Banjul

Banjul, capital of The Gambia

Get off the beaten path and unwind in the Gambia

As a gentle sea breeze brushes my face, I arch my back in the cat pose. Moving from one yoga hold to another, I unwind and the stresses of life slip away. Lamin expertly guides my through each posture, and after over an hour of stretches and holds while breathing in...

Saving the marine turtles of West Africa

For thousands of years turtles have been visiting the beaches of West Africa to lay their eggs. The few female hatchlings that battle the odds and survive into adulthood return to the very same beach of their birth, some 25 years later, to lay their own eggs. Yet last...

A Traditional West African Wedding

I step out of the taxi onto the dusty lane, in a village much like any other in The Gambia. Today this particular street is unusually busy with a tangible buzz in the air. Ladies in their gloriously coloured dresses are coming and going. Children bring out plastic chairs and line them up against the walls that line the road. Musicians are arranging their drums. Today we are celebrating the wedding of my dear friend Okameo and his lovely bride Asanatou.

Baobab smoothie recipe

The baobab tree is a proud symbol of Africa. A majestic tree that can live for thousands of years. A tree of legend and fables. Griots, the hereditary musicians of West Africa, were traditionally buried within a baobab. With trunks that can be as large as 15m in...

White domes, hot stones and a paper G-string!

Sitting on a tiled bench in nothing but a paper g-string is not how I would normally picture the start of a day’s pampering but that is exactly how my morning at Coco Ocean Resort & Spa began; I was there to enjoy nearly 3 hours of utter self-indulgence, in the...

An upcountry adventure with the Jola Tribe

A traditional Jola Festival is the subject of my 3rd podcast from The Gambia with the transcript and plenty of photographs here on my blog. "Unnerving but fascinating to watch, they used everything from cutlasses and razor blades to energetically strike their bodies...

From blue-bellied rollers to little bee-eaters

The Gambia is world-renowned for bird watching, having some 560 species of birds, so I was delighted when I heard that bird watching expert, Malick Suso was going to be my guide in The Gambia for an early evening walk through Bijilo Forest. I had met Malick...

Guide to The Gambia – Where to stay?

Where to stay in The Gambia? In this, my second podcast episode, I talk about the different resort areas in The Gambia and the variety of accommodation available, to help you find the perfect place for you, whether you are looking for cheap and cheerful, upmarket...

From tree-top towers to African street art

Having woken up to the dawn chorus of Makasutu Forest and then spent the morning taking a ridiculous number of photos of a troupe of baboons - just a few of which I shared in a previous post, The Baboons of Makasutu Forest - we stopped by what is known as Base Camp....

Guide to The Gambia

Why Visit The Gambia? As well as the recent new look to welcome in 2014, a new feature of Travel with Kat, that I hope you will enjoy, will be my audio podcasts, starting with my Guide to The Gambia in West Africa, a fascinating country that I have been visiting...

The Baboons of Makasutu Forest

When we arrived at Mandina Lodges we were given a few words of  warning! "Don't leave your toiletries out in your open-air bathroom as the baboons might steal them." Replanting Makasutu Forest and the return of the baboons When the founders of Mandina Lodges,...

A night on the river in Makasutu Forest

As I lie in bed I can feel a gentle movement in the decking beneath me or is it my imagination. I listen to the creeks and groans of the wood... splashes of water... silence... another splash. Getting out of bed I draw back the muslin curtains and catch my breath. A...

Responsible volunteering with ‘people and places’

In my last post I shared with you my concerns about irresponsible volunteer organisations and orphanage tourism. Today I’d like to tell you about a great volunteering organisation that take a very responsible approach. Getting to know 'people and places' As my...

Justifiable bad press for orphanage tourism

There has been a lot of bad press lately about volunteer tourism and I’ve heard a few horror stories myself, such as local teachers being dismissed because the school knew that a volunteer teacher was on there way. Even more disturbing still though are cases involving...

Monkeys at play in a Gambian garden

During my last visit to The Gambia I stayed in the area known as the Senegambia strip. It's the largest and liveliest resort in The Gambia, although in late June and early July when I was there, it was pretty quiet. Despite the humidity it is a lovely time...

The Community Stove Initiative

In May, when I left The Gambia, I had a mission to raise enough money to buy at least ten more of the new design of stoves that run on peanut shell briquettes. The Community Stove Initiative If you have been following my blogs from The Gambia you may want to skip the...

Exploring Albert Market in Banjul

Whatever country you are in, I think most people would agree, that the local markets are great places to explore and photograph. When I arrived at Banjul's Royal Albert Market our taxi driver found a local guide to take us round. There's huge variety of goods for sale...

Top 10 things to do in The Gambia on a budget

The Gambia is West Africa is a fascinating country to explore with golden sandy beaches, year-round hot weather and, with the official language being English, almost everyone you met will be a fluent English speaker. Many holidaymakers from Europe head there to relax...

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