I recently just arrived from the Gambia and as always, I liked it. I liked that it wasn’t crowded and the people were friendly and the food was good and the weather wasn’t so hot. It was such a lovely little country and is perfect for a short getaway.
However, there are a few things I wished I had been informed of before taking my trip. If you’re thinking of making your way down there, here are some of the things you should take note based on my personal observation and experiences there:
Never Head To A Restaurant Starving
Just in case you like to go to a restaurant starving, don’t think of trying that in the Gambia. I didn’t realise this on time until the third day because my guide had ordered my food before we went on a forty minutes tour on the first day. The second, it was at a Nigerian restaurant and they told me I had ordered something that was hardly requested for so I waited for about 45 minutes (not exactly encouraging when you’re extremely hungry). By the third day, it dawned on me that this was probably the norm. Thinking about it afterwards, I came to the conclusion that most of the restaurants couldn’t afford to cook in large quantities like the ones in Lagos. After all, the population of the entire nation is just about 1.7 million.
Insect Repellent Should Be Your Best Friend
If you love your beautiful radiant skin (if you have one), please have an insect repellent with you at all times. I don’t understand what it is but there seemed to be more mosquitoes than I was used to in the country. Maybe it is due the water proximity as most of the Gambia is close to a body of water.
Budget Extra Cash For Donation
Always have extra cash for donations whenever you visit a tourist site. At Lamin, I was asked to support the oyster farm and at Kachikally, I gave a token to contribute to crocodile feed. Although it isn’t compulsory, it will be good to extend good deeds to support good causes. And besides, you wouldn’t want to leave feeling like a bad person (just my thought).
Arik Air Will Probably Mess You Up
Arik air is the only airline flying directly to Banjul so they’ll probably be your only flight option. However, I’ll advise anyone to use an alternative flight as Arik Air in my opinion, is the most useless airline in modern times. I’m talking 4 to 6 hours behind schedule without compensation, good service and sober apologies. You’d most likely be better off flying Royal Air Maroc and head to Casablanca first. Maybe get a transit visa prior to the trip and stop over a couple of days before heading to Banjul or just go by road (probably take you like 4-5 days but you’ll be better off).
Have you ever been to the Gambia? What are your thoughts?