Christmas time was coming and I was 11 days off from work. I wanted some sun, but I didn’t want to spend too much for a ticket. So Asia and Central America would be out of my limit with tickets for 1000 euros for this Christmas period. I just looked at Google maps to see where there could be some sun. My eyes stopped at the Gambia. Should I? A few clicks and I saw the tickets are affordable for only 500 euros’s. I searched a bit more to find out the sun should be shining at 25 degrees and there are some interesting things for me to see. So I hit ‘book this ticket’ and it was done!
A few months later I figured this tiny country surrounded by Senegal could be a perfect match with its neighbor country. So after a bit of a research, I bought a one way ticket to Dakar from Gambia. The reason for a flight was it was only 1 hour flight instead of a day drive. And a misfortune was that they entered a visa for Senegal, which meant that you have to arrive by airplane to get if fixed. I know this info is now outdated, but by then this was my option.
So again filling in some online forms for the embassy. I should pay on arrival. I only had to take the confirmation emails. That’s right emails. But I only got one confirmation back, I didn’t notice this only 2 days before I left. Luckily this wasn’t a problem afterwards, but it really got me confused!
I stayed one night in a village of The Gambia called Tanji after heading to Dakar. The main reason was to see Lac rose (pink lake) So was it really pink?
I decided to go to Ndangane, which is settled down a swam. Here I could really relax and enjoy my time in Senegal. After a few days, I headed to the Gambia again leaving we with a long day of traveling.
In The Gambia I visited Kuntaur, a village far east of the country, settle next to the Gambia River. Bintang Bolong, again a village next to the river, but here the landscape is mangrove forest and the Golden beaches, wide and quiet beaches along the coast!
The flight was cheap for this time the year, but I know of season you can get real good bargains for package deals from the Netherlands it would only cost 400 euros’s including flight and hotel. If you do it separately, expects to pay about 15 euros’s a night per person. Food would be cheap, about 5 euros’s for a meal. Buses are really cheap and even if you pay a bit more for the shared taxi it won’t be much.
You have to love fish if you travel to this part of Africa. Since they have sea and the Gambia has a big river which separates the country in upper and south bank, they have loads of fish. Most of the time in the lodges they asked in the morning what you would like to eat. If one person decided, they expect the other people would eat the same. This, to safe money, cause they only have to cook one dish, not leaving left overs. But if you don’t want you to can always order something from the small menu. I just went with the day menu which was always delicious! Along the coast you can get all kind of foods, and I really enjoyed the dishes I tried. Most of the lodges where including breakfast. Just simple toast with jam and a chocolate spread with a funny peanut butter taste.
Christmas day I spend in Dakar. They emailed me on forehand if I wanted to join for the Christmas dinner. The cost where 15 euros’s for a buffet. The food was good and there was a life band playing music. I really enjoyed it!
Christmas day I spend in Dakar. They emailed me on forehand if I wanted to join for the Christmas dinner. The cost where 15 Euros for a buffet. The food was good and there was a life band playing music. I really enjoyed it!
Are Senegal and Gambia nice destinations? Well for me yes! The people are really friendly, they try to have a chat with you. Although some people ask you for money, candy or whatever, most of them are just in for a chat. When you start searched, there are loads of things to see. Around Dakar you can spend easily a few days and Ndangane is a good place to spot birds. The eastern part of the Gambia was my favorite with the real African bungalows and animals to spot. The golden beaches of The Gambia are long and wide. Good for a few days relaxing. Around this area there are some protected forest where you can find some small mammals like monkeys and of course birds.