Have you ever planned a family holiday trip by throwing a dart at a map of the world? That method might well be the only way many of us would ever hit upon The Gambia as our next family holiday spot. This tiny nation, one of the smallest in Africa, nevertheless offers some marvelous facilities for tourists along the stretch of beach that sits along the Atlantic. If you and your family enjoy the unusual and if they seek exoticism — here it is!
A Unique Culture
Of course the “real Gambia” includes far more than what you can see from your hotel window. Feeling the need for a bit of help from knowledgeable locals? Then you’re in luck, you can find freelance tour guides through the Gambia Official Tourist Guides Scheme. This organization connects tourists staying in area hotels with guides who can help them get more out of their stay. The guides are happy to show tourists the sights and explain the culture.
This might prove most welcome, since the culture presents a fascinating mix of Muslim and animist religions, a caste societal structure, and rituals that include elaborate greetings. At the same time, however, The Gambia is also quite cosmopolitan, with restaurants serving plenty of international cuisines and hotels equipped with massage facilities and other Western-style luxuries.
The abundance of wildlife is one of Gambia’s great treasures, and the many national parks provide extensive opportunities to view them in their native habitats. Your friends won’t believe the stories you’ll be able to tell them on your return — so don’t forget to put film in the camera!You may be surprised at the sheer wealth of activities available in The Gambia. You can take a West Coast Excursion tour of the markets, factories and National Museum in the city of Banjul; enjoy a peaceful day on the waters of the River Gambia or local creeks; experience the woodland wildlife with a stop at Tendaba Camp; visit the ancient town and prehistoric structures of Janjangbureh; or frolic with the monkeys and birds as you explore South Gambia on safari.
A Warm Welcome
Adventurous Westerners are discovering that epic vacation getaways needn’t involve proportionately epic plane flights — a point driven home by countries eager to embrace international tourists. For instance, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba has emphasized the need to strengthen ties between the United Arab Emirates and the United States, and the Dubai-based Emirates airline plans to increase the number of flights between Dubai and the U.S. to grease the wheels of commerce, including tourist commerce. The official Gambia Tourist Authority website takes a similar tack in wooing the UK and Europe, pointing out that the six-hour journey allows for a jet-lag free holiday — which means your family can start enjoying the free time your holiday provides as soon as you step off the plane.
The Gambian flag is waving for the attention of Western
All in all, you and your loved ones have nothing to lose, and a world of glorious memories to gain, by setting your holiday compass for The Gambia. So pick up some extra tanning oil (no matter what time of year you’re going), book those reservations, and get ready for some serious African fun! tourists.
William Reynolds has worked as a freelance copywriter since 1997. William specializes in website content, ghost-blogging, print marketing content and audio/video scripts.
(Images courtesy of anankkml and Vlado /FreeDigitalPhotos.net)