reasons to visit gambia

Things To Do In Gambia

7 things to do in Gambia

People do a lot of things to take care of boredom; play games, listen to music or watch a movie, read, etc. But sometimes you need something more, you feel this need to get up and explore someplace new. Let’s say you’re going through that time right now and you can’t make up your mind where to go and why you should go. What if I told you I have the perfect place for you to visit, where you will have tons to do and beautiful scenery to enjoy. Welcome to Gambia, that is the place to visit this year. Here are the 7 things to do in Gambia:

 

Go Explore:

The bush taxi is the cheapest public transport, these are the white minibuses that travel set routes between towns and cram the passengers in but they are extremely cheap and have a fixed price of around 10 Dalasi. The yellow taxis, with a green stripe down the side, cost about the same as the minibuses, charging per person at a fixed rate and they are likely to pick up further passengers along the way. The tourist taxis are green and it is these that you will find outside the hotels. They are very much more expensive but are usually in the best condition and have the best insurance.

Gmabia thiings to do

Craft Markets:

The second thing to do over in Gambia is to hit the craft markets where you can browse the local crafts and pick up some souvenirs. The best-known markets are at Serrekunda, the largest town in The Gambia and Royal Albert Market in the capital, Banjul. Both of these towns have large markets selling everything under the sun with a tourist craft market attached.

Fishing Village:

The third thing on our list is one of the most popular past times in the world, that’s right, fishing. There is ample opportunity to fish in Gambia, there are fish markets situated at Bakau, Tanji and Sanyang. These are the places where you can just relax and watch the fishing boats dock and unload the day’s catch. There is ample opportunity for click-worthy photos here, so if you want a memorable piece, this is the place.

Gmabia thiings to do

Sanyang Beach:

I have just mentioned this beach as a location for ample fishing opportunity. Every beach on this planet has a unique identity, that sets it apart from the rest of the beaches. And fishing is Sanyang’s special point. It is a lovely spot that has a small bar there and off to one side you’ll see rows of colourful fishing boats and behind that the fish is being prepared, dried and smoked. There are also a few craft stalls.

Gmabia thiings to do

Kachikally Sacred Crocodile Pool:

This particular one is located in Bakau, but there are quite a few throughout the Gambia. The waters of the pool are believed to have magical powers, they are said to aid fertility and women come from long distances to bathe in these waters to aid in their pregnancies. The crocodiles have become so used to visitors that you can walk right up to them and stroke them but only on the advice of the guides.

Gmabia thiings to do

Birdwatching:

One of the most popular hobbies in the world is birdwatching. And it so happens that Gambia is well known for ample opportunities related to it. The best way to go bird watching is to hire an official guide, however, many of the hotels have lovely grounds where many different birds can be seen and it is worth asking if they have a bird guidebook you can borrow and even some binoculars.

Gmabia thiings to do

Traditional Drumming and Dance:

A must experience event if there ever was one in Gambia. If you’re in the need for entertainment, then you’ll find that the local hotels and restaurants provide ample opportunities for that. There may be a variation in quality and style, but you will find a few great traditional groups that play the circuit of hotels. Their performances can be enjoyed over food and drinks. If you like their performance, then be sure to tip them as all art deserves appreciation.

Gmabia thiings to do

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reasons to visit gambia

Reasons to visit Gambia

Reasons to visit Gambia

Working all the time and getting things done might make you think you are the king of the world. But your brain will always feel the opposite. Brains get tired of continuously working and stress. Vacations can help reset your mind. So take a deep breath and plan a splendid vacation. After deciding to finally have a vacation, the next thing is, where to go? Here are some reasons which would definitely make your mind to plan a vacation to Gambia.

reasons to visit gambia

1. History of Gambia
In the tenth century, Muslims merchants and scholars established several communities in west African countries. The name “Gambia” is derived from the Mandinka term Kambral/Kambaa, which means Gambia River. The history is reflected in the many facets of this country including culture and architecture.

2. The city of Banjul
The city of Banjul which is known as Bathrust, is the capital city of Gambia. Whole year the climate of the city is warm, but a tropical dry and warm climate. A great place to try out the Gambian experience there are a wide variety of activities that you can be engaged in.

3. Abuko Forest
This forest has the nature locked in itself, from various monkey species to crocodiles this place is a must visit to those who love animals. The wildlife has its own eye capturing beauty. The green trees and waterfalls within the wild creatures are simply a great attraction for tourists. Abuko contains a quite remarkable biodiversity, with many thousands of species.

4. River Gambia
This river is located in the West Africa. Rising in the Republic of Guinea and flowing westward through The Gambia into the Atlantic Ocean. The finest ways of oceangoing shipping. The Gambia is joined by the several creeks called Bolons. The main use of this river is transporting passengers and freight. The river has a special breeding place for river creatures, and many unique bird species are found there. If you are in Gambia, then you should make a list of visiting the places and This river should be on top!

reasons to visit gambia

5. Wassu Stone Circles
These are the mysterious stones; their history lies in the era of 750-1000 AD. They are considered as the most ancient man-made stone circles. Mainly people believe that these are the burials of ancient kings. The story behind these circles is not that clear. Many tourists come to visit this place, as it is the most intriguing thing of ancient times!

reasons to visit gambia

6. Senegambia Beach Hotel
If you are on a vacation, the first thing comes into your mind, is to have marvellous stay. The best hotel in Gambia is known as Senegambia Beach Hotel. What can be more fascinating than a sunset on the beach? This beach hotel is on the Atlantic Ocean. The Tanji River reserve and TranguiBijjio forest park are just on a Ten-minute walk ride. So the best place to have a comfortable stay with the most beautiful areas. other than a hotel, this beach has many bars which have the best games like mini golf.one should not just miss this!

reasons to visit gambia

7. Golden Sand beach
This country is small but has the best sand beaches. That’s why considered as the most popular destinations. The place is simply amazing and known as Kololi. The golden sand, where you can a have a walk with no shoes, and write your names on the glittering sand. The tropical juices are the most delicious drinks, the exotic restaurants, serving the tantalizing food are the reason that this beach is always filled with people. So, come to Gambia and have an amazing time at the Kololi beach!

reasons to visit gambia

8. Bijlo Forest park
This park is the place which is mostly loved by kids. The park is full with monkeys roaming here and there. Best place for kids. You will feel great when monkeys will come in front of you and play with each other. You will love to walk around the green forest filled with so many trees and wonderful waterfalls. It is a small forest with lots of monkeys. The best thing is Senegambia beach is just five minutes away to this park. So you can manage a wonderful trip. Stay at Senegambia beach, and explore the other places too!

reasons to visit gambia

9. Nightlife in Gambia
Every person who is on a vacation tries the best to eat the most delightful food, and to visit the most famous places, the last thing is to have memorable nights. To have fun with hip – hop bands and meet new people. The most famous nightclub is Hollywood City Nightclub. Best music and a wonderful dance hall for all those people who are party lovers, this place is right for you. as it has the best wines. The party lasts late night hours. So add this to your list too.

10. Enlighten yourself, with delicious food!
Tempting food is the main thing in the vacation, and you will find the Gambian food one of the most delicious. When you are in Gambia, try the most popular dish, Domada it is a dish made from ground nuts, into a concentrated peanut paste. And it can be made by adding meat, beef or fish with plenty of vegetables.

11. Sports in Gambia
Many sports are being played in Gambia. The most played are Known as Borreh. Which is also the national game of The Gambia? It is also known as “Gambian Wrestling”. It is an athletic form of entertainment. Where the both players are opponents, they have to defend themselves while attacking another. Ringer competitions are held in the villages and in open grounds to see the thrilling game. Though, the Gambians play football too. Their football team is known as The Scorpions.

reasons to visit gambia

I just thought to share an interesting fact, the method of casting vote in elections is quite different in Gambia. They cast their votes by dropping stones into holes.

I hope these fantastic reasons are enough for you to make a plan for a vacation in Gambia.

Some pictures were sourced from https://www.touristmaker.com/gambia/ a great website that is certainly worth a visit if you’re planning to visit.


gambia

Gambia article

Gambia – The Place Where The Adventure Starts

The entire idea of travelling is to explore hidden corners of the world and learn more about distant cultures. The Black Continent had attracted people from all over the world centuries ago, and it seems it is starting to be a magnet again. And if you really want to feel the pulse of Africa then you should head south of the Sahara region. Gambia may be the best spot for you since it has everything you need for an adventurous vacation.

gambia market

Where To Find It?

Gambia is a real hidden gem since it is the smallest country in entire Africa. It is located on the western shores of the continent and completely surrounded by another exotic country – Senegal. The Atlantic Ocean is its only connection to the rest of the world, but you can easily access it by plane. And once you are there, you can always take a cab to reach any place you want. Most of the visitors use boats for travelling through Gambia. Namely, the country is split in half by the River Gambia which is completely navigable, so travelling by boat is also a major tourist attraction.

Gambia’s tropical climate is one of its top assets together with astonishing nature. The coastal region is the most populated part of the country, and this is where its capital, Banjul, is located. The upriver part is less inhabited, and if you are an adventurous type, you can go there and witness the untouched beauty of Gambia’s savannah. There are also a few reserves where you can see many animal species such as monkeys, bushbucks, chameleons, crocodiles, hogs, antelope, and hippos, in their natural surroundings.

Foggy Past Of The Country

People have been living in Gambia for more than five thousand years, and it seems that this continuum has never been ended. The Carthaginians have made some trade routes in Gambia and the Romans have made contacts with the natives too. During the middle ages, Gambia was a part of the vast Mali Empire, and in the 15th century, the entire region was acquainted with Islam. The first European country that made contacts in Gambia was Portugal. They have established trade routes for exporting ivory, ebony, beeswax, gold and many other things. The Portuguese were later replaced by the Dutch, then the Germans, British and French, and all of these nations have left a trace in this small country. Gambia finally became an independent state in 1965, and ever since then it has started to develop tourism as its primary activity.

gambia fishing

What To Visit?

Gambia’s capital Banjul will probably be your first stop, so you should take some time to check out its top attractions. The best places to get more information about the country’s past, culture and traditions are definitively the  Gambian National Museum and African Heritage Museum. If you are a fan of shopping, then you should check out the Albert Market which was built in the 19th century. You can find a lot of exciting stuff here, from local fruit and vegetables, exotic spices, to unique souvenirs. Also, check out the impressive colonial buildings at the McCarthy Square, and the beautiful War Memorial and Fountain right next to the square. The oldest mosque in the city dates back to the 19th century, and its amazing architecture will leave you breathless. It used to be called the Independence Drive Mosque but now they have renamed it to Masjid Abu Bakar Saddiq.

The Fort James Island is something you should definitively not miss. Visiting this place may be emotional because this used to be the main centre of the slave trade. You will have a chance to see how these poor people used to live and learn more about their desperate fortune. And if you think that only Britain has Stonehedge then you should go and visit the Stone Circles of Senegambia.

These are just some of the head spots in Gambia, but once you get there, you will have a chance to check even more of them.

gambia travel

Accommodation Suits Everyone’s Budget

It does not matter where you want to stay in Gambia, or which of the beautiful resorts you want to visit. One thing is for sure: you will always have a vast variety of options when it comes to accommodation. For instance, if you are to visit Kololi, the most popular resort in Gambia, you will find numerous luxurious hotels along the entire coast. All of them are excellently equipped, with large gardens and extensive terraces. Even though these hotels are placed right on the beach, they still provide you with a lot of shade since they have many palm trees all around. It is actually easy to find a peaceful spot for having some rest, read a good book and simply enjoy your vacation. Hence, you can, for instance, visit the large hotels like the Kairaba, or the Senegambia. Each of them will take your breath away not only with its beauty but also with an excellent service.

Should you visit a smaller version of Kololi, called Kotu, you will not be disappointed at all. Namely, the place offers beaches with the most beautiful sunset, top rated restaurants and of course, all kinds of lodging. So, if you travel with your family, a good recommendation is a Kombo Beach Hotel. There are a couple of the restaurants in it, and there is always something going on in or around the hotel. You will certainly never feel bored here. On the other hand, if your vacation considers you and your other half, then Sunset Beach Hotel is the right choice. Most of its rooms have balconies with an unforgettable view over the sea. What is more, this hotel is suitable for solo travellers, since the staff, as well as other guests, at the Sunset Beach Hotel, are very polite.

However, another chance for the visitors whose pockets are not so deep is Bungalow Beach that offers self-catering apartments. These are excellent opportunity to have some privacy away from the crowd. Plus, they are much cheaper than the hotels.

Visiting Bijilo will undoubtedly be a discovery since the place is ideal for a peaceful vacation, but at the same time is set near Kololi where people usually come to a party. It is only 5 minutes away from Kololi if you drive with a taxi. But, don’t think that a small and quiet place like this one is boring or mediocre. At the matter of fact, in Bijilo, one will have the chance to stay in the most luxurious hotel in the whole Gambia. Its name is Coco Ocean Resort And Spa. A splendid Moroccan architecture, stylish decor and super quality service will make you feel like in heaven. The hotel has many rooms and suites on offer, and if finances are not your issue, then we strongly recommend this hotel while visiting Gambia.

But those who want to experience authentic Africa should inevitably go to Bakau. Here you will indeed feel like a local since visiting a fish market, or crocodile pool would be like a routine. And when it comes to accommodation, African Village would be a great pick. It is a somewhat modest hotel, but at the same time very friendly. African Village is not expensive, and its staff will make sure nothing lacks you.

Along with a countless number of hotels, hostels, and private apartments in Gambia, one can also rent a guest house. These houses are very luxurious, and should you rent them you will indeed feel like royalty. In addition, all those who want to spare money on accommodation are welcome to visit camps or take B&Bs. You will find these easily since the Internet abounds with accommodation ads for Gambia.

gambia homestay

Cuisine – Fulfills Even The Highest Demands

Tourism in Gambia is so developed that there probably is not a cuisine that you will not find here. The country, and especially touristic regions, abound with all kinds of restaurants, many of which are specialised in a particular kind of food. Hence, Chinese, Italian, Lebanese or Indian cuisines are not foreign here, and we certainly won’t mention international meals. So, even if your palate is super demanding, in Gambia you will surely not stay hungry.

What is more, Gambian cuisine is a must during your visit. Getting to know a country you are visiting for the first time means trying its traditional dishes. This is, actually, an excellent way to understand more of its culture.

A tradition dictates that in a family, all the members sit around one large bowl of food, and each person eats in front of him, with a right hand. However, such a tradition is not always in practice. In most of the restaurants, visitors and travellers eat the way they are used to.

When it comes to food, you should know that the most popular food in Gambia is rice. It is served very often but with a wide variety of different sauces. But aside from rice, there are many other interesting as well as tasty dishes. For instance, you can go for ‘Akara’, which is an excellent choice for breakfast. It considers black-eyed peas that are grounded into flour and then fried. ‘Akara’ is usually served with a sauce (onion, chilli). The most popular lunch served in Gambia is certainly ‘Domada’. It is made of peanuts and mustard, tomato paste, onion and black pepper. Of course, it is served with rice. Dinner, again, has a famous Gambian snack on offer – ‘Afra’. Here you have a choice as to decide which kind of meat will be chopped and grilled right in front of you, and then served with a spicy sauce or mustard. Many visitors eat ‘Afra’ for lunch as well.

Gambian cuisine does not consider only the above-mentioned meals. But, let’s say that you would be surprised how many other excellent dishes are on regular offer in many local restaurants in Gambia. We will let you in on a secret: Don’t miss to try ‘baobab juice’, ‘okra stew’, or ‘jassa’. But be careful not to gain some weight while on vacation in Gambia.

gambia

Different Activities On Offer

Visiting Gambia means exploring the country to its tiniest parts as well as doing various interesting things. Apart from visiting Albert’s Market and spending your savings on the souvenirs for your beloved ones, Gambia offers you a wide range of activities. A very popular destination is Bijilo Forest Park. This is a small reserve and forest which is a perfect chance for an escape to a natural surrounding. Another, sacred spot for the locals is the well-known Kachikally Crocodile Pool. The pool is a home to at least 78 crocodiles, both grown up and babies. And there are always appealing diving, hiking, or bicycling expeditions organised in Gambia. Also, many women attend cooking courses here to learn Gambian local recipes. Of course, it is all about how you imagine your vacation. But in case you want it to be full of activities, don’t hesitate to explore Gambia.


Gambia

Gambia

The Gambia is one of Africa’s smallest countries on the west coast, surrounded by Senegal, with a narrow Atlantic coastline. The capital, Banjul, and nearby Serekunda offer access to beaches running south from Bakau to Kololi. The Gambia has a population of around 1.849 million.

I booked Gambia on a whim and didn’t really know what to expect, I paid just £330 for a 2 week holiday with return flights and a half board hotel with a transfer. I did wonder why it was it was so cheap but nerveless I went open minded and thought a holiday is what you make of it. After a short 6 hour flight, 45- minute bus transfer and a lot of advisories not to leave the hotel without a security/guide I arrived at my hotel pleasantly surprised…. Although basic it was more than suitable to rest my head, it was clean, a beach location, a pool and a short walk to nearby shops and bar/restaurants.

I took a short walk to a nearby restaurant which is where I meet what turned out to be a very good new friend that was happy to guide me around during my stay. Of course wary of scams, I began to talk to my new friend “Sheriff” and after a little trust was built he then guided me around Gambia taking me to remote places which I would have otherwise never gone to.

Of course, I expected a guide would want paying so of course I began the haggling of a guide price for a day and all he was interested in was to eat when I ate and spend time with his new friend  “me”.

Every time he drove me around we were often stopped by the police who would take me away to speak with me and check all his I.d’s etc  and every time we were ok to move on, which made me feel more comfortable around him.

The Gambia is a very active place with a lot going on, You have to be very open minded in the small west African country, It is a real eye opener to different ways of life, very different from the north and east Africa.

I was very lucky to do many things during my stay in Gambia from visiting the largest fish mongers to wild monkey park and horse backriding the long sandy beaches to snake parks.

I got involved with a lot in Gambia as my friend would take me to many places such as.

The Bijilo Forest Park which was a short drive from Kotu. It is a protected forest inhabited by millions of monkeys who will follow you around in the hope of being fed peanuts.

Serrakunda, the country’s most populous town, which was a magnificent insight to the west African life. Noisy, busy, and the smell of market trading which is a great hit to the senses. There is also few shops to buy some interesting things but be sure to haggle as the prices ten fold once they know you’re a tourist.

The middle of nowhere to a large pond full of crocodiles which if you’re brave enough you can touch “I did as my mate told me to”  as for some reason due to the heat they didn’t move very much.

An African snake park for African’s to learn about the wild snakes found in Gambia, The Gambians are scared of snakes and kill them for no reason and this snake park is to teach the Gambian’s not to kill snakes.

The Gambian’s largest fish market, where the boats would come in and trade to the mongers. A great insight to fish trading in Gambia.

Horseback riding along the golden sandy beach finished by a bareback swim in the sea. Every horse I rode in Gambia was very well looked after and were in great shape.

A visit to the elephant tree ( a tree that looks like an elephant).
A sinking boat ride around the clam farming life (it wasn’t meant to sink, I guess that’s the Gambian way)

African dancing night.

I even visited a night club which was great fun, but I will say really keep your wits about you.

The highlight of my trip was visiting my friends compound yard where he lived, seeing and feeling a different way of life. I was welcomed with open arms and treated as part of the family. If like me your lucky enough to experience this it is something that stays warm in your heart.

Sheriff was kind enough to show me his compound yard. This was a great insight to how people in Gambia live and struggle with day to day living.

In return I brought his family the biggest bag of rice I could find which took care of his whole family for a month, His mother cried so much as she was forever grateful and demanded I spend my last my evening in their home for a home cooked Gambian Yassa and Palm wine.
I do have great memories from Gambia and would tell you, if you get the chance don’t miss it, I would return before a heart  beat.

. This page was done from memory going back a lot of years so I really can’t remember the names of the towns and places I visited where. But they are out there so go and venture this beautiful small west African country.