In less than two weeks I’ll be returning to The Gambia in West Africa. I’m very excited about this particular visit as this time, I’m taking 6 fantastic travel bloggers with me for the very first bloggers press trip to this wonderful country. As well as writing ‘Travel With Kat’ I work for The Gambia Experience, so when they asked me to organise and host a bloggers’ press trip to The Gambia I was delighted! Actually, I was over-the-moon.
With Jenny, our PR manager, I compiled a list of bloggers we wanted to invite. We were looking for bloggers from the UK (or with a large UK audience), who write well, take fantastic photographs, and have strong and effective social media channels. My experience in blogging was invaluable, enabling me to advise Jenny about what we should be looking for in a blogger. Who would get as the results we were after and who would work well together as a team, promoting the trip across social media networks?
We then put our heads together to create an exciting itinerary for the bloggers that would give them plenty of opportunities to promote different aspects of The Gambia.
Here’s the final list of bloggers that will soon be joining me in The Gambia.
Travel Bloggers in The Gambia
Iain Mallory | Mallory On Travel
Iain is an ex-military man and served as a Warrant Officer in the Army Physical Training Corps. This enabled him to become highly qualified in a large number of adventurous activities. Participating in many expeditions to many parts of the World satisfied his wanderlust.
He now works freelance as a writer and photographer and enjoys finding adventure wherever he travels. He publishes the popular website Mallory On Travel, an adventure travel guide for the everyday adventurer by a former adrenalin junkie.
“I’m always excited about visiting an exotic new destination, but I cannot wait to explore The Gambia, the continent’s smallest mainland country, it promises epic adventures” Iain
Jaillan Yehia | Savoir There
“When it comes to stylish travel, I know just the place.”
This site is about travel for stylish, discerning and cultured urban folk who work hard and are short of time, so need to get the most out of their trips. Jaillan aims to help them cut to the travel chase by giving them some great edited ideas for interesting, cool and unique places to go.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be heading off to The Gambia with The Gambia Experience. I feel as though Gambia is my ‘one that got away’ as I’ve come so close to booking holidays to the country in the past and just not quite managed it. I’m most looking forward to doing some wildlife spotting. Last year I caught the Africa bug in a big way – and I have a feeling it will stay with me for life, so I wonder if The Gambia will be my latest addiction?” Jaillan
Jayne Gorman | 40 before 30
Jayne is a travel blogger on a mission to visit and blog about her experiences in 40 different countries before her 30th birthday.
“This trip to The Gambia will be my first visit to this part of Africa, and I am most looking forward to meeting the people, sharing their smiles and discovering the beauty of The Gambia’s coastline.” Jayne
Recommended for you: The top 10 Things to Do in The Gambia on a Budget
Monica Stott TheTravelHack
The Travel Hack is a travel blog about adventurous and stylish travels all around the world. I love a bit of luxury but also love to get my feet dirty, meet the locals and explore a new destination away from the main tourist track.
The Travel Hack began as a way to document my two-year backpacking trip around Asia and Australia and continued as I returned to London to study multimedia journalism. I have a huge passion for photography and iphoneography, and I aim to show that you can travel the world, even with a full-time job.
“I love everything about discovering a new country, but I’m most looking forward to meeting the local families and finding out more about life in The Gambia. We’ll be presenting the families with new stoves for their homes, so hopefully, they’ll be able to share some local cooking tips with me too!” Monica
Simon Falvo Wild About Travel
“I look forward to discovering an area of Africa that I’ve never visited before, to see the smiling kids, learn about the local culture and admire the scenery. It will surely be a wonderful experience, and I can’t wait to explore a little bit of The Gambia.”
Tom Warburton on behalf of BaldHiker.com
Tom Warburton is part of the baldhiker.com team. Long, long ago (back in analogue days) he travelled the world extensively including a two year around the world trip. He is now rediscovering the world with a digital camera. He originally trained as an ecologist and is particularly interested in environmental and wildlife issues. Tom’s blogs can be seen on the baldhiker.com website.
Tom says “I’m really looking forward to the trip to The Gambia. I’m particularly interested in the wildlife, and the bird diversity in The Gambia is astounding. The Mandina Lodges in the Makasutu Forest look perfect for exploring both the wildlife and culture of The Gambia. I can’t wait!”
As well as hosting the bloggers, I will, of course, be writing all about my experience on Travel With Kat.
I really can’t wait to show my fellow bloggers this wonderful country, the smallest country on mainland Africa and, sadly, one of the poorest. Tourism is vital to the local economy, so anything that helps promote the country as a holiday destination is fabulous.
I hope you will follow all the bloggers as I help them discover The Gambia. You can follow our Tweets and Instagrams with #BlogGambia.
#BlogGambia Campaign Update
The campaign generated forty-two articles from seven bloggers
Mallory on Travel
Iain beautifully captures one of the highlights from the trip in his post Dancing Haystacks in The Gambia. He wrote six excellent articles in all.
Girl Tweets World (previously 40 before 30)
Jayne also published six great articles showcasing different aspects of her visit. Here she shares her First Impressions of The Gambia.
The Travel Hack
Wild About Travel
Italian born blogger, Simon, shared four articles about The Gambia. When I first read her account of The Wise Man of the Makasutu Forest, it gave me goosebumps. Like me, she also fell in love with the barefoot luxury of Mandina Lodges.
Jaillan wrote two articles following her visit including How I became a Forest Chump and featured The Gambia in numerous round-up articles in later that year and in years to follow.
Tom Warburton wrote seven articles about his visit to The Gambia, which in total have been read over 144,000 times. In his photo essay, A Village Kumpo Dance his vibrant images convey the energy of the people of The Gambia beautifully,
Travel With Kat
My article, The Top 12 Things to Do in The Gambia on a Budget, was one of the most successful from the campaign. It has been read by over 25,000 people and still gets read on my blog every day. I published a whooping 12 articles in total from this trip.
Later that year, we organised a second bloggers’ press trip to The Gambia, which again was a great success. My favourite article from that visit brings back many vivid memories, A night on the river in Makasutu Forest.
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