Banjul Journals

Gambia - an experience!

Best of IgoUgo

A December 2003 trip to Banjul by MichaelJM

The Gambia Photo, Banjul, Gambia More Photos
Quote: The Gambia had never been considered by me, but friends had suggested we should try it. We decided to give it a whirl and were greeted by extremely friendly locals. You do, however, have to be prepared for in-your-face poverty if you travel to this country. It is an experience!

Gambia - an experience!

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

The Gambia Photo, Banjul, Gambia
Quote:
I guess the most memorable feature of this holiday was our visit to a local primary school. This seems to be viewed as obligatory for most tourists, but don't knock it, as it brings you in contact with real local people. We struggled with the intrusive and inquisitive nature of our visit, but the children loved it and so did we. A close encounter with a crocodile is also pretty high on our memories of Gambia. Finally, and not least, we'll remember the abject poverty, the broad smiling faces, and, unfortunately, the high level of incessant begging and conning that persists in the country. Quick Tips: As we stayed in an all-inclusive accommodation, we linked up with other coupl...Read More

The Palm Court Hotel

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

The Palm Court Hotel Photo, Banjul, Gambia
Quote:
We were told that, although Palm Grove Hotel was one of the oldest hotels, it had been tastefully and expensively modernised to meet high standards. Ok, so we might disagree a little on this. Superficially, the hotel is well presented with many of the rooms offering a sea view and being set apart from the main dining and communal area. The buildings still look worn and are in need of further renovation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that we were unhappy with what we saw, but it didn’t quite measure up to the description. Our bedroom was well positioned-I had a great view from our balcony of the beach and sea (more of that in a moment), and the trees were populated with a variety of local...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 8, 2004

The Palm Court Hotel
Banjul
Banjul, Gambia

Hotel Entertainment

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Hotel Entertainment Photo, Banjul, Gambia
Quote:
Most nights our hotel put on free entertainment. The real shame was that the entertainment took place in the hall, which linked the dining room to the open-plan lounge to the bar, so there was a constant trail of people wandering across the performance area. To say that the events lacked ambience would be an understatement. Some of the performances were devastatingly bad, but we enjoyed most of the local performances – in moderation. We saw jazz bands, dance and disco bands, ethnic dances, percussiono drums, and a whole troupe exploring the possibility of the bed of nails and fire-eating. If the performances weren't always up to the mark, they made up with absolute enthusiasm, broad Gambian smil...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 8, 2004

Hotel Entertainment
The Palm Grove Hotel
Banjul, Gambia

The Roots Route

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

The Roots Route Photo, Banjul, Gambia
Quote:
We assembled early to await the appearance of Lamin (I reckon well over 50% of the male population of The Gambia are named Lamin), who had been commissioned to escort us on our tour of The River Gambia and Fort James Island. The first leg of the journey took us by car to Denton Bridge, where we would board the boat, journey down Oyster Creek (very aptly named), and briefly out on to the Atlantic before making our way up the River Gambia to Fort James Island. When we saw our mode of river transport, we sucked in deeply and checked for life jackets. It was a basic vessel, but, then again, all the ones we saw around us were a wee bit primitive. Sufficient life belts were put on board, and we set of...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 8, 2004

The Roots Route
Albreda and Fort James
Banjul, Gambia

A leisurely life around Banjul

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

A Banjul Beach Photo, Banjul, Gambia
Quote:
There is a limit to what you can do in The Gambia, and most days we enjoyed a gentle walk or relaxed around the pool. I discovered the joys of hotel hammocks, and once I'd mastered the art of getting into them, I tended to relax in them most afternoons. It was critical to put on sunscreen, as I spent a proportion of the afternoon "resting my eyes." It was great to relax in the hotel grounds. Less relaxing was the tendency of the local "bumsters," who operated on the beach or outside the hotel, waiting to befriend you at every opportunity. We made the mistake of responding a couple of times, and thereafter, they treated us like lost cousins – wealthy lost cousins who they felt owed them a penny or two....Read More

About the Writer

MichaelJM

MichaelJM
Nottingham, England

Banjul Tips & Stories

A leisurely life around Banjul