How to Spend your Holiday in Gambia
Although Gambia is quite a small country, it prides in quite a number of tourist attractions it has to offer to its various visitors who increasingly enter the country annually. I has a number of historic sites, together with a very rich culture and quite vibrant and yet colored markets. The list below details some of the finest attractions in Gambia.
Bakau Botanical Gardens
The Bakau Botanical Gardens located on top of a cliff along the Cape Point Road are majorly characterized by indigenous plants and several tropical palms. They are so peaceful, and well shaded being a perfect alternative for the adjacent beach. They are a perfect place to unwind as you enjoy the wonderful sights of the neighboring terrain and watch the different bird species flying by. The gardens are opened from Monday up to Saturday between 9am and 5pm and entrance is very free.
Birkama Woodcarving centre
Slowly by slowly the Birikama Woodcarving Centre has transformed into a favorite spot over destination for many tour operators in Gambia. The Wood carving centre is a place where you will find numerous local craftsmen together with some novices displaying their wood carving skills as they work on various pieces and finish them tactfully with polish. You can move through the various stall and pick yourself, a souvenir.The centre is opened to the public every day.
Juffure also written as Jufureh or Juffureh is a Gambian village that came to the limelight in the 1970’s following the publication of the “Roots” a book written by Alex Hailey about his ancestors. This was the village of the legendary Kunta Kinte who traded a lot in slave trade over 200 years back in time. There is a Root Heritage tour available in the village plus a visit to the Museum of Slavery in the adjacent Albreda.
The Albert Market is famous because of its possession of everything you can ever imagine to be in any African village. It has a variety of batik fabrics plus hand bags hanged in different stalls, fruits pined on the street pavements, and the lively place is crowded with people trying to bargain for various items. The place is a wonderful place to tour and even try out your bargaining skill. The Albert Market is opened daily to the public.
Beaches in Gambia
Gambia’s beaches and its interesting beach activities have been the major attraction that has led to streams of visitors to come to this country. Tourists who are seeking for a destination to enjoy sunshine, Gambia is the right place to be. However, be mindful of the local cultures if you are considering to wear skimpy swimwear to do it in discrete places. Some of the popular beaches in the country include Bijilo Beach, Cape Point, and Brufut which are idea for family holidays, relaxing, water sports and watching the beautiful sun sets.
Gambia from West African coast is surely one of the most friendly and warm countries in Africa. It rich cultural and historic past relating to the slave trade era has made it one of the exciting place to be on an African safari. Although it is one of the smallest countries in Africa, it is home to many people of different cultures, all living in great harmony.
There is so much to discover on your holiday to Gambia, in not only Fajara, the major tourist destination but also in many other towns. Discover the rich heritage of culture, language, music and the arts, which flourish as part of the every day lives of the Gambian people. Other attractions here include exotic beaches, historical towns and forts, museums, forests and national parks and others.
Gambia adventure holidays
There is a wide array of activities to enjoy on a holiday to Gambia and some of these include river rafting on Gambia’s Up-river, bird watching, river fishing, local tours to the villages and local markets, nature walks and trek to the wildlife parks and bike tours through the major towns.
River adventures on the Up-river are an important part of each tour and travel itinerary. The broad and long river is a major source of livelihood to the local community and sustains Gambia’s growing tourism industry. When taking a boat ride on the ride, you’ll notice the school of hippos. The mangrove creek at Allahein is home to several families of primates: baboons, colobus monkeys, green ververt, red pathas and chimpanzees. Fishing on the river makes a major source of incomes to the villagemen and this river is particularly good for red snapper, tiger fish, threadfin, salmon, rays, cat fish, barracuda and sunpat fish.
Bird watching is a favorite pastime for tourists on the mangrove creek on Up-river and is one of the richest bird eco-system. Several migrant stay here for the period of winter in Europe and a delightful sight. Some of these include ospreys, pelicans, waders, palm vultures and seagulls.
Abuko Reserve is a protected area outside Lamin form northern Gambia, 25km from Banjul. It is home to a number of birds besides crocodiles, hyenas, antelopes, lizards and different primates like the endangered red colobus, chimpanzees. The reserve also boasts of more than 40 different species of plants that form a dense and lush habitat for this wildlife. Take your camera to captures all the wildlife and unique features on your safari tours.
Makasutu is a diverse eco-system with woodlands, savannah grasslands and magroove on the banks of the Up-river tributary of Mandina Bolong. Several sorts of parrots occupy this area along with monkeys, monitor lizards, pygmy deer and baboons.
On the shores of Lake Gambia is Bao Bolon Wetland reserve with more than 3 eco-system of estuary, woodland-savannah salt-marsh and mangrove. Here you’ll find crocodiles, otters, warthog, hyena and the jackal among others. Sail across the lake to John Islands famous for the wrecks and ruins of the British after the 1779 slave trade ending. Find many old administrative structures that have earned this island to be a world heritage site.
The capital, Bajul has a number of exciting places to visit such as the vibrant markets selling locally made handicrafts, paintings, artworks, local fabrics, jewellery, fresh food supplies and other items. Other valuable markets are found in Serrekunda and Bakul. Fort Bullen that was built by the British on the northern banks of Barra(outside Banjul)is listed as a UNESCO World heritage site and a famous tourist point. The book “Roots” written by Arthur Haley has its roots from the Gamian village of Juffureh and writes about the early slave trade era which is annually commemorated in the Roots Homecoming Festival.
Gambia is another exciting music and arts destination with some of the pubs and clubs playing West African music. Local instruments such as the Senegalese thumb piano (Kora) and Djembe are often fused with modern instruments like drums, guitar and other to produce some good rhythms. Some nights are by the camps fire where you can dance along to such music with the local people.
When to go
Gambia is in the subtropical zones and sometimes experiences very hot weather during October up to May with average temperatures of up 43°C but the coast is quite cool to the delight of surfers and swimmers. This is the best time to travel but make sure you have packed sunscreen, a wide brimmed hat, light clothing and sunglasses. The wet season is from June to September and has temperature of 16°C in Banjul and other towns. There wet season are more associated with malaria and many mosquitoes.
You’ll find a number of good hotels in Banjul, Njara lodge in Fujara, luxurious Coco Ocean resort and Spa in Bijilo, Senegambia Hotel and cheaper options from other tourist sites like lodges, inns and guest houses. most of these hotels have excellent dinning and restaurants that have a wide range of cuisines cooked to your taste. Remember to pack your medicines and drugs on your trip. Book and arrange your Gambia holiday packages with any trusted tour and travel operator for cheap holidays to Gambia.