At the end of December 2017 I spent 5 days in Gambia. Beautiful beaches, friendly people and always nice weather. Except in the rainy season. The Gambia, a small country in West Africa, wedged in Senegal, split through the Gambia river.
The population is ready to help you with a big smile. Everyone is either a guide or taxi driver. Cars that have been rejected in the western world for years will drive here for at least twenty years. If you do not have a mirror, you drive without a mirror and if your windows can not close when it rains, your car will get wet inside. It’s as simple as it is. Nobody cares about anything. Incomprehensible for Western people, but as a tourist it is so relaxed. You are being addressed, but not bothered. You are safe in Gambia. Nobody will hurt you.
In Gambia you can visit some well known places as the former slave island Kunta Kinteh (James Island), the stone circles of Wassu or the Serekunda Market.
We did something completely different. With local guide Bubba Colley we made a birth watch hike at sunrise. 47 different kind of birds we spotted and 23 of them I have on photo. During the five our walk Bubba pointes the birds, but also told us about life in Gambia. After the hike there was breakfast in the bush. It was an amazing experience. The same day we made a boat trip with Bubba in the mangroves to see the monkeys and more birds.
The biggest impression for me in Gambia was visiting the Dutch woman Marisse. Together with her Gambian man Seedy, Marisse lives and works on their own plot of land near Gunjur. Marisse welcomes you in the Nyamina garden, where you also can stay over in one of the simple loges, and tells how she tries to implement new developments with her Western knowledge. They live near Gunjur, a village where tourism starts slowly, but where you can still experience how the Gambians traditionally interact with each other.
Because I am very impressed by Marisse, Seedy and their employees and have had a fantastic day with them, I would like to support them. They have a foundation and can use any donation. A big wish is a donkey trailer, so that they can bring banana leaves to the village to sell. A donkey trailer costs 100 euros. Of course this trailer is made by a local carpenter so that he can earn something too.
You can make your donation directly via the website: http://gunjurnyamina.nl/ or even better, visit them yourself.
Guide Buba Colley Tel: 00220 9919362 whatsapp: 00220 7040559
Marisse van Drunen Tel: 00220 7416 528