Gateway to The Gambia

Off the beaten track in West Africa


Enjoy a relaxed introduction to The Gambia, to include your choice of activities.

Activity code: GAEV

Duration: 8 Days

Enjoy the "the Smiling Coast of Africa" on a flexible holiday that includes a small group introduction to the true Gambia. Explore the real country beyond the busy beaches, away from the tourist crowds and return with fascinating stories of encounters with wildlife and Gambia's vibrant culture.

This unique short holiday to Africa's smallest country combines an introduction to the interior and its incredible wildlife. Split your time between staying in a delightful lodge camp and on a palm-fringed beach.

Our guide has many years experience in The Gambia, initially working for a charity and then going on to guide successful small group tours. Paul has chosen to partner up with us to bring his knowledge and experience to a wider audience and to expand the scope of the visitor experience in the country, offering a more flexible approach to cater to more interests and travel abilities.

Basing your initial stay at the pristine sands of Boboi Beach Lodge you will then travel along the mighty river Gambia to discover its incredible natural beauty and encounter a whole host of wildlife from birds of prey to hippos and dolphins.

Accommodation Summary

  • Boboi Beach Lodge: lovely, well-established beach lodge that backs on to a sublime tropical beach near Kartong. Great traditional food, very friendly staff, wifi.
  • Tendaba Camp: large, superb location in the village of Tendaba, right on the south bank of the river. Restaurant, wifi, electricity (pm), swimming pool, fabulous bar perched alongside a jetty.
  • Leybato Beach Lodge: one of the best-loved accommodation in the area, located on the beach with rooms set amongst an oasis of palm trees and a laid-back atmosphere with plenty of hammocks and summer huts scattered around the grounds. Good en-suite rooms, wifi, 24hr electricity, hot water, restaurant/bar with good value food and drink.

Location Summary

  • Kartong: one of the oldest settlements in The Gambia with a high reputation for bird-watching, boosted by the Kartong Bird Observatory nearby. Tourism development is well managed here thanks to the efforts of the Kartong Association for Responsible Tourism (KART), a body that aims to ensure local communities benefit from development whilst controlling any negative impacts on the environment and livelihoods. In our opinion, these aims also produce excellent visitor experiences. Your tour here concentrates on the Allahein River, Kartong Beach and the Gambian Reptiles Farm; other places of interest include the Folonko Sacred Crocodile Pool, the Lemonfish Art Gallery, Balanta Village and the Kartong Community Forest Reserve.
  • Tendaba: one of the largest camps up-river (100km from mouth of the Gambia), a bird-watchers' paradise and the best place to visit the mangrove-lined Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve, Gambia's largest protected area (a fascinating boat trip here is part of the Highlights Excursion package).

Essential Information

As The Gambia is close to the equator temperatures and daylight hours remain relatively consistent, ranging from 25 to 35 degrees (albeit moderated by sea breezes, particularly at night). Best times to visit are November through to February which is after the wet season and a good time for bird watching. The earlier dates bring the clearest skies with stunning sunsets and views of the stars whilst the latter dates are the best for spotting mammals such as warthog and antelope in the shorter grass.

Good, comfortable footwear, sun protection (including a wide-brimmed hat) and light/cool clothing are important - we will provide full advice and packing suggestions with your travel documents. Passport must have at least 6 months validity beyond your return date. Malaria tablets and an effective insect repellent should be arranged in advance.

We will provide information relating to any allergies or special diets upon request - The Gambia is good for some allergies, e.g. lactose intolerance, but not so great for others such as those with a peanut allergy, as they are an important ingredient in many dishes and so are prevelant in kitchens throughout the country.

NB. Bottled drinking water is available throughout the tour.

Your holiday is fully covered by ATOL if flights from the UK are booked with this package.

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Prices from £610 per person

  • Essentials Excursion package: £ 45 per person

  • Highlights Excursion package: £ 85 per person

  • Single supplement: £ 115 per person


  • DepartTrip / Resort
  • Sun 19th Nov 2023 Gambia 
  • Sun 7th Jan 2024 Gambia 

What's included in your Gateway to The Gambia package ?

  • 5 nights at the beach (3 at Boboi & 2 at Leybato)
  • 2 nights at Tendaba Camp
  • All accommodation on B&B basis
  • Round trip airport transfers
  • Transport to/from Tendaba Camp
  • Experienced British guide throughout

Additional sightseeing and activities:

Essentials Package:

  • Allahein River excursion
  • Reptile Sanctuary visit

Highlights Excursion Package:

  • Bao Bolong Wetlands
  • Bush walk at Tendaba Camp

Dinner recommendations and additional excursions can be booked and arranged locally.


Meet your friendly British guide and excellent local driver at the airport. Transfer as a group to Boboi Beach Lodge (allow 45 mins with a stop en route for essential supplies, such as bottled water and snacks.

Boboi Beach Lodge is an ideal place to relax whilst you become acclimatised to the Gambian weather; it is a small, family-run accommodation and you are quite likely to have the lodge and beach to yoursleves. Dinner is included.

During this time you will learn more about your tour itinerary from your guide as well as exploring the local area. A short walk along the beach after sunset will offer the opportunity to experience the stunning night sky completely free of both light and industrial pollution, continue along a while and you may also get to see the mysterious ghost crabs or, if you are lucky, a turtle.

A first full day to experience Gambian wildlife and the culture of this country dominated by its rivers.

The Allahein river actually marks out the southern border with Senegal (in fact, all borders are with Senegal). An early morning departure by canoe so that you may encounter a variety of birds (sea eagle, ospreys) as well as admiring the thick mangroves; in this area oysters grow on the mangrove stalks and the local women often spend all day wading in the water to harvest the oysters. Nearby Kartong beach is a working fishing area so there are always boats coming in with their fresh catch.

Later on this day you can also visit the Gambia Reptile Sanctuary to meet some of the animals you may prefer to avoid in the wild.

Leaving the coast behind the journey to Tendaba Camp is an opportunity to see genuine African culture as you will stop at some villages along the way, breaking up a 4 hour trip with some lovely encounters.

Tendaba is a former hunting lodge, now converted into tourist accommodation; it is the only place away from the coast with a swimming pool. On your first morning there is an introductory bush walk included in the tour itinerary.

Whilst here there are so many activities to occupy your time such as a trip across the river Gambia to the Bao Balon Wetlands, famous for its birdlife. You may also like to stroll through the neighbouring villages or visit a local school. If you are feeling a little more adventurous then a tracking tour with a local guide through the wild Kiang West National Park is an option, we offer a walking version or a less strenuous 4WD trip.

** return to coast on day 6.

Returning to the coast you will be rewarded by the delightful Leybato Beach Lodge which offers a little more in terms of modern facilities such as 24hr electricity, wifi & hot water. It also has an incredible beach-front location in a less remote position compared to Boboi Beach at the beginning of your trip.

There are no group activities as such here but there are many options for individual trips on foot or by taxi. These include numerous restaurants and bars, the Gambia Botanical Garden, Bakau craft market, Sacred Crocodile Pool and even horse riding on the beach.

Transfer to Banjul Airport for your flight home.

Flexible Tailor-Made Holidays

  • We believe passionately that no two holidays should be the same.
  • With our flexible tailor-made holiday options you can travel at your own pace.
  • Rediscover a city, a resort or an island in a weekend or longer.
  • Take a small group tour or embark upon a more adventurous trip.

Trusted Service

  • ATOL cover for flight inclusive holidays.
  • One of us at Rediscover the World is very likely to have visited the hotels and travelled along the routes on your itinerary.
  • Dynamic, comprehensive travel app with all your documents, maps and much more.
  • Full financial protection for your holiday (TTA).

Why book the Gambia with us ?

  • More than 10 years experience of Gambia
  • Our guide has travelled extensively and will be happy to share his experiences.
  • Unrivalled expertise of our local partners
  • Personally chosen camps and beach lodges
  • Add excursions, cultural & wildlife experiences
  • 24hr assistance whilst in Gambia