically speaking some big reggae stars may turn up. i've seen live at the stadium and singing in bars or on holiday Frankie(dancehall) Paul, Youssa n'dour, Vivianne, Morgan Heritage and collecting stray dogs was Mark Owen(take that) Jay Griffiths(BUGS , The Bill and one to one adverts), Rick Parfitt(Status Quo)...

August is wet and then again... it's a bit wet. It's wet but it's warm and wet- don't do it, too many flies and mosquitoes..

big tip for mozzie control here... jungle formula doesn't work here but autan does. Avon skin so soft or straight vaseline worls, citronella wheels work here too.


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What to do in The Gambia
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2004, 09:28:24 »
Originally posted by Carolinian

With all the inventory DAE seems to get in The Gambia, it sounds that this might be an interesting exchange.  What is the best time of year to go?  I imagine that the best air routing would be from the US through the UK to The Gambia.

The main tour operators from the UK to The Gambia only operate between October and the end of April so that gives some indication of best time.


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What to do in The Gambia
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2004, 13:48:45 »
beg to differ on your thinkin' keith... the main tour operators flight schedules indicate to me the busiest periods and not the best times.
for weather- anytime except late july thru' touching october..
desperate and cheap prices for a tourist during low and desperate times= june!
most expensive time= xmas and january.
bank holidays and school break periods have more young children in the 3 and 2 star accom- kololi doesn't get children on mass as it is a family holiday centre of just 44 units sharing 2 pools, beach and 22 acres of space.... so children love it and it cant infringe on adult fun and space because it's big enough to cater for everyone.
plus all the families have their own off-site activities too so it always appears tranquil and not too busy.


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What to do in The Gambia
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2004, 12:24:38 »

I agree with your argument up to a point, but the tourist season tends to be the time with the 'best' weather.  The local guide we used said that once the rains start The Gambia almost comes to a halt apart from those areas with metalled roads.  Many of the tourist hotels etc also close down during that period. I took Carolinian's question to be one of a general tourist nature and that he would therefore want to make the most of the 'tourist facilities' such as they are in The Gambia.  
Certainly if you want to avoid the main tourist high costs then avoid the school holiday periods.  We travelled in March and the cost was less than getting to a half decent hotel in the Canaries.

Offline lucky

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What to do in The Gambia
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2005, 16:58:14 »
So what's the best time to go and to what resorts and through which exchange company.

My 1st and only trip there was in 1986, nearly 20 yrs ago. Weve been talking about the Canary Islands for next Feb half term but I cant get the enthusiasm, Ive been to Tenerife xxxx times and want a bit of culture and adventure but also some nice accomodation. When I think of the Gambia I remember how exciting it was (maybe different with 3 kids).

I can remember having the yellow fever vaccination and dont really know whether hubby would want to take the children if they have to have loads of vaccines, but will sort that one later. Perhaps when the flights are booked!!!!!!!!.