Tuesday, March 22, 2011

5 great things to do in The Gambia

The Gambia is a small country in West Africa with the River Gambia running through it.  The English-speaking country is almost completely surrounded by Senegal and bound on the west by the Atlantic Ocean.  Although The Gambia has been a popular holiday spot for Europeans for several years especially as a winter vacation spot, it is now growing in popularity with Nigerians.  The Gambia is generally calm and quiet but there are still a few interesting things to do.

1.    Touch a crocodile
 Relax, the crocodiles I’m talking about here are tame.  There’s a crocodile pool in Bakau, Gambia where you can touch crocodiles (which let you touch them without eating you!).  It is said that if women who can’t have children come to the pool before dawn and take a bath with water from the pool, they will then be able to have children.  Not sure about that but petting a crocodile is definitely an exciting reason to visit the crocodile pool. 
I touched a crocodile and I liked it

2.    Go on a bicycle safari 
Go sight-seeing in an unusual way: by bicycle!  Ask your hotel if they have bicycles to hire and if they can provide a guide.  A bicycle tour through Cape Point, Bakau, Kotu and Senegambia is tiring but fun – especially if you stop often to dip your feet in the ocean at beaches and eat at the different restaurants you come across.

On a bicycle safari in The Gambia

3.    See Kunta Kinte’s roots: 
Kunta Kinte of Roots fame is said to have come from Albreda & Juffureh.  Take a boat ride along the River Gambia to get to this village where you can apparently meet some of Kunta Kinte’s remaining relatives as well as visit a museum detailing Kunta Kinte’s story and the history of slave trade as it relates to The Gambia.  Ask at your hotel reception to find out if they can organise the boat trip.

4.    Hang out in Senegambia
Senegambia is a long road in The Gambia.  It is a bubbly area with hotels, bars, restaurants and nightclubs.  Alibaba, one of the popular restaurants on the road, does great pizzas and has an outside area where you can sit and watch people go by.  There is also a crafts market and a nature/ conservation park in that area.

Advice from Alibaba restaurant

5.    Be a beach bum 
There are many beaches in The Gambia and most of the bigger hotels have their own private beaches.  With so many options, lounging on a beach is somewhat inevitable in The Gambia when you’re on holiday.  So head out to a beach, choose your favourite spot and enjoy the view while sipping on your cool cocktail.


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