Gambia Stories and Tips

Run-in with the hotel staff/police

Banjul market women Photo, Gambia, Africa

My husband and I checked in to the Kantora Hotel and asked specifically if they had hot water, as the last place we stayed they had not and I really wanted a nice warm shower. They assured us our room had hot water, so we checked in, dropped off our stuff and went to view some sights. We returned tired and dirty and I went to take a shower, only to discover NO hot water! So we went downstairs and asked if we could be moved to another room with hot water and were told, "No." Well, I refused to pay extra $$ for hot water that I didn't have access to and demanded we be given another room. Management was called and again we were told no. The situation enfolded and got very heated, at which point I said I would call the police. Hotel staff got worried at this point and said they would work with me, but I'd have to pay more $$. At this point my husband and I actually went to the local police station, where we told them our story. After much laughter that people would get angry over such a small concern, a policemen accompanied us to the hotel (we had to pay for a taxi, the police do not have their own cars there) and talked to the management with us. After about 30 minutes, it was discovered that we were telling the truth and the hotel management had been telling lies about us and the police made sure we were given another room WITH hot water. I actually was very impressed with the police; they were pretty friendly and not like your typical aggressive and swaggering African policemen. And we didn't even have to pay them bribes or a "gift" to help us. It actually turned into quite the adventure and I was impressed with the then military/coup police force.

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