Gambian Cultural experiences, local day trips & tours
Explore The Gambia…
If you are interested in any of the excursions or experiences below, we can arrange transport and guides for you – please contact us for prices.
Abuko Nature Reserve
Situated in West Gambia, Abuko was the country’s first nature reserve. It is one of six protected wildlife management parks. It is the most visited tourist attraction in The Gambia with over 33,000 visitors per year. There are over 290 different species of birds, as well as monkeys, antelopes, crocodiles and much more.
African Art Museum
This place was set up by a Gambian woman determined to encourage women in particular to be involved with art. It is a lovely place to visit with interesting artefacts in every direction.
We can arrange an African drumming lesson for you, on site at the Gunjur Project. We have people with many years experience who can teach you some basic rhythms and giving you the buzz of making music with African beats.
African living art centre and Suelle
You can see displays of unique works in an original building, with a fabulous, eclectic collection of art, antiquities such as ritual masks, bronzes, textiles, Ashanti wooden stools from Ghana, West African jewellery and clothes.
Wide Open Walls Gambia is an art based project where volunteers have come from USA and Europe to work with villagers to develop works of art on random buildings. Plus you can call in at a locally owned lodge that serves nice cold drinks and a chance to sit looking out over the river. Boat trips can also be arranged.
Banjul City Visit
Only 40 minutes drive is Banjul, the capital city of The Gambia. It sits on an island and has a sense of history that the nearby seaside resorts lack. It is home to a busy harbour and market that show urban Africa at its best. Albert Market is very busy and is best for our more intrepid travellers. Plus you may fancy taking the ferry to Bara (on the North bank) – this is an experience – with everyone jostling for space with the livestock, cars, lorries and foot passengers – plus the chance to see whales or dolphins on the journey. The trip takes about three quarters of an hour.
The batik factory is located in Serrekunda, at the late Musu Kebba Drammeh’s compound, the famous, female tie-dye manufacturer. You can observe the batik making process from the design, waxing, boiling to the finished product. This is one of the major batik operations in the Gambia supplying many of the local stalls and the tourist markets.
Gunjur is surrounded by beautiful beaches – take the time for a walk along the shore – enjoying the scenery or finding unusual shells. You can visit the holy rocks, a site of significance for Muslims and where a new mosque is being built. Or you can just sit and watch the sun go down. Or you can call in at a beach bar for a cold drink.
Around half an hour away is the large town of Brikama. You’ll notice it’s hotter without the lovely cooling sea breeze in Gunjur. You can wander around the market and marvel at the array of local fruit and vegetables, the crazy hustle and bustle of Gambian people going about their daily life. Maybe you’d like to visit one of the many haberdashery shops and buy some material which you can have made into some brightly coloured clothes – we can arrange a tailor for you.
Eagle Heights Gambia is based at The Abuko Nature Reserve, The Gambia. They opened in 2014 and aim to be the leading wildlife education, breeding and research centre in The Gambia. Eagle Heights offers fun, educational and inspiring wildlife displays as well as refreshments and souvenirs. Inside the centre you will find a variety of African Birds of Prey and Mammals including Eagles, Lion and Cheetah.
We are right across the road from Bolong Fenyu nature reserve. The guides from GEPADG (Gunjur Environmental protection and development Group) will take you for a walk around the area of the belong (wetland area) giving information about the plants and wildlife in the area. The best times to go are morning or late afternoon. An early bird walk can also be arranged. Payment is direct to the guide and benefits this worthwhile community organisation. There is a small charge, minimum D200 per person paid directly to GEPADG. You’ll see an abundance of flora and fauna, which they can explain to you along the way. If you’re lucky you may see a crocodile or two basking in the sun.
Guided Tour of Local Area
The local area is a maze of small connecting roads (more like wide sandy paths!). You can wander around soaking up the sights, sounds and smells of every day life in The Gambia. You’ll be warmly greeted by everyone you pass! You’ll see children come out with huge smiles on their faces and you’ll fall in love with the place. You could easily combine this tour with a walk around the fishing village. You can see beautiful brightly coloured painted fishing boats and piles of fish in baskets. You can see the fish smoking houses and see the locals sitting on the beach preparing the fish.
Gunjur Village Tour
Gunjur is a short drive away, or a 15 minute walk. You can see the community well in the middle of the town where the locals walk to collect their water. You will pass the local school, radio station, courthouse, medical centre and nursery. There is a silversmith in the town who will love to show you his skills and a collection of the things he’s made. If you’re interested, you could visit a compound, which is where several generations of a family live together. You’ll see first hand what it’s like to live in The Gambia.
Kachikally Museum and Crocodile Pool
The Kachikally crocodile pool is located in the heart of Bakau, about 10 miles (16 km) from the capital Banjul. It is one of three sacred crocodile pools used as sites for fertility rituals. There are around 80 Nile crocodiles, which can grow up to 4.5 metres long and live as long as a human. The crocodiles all wander freely, although there is one called Charlie, who can be approached and touched.
Kartong (sometimes called Kartung) is a coastal village in south-western Gambia on the border with Senegal. It is only 9.5 km from us in Gunjur. Kartong is one of the oldest settlements in The Gambia, dating back 450 years. The town is surrounded by sea, bush, salt flats and a salt-water creek. The local people make a living from natural resources, fishing and farming.
Lamin Lodge is a building on poles standing in the water of the Gambia River, in the middle of the Mangrove Forests. You can see the Mangroves and many monkeys wandering around. Besides the monkeys and Mangroves you can see how cement is made from shells or just enjoy the wonderful view during a nice meal. Although it is a very peaceful place the monkeys that live around here are liable to steal your food – so hold on to it!
In The Gambia the name Makkasutu is a local Mandinka word which means holy & “sacred deep forest”. Makkasutu Culture Forest is located about 5 km to the north east of Brikama & is a lush green wilderness is fed by a tributary of the Gambia River called the Mandina Bolon. It is a private eco-tourist reserve which is open to the public for full or half-day cultural guided eco-tours of the forest. There is an entrance fee.
This is in the tourist area and is a chance to see wild monkeys, although sometimes they fail to put in an appearance. Note: Anyone feeding the monkeys does so at their own risk – they are wild animals.
Night time local fishing
Some of our staff supplement their income / diet by going night fishing – usually from the shore with a long line complete with many hooks. Can you match their catching skills??
Sanyang beach, otherwise known as Paradise beach is a short drive away and with beach bars offering sun beds this is a lovely spot for sunbathing. Every Sunday there is wrestling with teams competing in a drumming , dancing, posing and wrestling afternoon (starts 4pm). So you can enjoy the sun sea and sand for the day/afternoon at the very well run beach bar then enjoy the entertainment provided by the wrestlers.
Snake & Reptile Farm
This place is run by a French environmentalist who is committed to working with the community to preserve and protect the wild life especially the snakes that get killed because of fear. It’s an opportunity to understand what creatures are living in the area – close up! Entrance fee D200 plus transport.
This museum represents traditional village life, from a working well to a full group of village buildings complete with traditional artefacts. There are also working exhibitions of weaving, jewellery making, displays of traditional instruments and explanations about the traditions and customs.
If you wish to visit the main tourist areas we can arrange transport – it is about an hour’s journey from Gunjur. Things to do in the tourist area include The monkey park (info above) and the African living art centre (above) are both situated near the tourist area. If you fancy a night out visiting a restaurant or some bars and a night club – let us know and we can get a price for travel for you depending on your requirements.