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Gambia - is there much to see?

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Gambia - is there much to see?

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1. Posted by travelbug_ (Respected Member 110 posts) 6y

Hi all

Am thinking about going to Gambia but not sure if I would enjoy it. Is there much to see? Also where is the best place to stay there?

Thanks
Mimi:)

2. Posted by baluba (Respected Member 407 posts) 6y

It was a long time ago but from memory.....
The river is fab, swim amongst the mangroves, beaches are gorgeous, small piece of forest with monkeys and things, visit the site of Kunta Kinte (terrible spelling), where the slaves were kept before being shipped off abroad, a facinating place. You can take a day trip to Senegal and laze around on 7 miles of uninterrupted white sand beach, various museums, go off on a bus through Ganja (fields and fields of the stuff) to the fishing villages.
I dont know what it is like now but there were lots of beach hustlers wanting to be 'your friend' but I think the government has clamped down on it a bit now. I loved it!
Hope this helps a little.

3. Posted by travelbug_ (Respected Member 110 posts) 6y

Thanks Baluba.

Does anyone have any recommendations on where to stay?

Also are thins like food etc generally cheap there?

Thanks
Mimi:)

4. Posted by JoyC (Full Member 99 posts) 6y

I spent four weeks in The Gambia about 10 years ago and absolutely loved every minute of it! You must go!!! It's very cheap to eat, stay, and travel in the country. The best way to enjoy the country is to have contacts there who can advise you. Email me and I'll give you some names of folks you can look up when you are there: gambia_joy (at) yahoo.com.

I would plan to visit the following: Katchikally Crocodile Pool, Abuko Nature Preserve, Serrekunda Market, Bakau Craft Market, and Janjangbureh (upriver).

While everyone in the Banjul/Serrekunda area speaks English, you'll want to learn a few phrases - especially greetings - in Mandinka and Wolof. There are also some cultural things that visitors (especially women) should be aware of and sensitive to such as clothing. For example, women need to be sure they wear long pants, capris, or skirts that go at least past the knees. Send me a message if you'd like more detail. You can also learn a lot about The Gambia at http://www.smcm.edu/gambia/Unofficialguide/index.htm

You'll have a great time!
-Joy

5. Posted by travelbug_ (Respected Member 110 posts) 6y

Thanks ever so much Joy for all the info. Yes, I'm aware about the clothing for women but thanks for the tip.
Will be going for between 7-10 days.
Waiting to get a guide book to find out more info on accommodation. Will be travelling with my parents so need somewhere not to rough :)

6. Posted by Gambian4u (Budding Member 3 posts) 6y

Hey Mimi,
You made a good choice to visit the Gambia here.
There are much interesting and amazing places to see and visit in the Gambia, a lot of historical places and fun to have here.
I am sure, you will have a good holiday here with your parents.
There are good hotels in the Kololi areas, that are more quite and good.
I am a Gambian myself.
Greetings.
Dawda

7. Posted by joey22 (Travel Guru 561 posts) 6y

Mimi the Gambia is a cool destination - it has a strong sense of being in Africa and you can get off the beaten track, head up the river etc. but you can also chill out in nice, cheap guesthouses or hotels and spend some time on the beach - complete with reggae beach bars/huts and that sort of thing. The infrastructure is pretty decent - there are well-stocked supermarkets so you can even rent out a small house and self-cater. There are lots of western people milling about in certain areas - particularly the atlantic coast stretch around Banjul which includes the package resort areas like Fajara.

The people are great - if you venture out to small villages (which is very safe and easy to do) then the kids are adorable and will come running out to wave and say hello etc.

I would recommend you look at http://www.wonderyearsce.co.uk and consider going to stay with them for 2-3 days in the village. The accommodation is basic but the welcome will stay with you for a long time and the village is quite far from the big developments on the coast. The villagers are lovely, the team at WYCE are great fun and will make you feel very welcome and the beach is very nice - a few small huts serving drinks and only a few Gambian kids playing football. No tourists!!

I would also recommend that you consider hopping the border into Senegal if you fancy it. Brussels Airlines fly to both Banjul, Gambia and Dakar, Senegal so you could easily combine the 2 countries.

Senegal is great!! St Louis is a magnificent city and the nightlife in Dakar is better than anywhere I have been in my travels. Go now before it develops too much!!

Anything else I can help with just shout and it would be my pleasure

Joey :)

8. Posted by travelbug_ (Respected Member 110 posts) 6y

Thanks Joey for your post and all the info :)

As I will be with my parents we will splurge a little bit and treat ourselves to a nice accommodation . However we still would like to see the real Gambia . We will only be there for a week so will give Senegal a miss this time.

Can you recommend good places to visit and things to see.

Cheers:)

9. Posted by joey22 (Travel Guru 561 posts) 6y

Hi Mimi,

If the truth be told I was only in Gambia for a few days after an arduous 3.5 week drive down there from Oxford. We spent 2 days on the beach and then went to visit WYCE charity as we were sponsoring them.

I would have a look at The Gambia Experience website for ideas.

We stayed at The Garden Safari Hotel along the atlantic coast for 2 nights - its not hugely expensive at around 20 euros a night but is clean and comfortable with a pool and good food.

In a week you would have enough time to spend a couple of days in and around Banjul, a couple at a beach and also head up the river. Do make the effort to get away from the developed coastal areas and see some smaller villages.

Hope you guys have a great trip!!

:)

10. Posted by Gambian4u (Budding Member 3 posts) 6y

Hi Mimi,
Ofcourse, there is much lot to see here, at this time of the year its very warm and sunny here, very busy with lots of tourists on the beachside.
There is a lot historic and nature to see here , places like Abuko nature reserve, Katchikally nature reserve, Makasutu forest, Kartong snake farm, Brikama craft market which is in my town, is the biggest craft market in the Gambia and also Makasutu forest is in Brikama with wild animals to see, etc.. There are so many more I cant name them all, but be sure, you will like it here Mimi.
Regards.