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What to do

There are many different excursions designed to give the tourist a good feel of The Gambia. There are land – based tours, river trips and mixed excursions. Many of the excursions are conducted in the coastal area but others take place in rural Gambia. Check with your tour rep on how to join any of these trips. Please remember to take plenty of camera film, sun tan lotion and insect repellent.

RELAXATION

1. Sun Bathing: The Gambia has many unspoiled beaches on the sides of the Atlantic Coast. Sun beds are provided by either the hotels or beach bars.

2. Lazy Day Cruise on The River: If you want to free your mind and do nothing at all, the lazy day cruise on the river is the perfect trip for you. One can relax on the sun deck, take a swim and unwind the soul. Enjoy a scenic route with occasional sightings of dolphins, and bird watching opportunities.

3. Creek Tours: A peaceful and relaxing day out on the creek or around bolongs (river tributaries) of the River Gambia is not to be missed.

4. Beauty salons: There are several beauty salons in and outside of the hotel area which look forward to catering to you.

5. Hair Braiding: Hair braiding is very popular in the Gambia and thus many tourists are interested in trying out a new hair style.

6. Massage: There are a range of massage facilities in and outside of the various hotels waiting to welcome you.

SPORTS

1. Golf: The Fajara Golf Club has an 18-hole course, which is close to most of the resorts.

2. Horse Riding: A couple of stables in the country have a good set of horses.

3. Cycling: Cycling is gaining more and more popularity in the Gambia and thus many bicycles are available for hire in and around the hotel.

4. Swimming: The beaches in front of most hotels are safe for swimming although the flag should always be watched. Please never swim when the red is flying. As an alternative most of the hotels have a pool for cooling down.

5. Table Tennis: Table is available in most hotels and is generally free of charge

6. Tennis: Tennis is also available in most hotels and racquets and tennis balls can be obtained in the hotels as well.

7. Camel riding: Camel riding might be an interesting alternative to horse riding.

8. Surfing: Surfing is one of the new water sports in the Gambia. The coastal line offer tidal waves that enable surfers come to the destination at any time of the year without the threat of sharks and other predators.

9. Sport Fishing: Sport fishing attracts many anglers across Europe. Daily fishing trips are offered at different locations but mainly at the Denton Bridge. The excitement of catching one of the star fishes like Baracuda, Tarpon, Snapper, Cassava Fish, Lady Fish and Captain Fish to name a few, is exhilarating. Boats, gear and skippers are readily available upon request.

CULTURE

1. Craft Markets: Banjul, Serekunda and Bakau are known for their markets and craft markets. Many different things can be purchased such as wood crafts, batik, silver and leather products.

2. Brikama Wood Carving Centre: Brikama has a huge wood carving centre, which produces and sells hundreds of teak wood carvings, djembe drums and other souvenirs.

3. Juffureh: Is a small village located 30km inland on the north bank of the River Gambia and is best known for its appearance in Alex Hailey’s novel “Roots-the saga of an American family”. A slavery exhibition in the museum can be seen.

4. Albreda: Is a historic settlement in the north bank of the River Gambia and is known as “trading post” or “slave fort”

5. James Island: Is an island in the Gambia River 30km inland on the north bank of the river close to Juffureh and Albreda. It contains a fort known as Fort James and provides an exceptional testimony to the different facets of the African-European encounter. James Island is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

6. Wassu Stone Circles: The ancient Wassu Stone Circles are located around Wassu in the central river region and are believed to be burial mounds of kings and chiefs in ancient times. They are also part of the UNESCO world heritage sites.

7. Tanji Fishing Village: The main features of the village are its Bonga fish smoking houses, the lines of African pirogues and fishermen and housewives lining the shore and haggling over prices. The best time to visit Tanji is in the afternoon when all the fishing boats are coming back from the sea. A spectacle not to be missed.

8. Gambian Wrestling: Modern traditional wrestling is one of the oldest traditional sports in the Gambia and wrestling festivals are a common occurrence.

9. Village Tour: There are many villages in the Gambia that are worth a visit in order to gain an insight to the Gambian way of life.

10. Sacred Crocodile Pool: There are several crocodile pools sprinkled about the nation. One of the most famous one is Katchically Crocodile Pool in Bakau. Childless Gambian women often visit the pools to bath in the water, which they consider to hold the powers of fertility.

11. Art Galleries: the Gambia has several art galleries that have work of Gambia contemporary painters on displays. If you are really interested, owners can facilities you meeting the painters at their studios.

12. Museums: There are also a number of museums spread over the country which are definitely worth a visit.

13. Zinzani Culture Centre: ZINZANI is an international cultural centre aiming at promoting the West African culture via music and dance. You are welcome to participate in various workshops which enhance the intercultural communication.

BUSINESS

1. Conference: Most of the hotels have conference rooms for hosting seminars and workshops. The bigger conference and banqueting halls can host up to 800 people, as well as several smaller committee rooms.

NATURE

1. Bird Watching: There are more than 500 species of birds in the Gambia, living within six protected areas. Gambia’s abundance in diversity of birds is ranked as one of the most highest in the world.

2. Niumi National Park: Niumi National Park features on of the last untouched mangrove stands in West Africa.

3. Kiang West National Park: Is one of the largest and most important wildlife reserves in the Gambia. It was gazette as a national park in 1987 and is managed by the Gambia Department of Parks and Wildlife Management.

4. Abuko Nature Reserve: Is an all-time favorite for wildlife and bird watching. Walk the 3km path, which leads you to the Bamba Pool where crocodiles live.

5. Makasutu (Holy Forest): Makasutu is set in a thousand acres of forest and is a jewel of eco-tourism in the Gambia. It is winner of the eco-tourism award 2005.

6. Bijilo Forest Park: Is a small reserve on the edge of the beach. The park offers a heaven for birds and monkeys and is ideal for an early morning walk.

7. Tanbi Wetlands National Park: The Tanbi Wetland Park provides excellent boating fishing, bird watching and wildlife viewing opportunities. It includes coastal lagoons mudflats, gallery forest, marshes and mangrove forests.

8. Baobolong Wetland Reserve: Baobolong Wetland Reserve features six major bolongs that provide excellent opportunities for boating and birding

9. River Gambia National Park: The River Gambia National Park is made up of a complex of 5 islands, which are collectively known as Baboon Islands. They form one of the last refuges for the very threatened hippopotamus within the Gambia. Their ecological systems range from lush jungle rain forest, reeds, savanna and mangrove swamps.

10. Lamin Lodge: Lamin lodge is situated on the edge of the creeks. This huge tree house style lodge offers a wonderful view over the mangrove swamps and is an ideal spot for bird watching. Small boats can also be hired from there.

11. Jinack: Jinack Island is part of the Nuimi National Park. It has over 11 kilometers of unspoiled, fairly beaches which are often visited by dolphins.

ADVENTURE

1. Bush and Beach Safaris: Discover Gambia by 4 wheel drive or mini truck. Villages and the rural areas will be visited, which is a good opportunity to see monkeys and the rich life of The Gambia.

2. River tours: River Tours mostly start off Denton Bridge of Lamin Lodge, but local camps in the rural areas along the river also organize such tours. A variety of birds can be spotted on the way.

3. Rural Excursions to Janjangbureh and Basse: Janjangbureh, which is formally called “Georgetown” is one of the oldest towns in the Gambia. It is the old ‘second’ city of colonial times and the administrative headquarters of the central river region

4. Basse is the major trading centre for the upper reaches of the Gambia river and liveliest of the upriver towns. It is a vibrant mix of linguistic diversity with languages such as Mandinka, English, Arabic, French, Wolof and serer being spoken

5. Border Crossing to Senegal: The Gambia is bordered on three-sides by Senegal; consequently excursions to Senegal are common place. Visit the vibrant city of Dakar or explore Goree Island.

NIGHTLIFE

1. Bars and Nightclubs: There are many bars and nightclubs especially on the Senegambia strip but also in other areas such as Kotu, Fajara and Bakau.

2. Live Entertainment: There is a lot of live entertainment offered by the various bars, restaurants and hotels such as live musical performances and dance.

3. Karaoke: For a fun night out with friends, do not miss the karako night offered in several bar.

4. Dining out: There are a variety of different restaurants spread all over the country. The cuisine is international but do not forget to try out some special Gambia dishes such as Benachin, Domoda and Yassa.

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