The Gambia is one of the closest tropical destinations to Europe. I decided to try out this relatively unknown tourist destination and I can assure you, it is worth a visit! Here is why:
The dry season is from October until June, which means you have plenty of time to escape the Belgian rainy winters. Vitamine D boost guaranteed! In the evenings, the temperature drops to ca. 16°C as the temperatures are moderated by the Atlantic Ocean. During the dry season, you shouldn’t worry too much about malaria. The mosquito populations mainly dominate the rainy season, starting around the middle of June and ending in October. If you decide to visit the Gambia in this season, good repellent will be crucial!
Authentic culture and friendly people
Gambian people are very warm and friendly and they adore tourists. They will always shake your hand and talk to you. No wonder this is “the smiling coast of Africa”! Educated in English, most Gambians are at least bilingual. They are genuinely hospitable and live life at a relaxed pace.
Soft introduction to Africa
The Gambia is known as the safest country in West Africa. Although tour operators decided to pull out many tourists beginning of this year following the exit of the former president, there was no hostility nor violence in the streets. Gambians are peace-loving people that are known for their amity and harmony. Even Christians and Muslims live peacefully together, something not so common in other countries in the world.
Short flight + no passport needed!
Did you know that you can access the country with your Belgian ID? For this trip you won’t need to arrange a passport! Furthermore, there is only a 2-hour time zone difference. No jet lag this time! Brussels Airlines offers 4 flights per week to The Gambia (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday) during the whole year. At the moment, it is a ca. 6-hour flight that usually makes a quick stop in Dakar. Passengers heading to Banjul can stay in the airplane.
Deserted unspoiled beaches
The Gambia is known for its unspoiled and immaculate beaches offering unprecedented access to the sun, sand and sea. It is incredible how you can walk to the shore, look left and right, and don’t see a living soul around you (except for maybe a cow or two). Although the Gambia only has a small coastline, there is plenty of choice. The beaches in Serrekunda area are absolutely fabulous. Furthermore, you can go more south and explore the beaches in Gunjur area such as the one next to Boboi Lodge. You can also opt for the private beaches belonging to one of the hotels. Only there you will find toilets, showers and drinks.