The Gambia

The smiling coast of Africa, where the beaches are never overcrowded and a warm welcome awaits.

Mandina Lodges, the perfect start to our West African honeymoon

Join us as we discover barefoot luxury in a floating river lodge on a tributary of the River Gambia, the perfect start to a multicentre honeymoon in West Africa.

Spicy chicken ‘pepe’ soup recipe from West Africa

This traditional spicy chicken soup from The Gambia, is known as a cure-all and, amongst other things, is said to cure the common cold. The Gambians like their food spicy so be warned, pepe soup packs quite a punch!

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.

Saving the marine turtles of West Africa | Interview with a poacher

Speaking to Landing, a former turtle poacher, I began to understand why people hunted the turtles, despite their dwindling numbers and it being illegal.

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. Today we are celebrating the wedding of my dear friend Okameo and his lovely bride Asanatou.

  • Where is The Gambia? In West Africa, with a coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. It’s surrounded by the much larger country of Senegal on three sides. 
  • What language do they speak in The Gambia? There are several local languages but the official language is English.
  • What’s the weather like in The Gambia? Average temperature highs range between 29°C and 34°C with long hours of sunshine year-round. In the summer months, it is very humid with short but heavy rain showers. In the winter, there is low humidity and little rain, the perfect location for a winter sun holiday.
  • What’s the food like in The Gambia? The resort areas have a fabulous range of restaurants serving cuisines from around the world. Look out for local dishes too which are usually quite spicy and served with rice.
  • What’s the currency in The Gambia? The Dalasi (GMD).
  • Where to stay in The GambiaRead about the different resort areas and the best hotels and B&Bs in The Gambia, here.

Spicy chicken ‘pepe’ soup recipe from West Africa

This traditional spicy chicken soup from The Gambia, is known as a cure-all and, amongst other things, is said to cure the common cold. The Gambians like their food spicy so be warned, pepe soup packs quite a punch!

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. Today we are celebrating the wedding of my dear friend Okameo and his lovely bride Asanatou.

Baobab smoothie recipe

While on my travels in The Gambia and Senegal I've often heard from the locals of the many uses and benefits of the fruit of the baobab tree, a vitamin, fibre, and antioxidant-rich superfood. Here's my recipe for a delicious and nutritious baobab smoothie. The Baobab...

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....

Why you should visit The Gambia

If you have never visited Africa, The Gambia is the perfect introduction. Expect lovely beaches, great weather, a fascinating culture and friendly people!

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 creaks 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...

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