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.
- 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.
- 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).
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.