Gambia, an Introduction to Long Haul Holidays

The Gambia is a great way to ease into long haul holidays. It is a six hour flight from any UK airport, making it is just 90 minutes further than the Canary Islands. What many don’t realise is that Gambia is in the same time zone as the UK. And one of the huge advantages the Gambia has to offer is an average temperature of around 33° C in March. The official language is English so communication is even easier than in many European destinations. Once you’ve read our introductory guide why not head to the official tourism site, or alternatively look for a deal over at IceLolly.

Gambia scenery

Winter Holiday Hotspot

This is a very compact country; in fact it is the smallest country on the African continent. Perhaps because the country is so small local people have a reputation for being incredibly friendly. This is a good destination year-round, but the guaranteed sunshine makes it a winter holiday hotspot. There are beautiful stretches of tropical sandy beaches, non-stop sunshine and an array of incredible African wildlife. So it is not surprising that around 50,000 tourists from the UK alone make the trip each year.

Facing the Atlantic Ocean are several attractive resort towns Bakau, Fajara, Kololi and Kotu. All offer a great selection of restaurants, accommodation and entertainment. Outside of the towns there are enticing opportunities to enjoy such as fishing, bird-watching, and of course viewing the wildlife.

Bijilo Forest Park

Presumably for the sake of the comfort of visitors, many of the excursions available take place in the morning. One of the most popular attractions is Bijilo Forest Park located just outside Kololi. Here you are very likely to see Green Velvet and Colobus monkeys. Young “guides” will offer to sell you peanuts, but feeding the monkeys is discouraged.

Also on view in the park is an incredible selection of over 100 species of different birds. You can see fabulous hornbills, bee-eaters, falcons and even the odd vulture. Hiring an official guide is recommended to get maximum enjoyment from your visit.

Another popular wildlife related trip is to the Abuko Nature Reserve. Here you will have the opportunity to spy as many as 250 different bird species. This reserve is also home to over 50 different types of mammal as well as pythons and the majestic Nile crocodile.

River Trips

Many people will opt for an afternoon trip to the capital city of the Gambia, Banjul. You can make your own way via taxi at a cost of below £15 including asking the taxi driver to wait to take you home. This is more like a town by European standards, but its compact size makes it easy to get around. This is perhaps the point at which many tourists realise that they are actually in Africa.

The hustle and bustle of the absolute chaos which is Albert market is exciting and interesting. Here you will find everything from genuine local crafts such as handmade jewellery and carvings. And some slightly more dubious items such as Manchester United football shirts and many other types of goods. This is an ideal opportunity to try out your bargaining skills, as although items may be cheap haggling is a way of life here.

The National Museum

If you would like to move inside out of the sun then the countries national museum offers an interesting insight into Gambian history. There are displays that depict ancient settlements dating back to prehistoric times. Through their turbulent Portuguese and British colonial past, up to more recent events.

The Gambia is an incredibly narrow country near the coast; basically it’s the area which makes up the banks of Gambia River. By not making the most of the opportunities offered by the river means you will miss out on a lot of what the Gambia has to offer. The main centre for river activities is found in the capital Banjul at the Denton Bridge. From this location you can book different types of boat tours. These generally encompass a slow cruise of the River and its tributaries where you will find the real Gambia and its wildlife. Also available are a wide array of watersports and fishing trips.

Good Food

Arguably the best place to eat in Kololi is Jojo’s but there are a large selection of other places to try a along the same Senegambia Road. JoJo’s is well known not only for their fish which basically comes straight out of the sea. And also their tasty pasta and a very good quality steak. Later in the evening there will be a live band playing and you can expect to pay somewhere around £20 each for your mail including drinks.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply