Purple Tips: 20 Things To Do On Gambia Holidays

You might think Gambia holidays are just about beaches and wildlife. We’re not gonna lie, there is a lot of that but if you delve a little deeper there is also a wealth of history, cuisine, arts, music and dance to discover and find out more about real life in The Gambia.

1. Visit the Abuko nature reserve to get up close to many species of birds, monkeys, bushbucks, chameleons and crocodiles.

AbukoImage via @Allan Hopkins

2. Explore the Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve  a mixed patch of thick forest and swamp that is known for its migratory birds as well as dugongs, otters, hogs, antelope & hippos.

baobolongImage via @Eduard Garcia

3. See the Makasutu Cultural Forest, a large eco-tourism project that is close to the beaches.

makasutuImage via @Simon Garvie

4. Ecovillage de Kartong is a coastal village in the south of the country. It is one of the oldest villages and is known for birdwatching and its white sandy beaches. The association that is responsbile for tourism also offers bike tours, cooking classes and other ecotourism activities.

KartongImage via @Ross Burton

5. Rent a 4×4 to discover the landscape for yourself…just be careful of the rainy season.

jeepImage via @hn.

6. Or go on a four wheel drive tour that visits schools, country homes and distilleries.

gambia-schoolImage via @Mishimoto

7. Discover James Island. This is an excursion inspired by the novel and movie Roots You can cruise up the centre of the river before visiting the setting of Roots, an old slave trade station.

JamesIslandImage via @Leonora Enking

8. Be brave & touch crocodiles at the Kachikally Crocodile Pool.

CrocodilePoolImage via @H2O Alchemist

9. Take a day trip or to Senegal which shares close ties with The Gambia, allowing you to get another stamp in your passport and compare life across the border.

KaolackImage via @Joseph Hill

10. Visit the Gambia River National Park, a beautiful place with the opportunity to see chimps, baboons, monkeys and more. Make sure you stay for a spectacular sunset over the river.

Gambia RiverImage via @Ross Burton

11. Uncover the beauty of Sanyang Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Gambia.

Sanyang BeachImage via @Thomas Brown

12. Go to the International Roots Festival of Gambia in 2015 (May/June) An event which takes place every 2 years and which commemorates enforced enslavement and celebrates African ancestry through arts, music and dance and aims to promote cultural heritage.

Roots FestivalImage via @ International Roots Festival Gambia

13. Pick up local souvenirs such as the Kora – a 21-stringed musical instrument that sounds like a mixture between harp and flamenco guitar. Other authentic gifts include tailor made clothes, wood carvings and masks, african drums, hanmade table runners and mats and batik and tie-dye fabric. Bakau craft market is one of the best places for woodcarvings.

BatikImage via @ Tina Sauwens

14. Tuck into some traditional Gambian cuisine like Benachin – a traditional dish of West Africa made with rice, onions, spices, tomatoes that is mixed with meat, fish or vegetables.

BenachinImage via @Carmen

15. Grab your fill of peanuts – the main crop in Gambia.

peanutsImage via @Joseph Hill

16. Try Gambia’s own beer, Julbrew, a pale lager brewed by Gambia’s only brewery Banjul Breweries.

julbrewImage via @Diego

17. Try Baobab juice, made from the fruit of the gigantic baobab trees, this juice is not only delicious, it’s really good for you too as it is full of vitamins, calcium and fibre.

BaobabImage via @Tom Rulkens

18. See local fisherman bringing in their catch at the fishing markets of Tanji and Bakau. The men bring in the catch and the women and children help to unload and prepare the fish.

Gambia fishImage via @Tina Sauwens

19.  Go and meet the Tamala West African Drumming Troupe, you can even attend workshops in African Dancing, drumming, drum building, singing and other music instrument classes.

tamalaImage via @ Tamala West African Drumming Troupe

20. Head to the beach and see if you can spot some local wrestling matches on Sundays.

Gambian wrestlingImage via @Gisela Gerson

Did we miss something that you loved doing or seeing in Gambia? Let us know in the comments below!

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