Newest Review: ... craft markets, interesting excursions and some of the most friendliest people on earth Even if you were to go individually i.e. not as ... more
No Sex Please We're British - True or False?
Member Name: vinodgm
Date: 11/10/01, updated on 11/10/01 (234 review reads)
Advantages: Economical Pacakge Tours, All that you would expect of Africa, Interesting beaches and parks
Disadvantages: Due to a lack of places will get a bit boring after a while
Banjul is the capital city of The Gambia, which is located on the West Coast of Africa.
Banjul was formerly known as Bathurst until 1973. It was founded by the British in 1816 and was governed as part of the British colony of Sierra Leone before becoming the capital of the British Colony and Protectorate of The Gambia.
The Gambian economy depends on export of peanuts, fish and more importantly the tourism industry
I have visited Banjul at least five times in my lifetime and my most recent visit was in July of 2000.
Banjul is a very popular holiday destination point especially for the British. The overall package tours are very reasonable compared to other destinations. There are many tour operators doing packages to Banjul. I cannot give you much price information since I have not used a tour operator personally. I have always gone there individually.
The Gambia has so much to offer all year round from its unsophisticated charm, miles of deserted palm-fringed beaches, tropical gardens and nature reserves to quality hotels, craft markets, interesting excursions and some of the most friendliest people on earth
Even if you were to go individually i.e. not as part of a package tour, you would still get a lovely 4 Star hotel for around £25.00 – £30.00 a night. Make sure that you book your hotel well in advance especially during peak season.
There are many interesting places to visit in and around Banjul and some of these are:
Paradise Beach – This is a three hour drive from Banjul and the drive is a pretty bumpy one. This is as the name implies, a paradise beach and consists of miles and miles of barely touched white sand and picture perfect blue sea.
Abuko National Reserve – A tropical riverine forest. Open all year round. No accommodation available. Animals living in the reserve include baboon, bush buck, crocodile, vervet monkeys and a wide variety of birds.
ijilo Forest Park – A small, coastal reserve. Open all year round. No accommodation available. Animals living in the reserve are not abundant but there are several species of monkey and a wide variety of birds.
Kiang West National Park – Another riverine forest. Accommodation is available in Tendaba (a town close to the park) Animals living in the park include antelope, bushpigs, monkey and many species of birds.
Tours to these areas and other interesting places are available at 90% of the hotels.
The days are spent either visiting these parks, shopping around in town for African handicraft or just relaxing at the swimming pool in your hotel.
Evenings are equally entertaining with local artists performing African dances and shows whilst you are having your dinner. These are very amusing and fun as tourists are encouraged to join in the fun and have a go at the local dance.
The nightlife is rather restricted more to the bars and discos located in your hotel or nearby hotels. Naturally the local bars are available to go to but it is not recommended unless you go with the locals.
One very amusing (to me) fact is the number of women you go to Banjul for the sex. They are mostly middle aged between the ages of 30-50 and either single, divorced or widowed. They flock to the Banjul solely and purely for the sex. The Gambian men engaged in this trade prowl the beaches on the lookout for these women. Many times they bring these men back with them to the U.K. I have seen this with my own eyes and have read about this in one of the major magazines after a friend of mine pointed it out. It was a very detailed article spanning about 4 or 5 pages and with photographs and interviews with some of the British women and the Gambian men. (I think it was Cosmopolitan). Thus the reason for the title of this op (in case you were wondering)
Overall Banjul and The Gambia on a whole is a wonderful place to visit aswell
as an economical one. However due to the limited number of sites it will get a bit boring and I recommend a maximum stay of 3 weeks. I personally feel that this is a very worthwhile place to visit at least once in your lifetime.