I had always dreamt of exploring the enchanting lands of Africa, and that dream finally came true with my first holiday in The Gambia. From the moment I set foot in this vibrant country, I knew it wouldn’t be my last visit.
Arriving at the Banjul International Airport, I was greeted by warm smiles and a sense of excitement in the air. The Gambia, often referred to as the “Smiling Coast of Africa,” truly lives up to its name. The friendly locals, were incredibly welcoming.
At Home Right Away
As I ventured into the heart of the country and my home for the next few days at Footsteps Eco-lodge I was captivated by the stunning natural beauty that surrounded me. The Gambia is blessed with breathtaking landscapes, from golden sandy beaches along the Atlantic coastline to lush green forests teeming with wildlife.
Before coming, I was a little worried about being a single traveller in a foreign land but after speaking with David (The Owner) before I came and now finally arriving here I knew there was really nothing to worry about at all. I could have spent longer at Footsteps but was eager to start exploring, so after thanking David and his wonderful team, I was on my way to see Gambia’s interior!
Dolphins, Birds And So Much More!
One of the highlights of this trip was exploring the River Gambia, the country’s lifeline.
Embarking on a river cruise onboard a local pirogue, I witnessed the beauty of the riverbanks and the vibrant local communities that thrive along its shores.
Along the way, I encountered playful dolphins and a rich variety of bird species, proving The Gambia to be a paradise for nature enthusiasts.
Local Festivals And Dancing
No trip to The Gambia is complete without immersing oneself in its vibrant culture.
The country is a melting pot of traditional African customs and a multicultural fusion of influences.
I had the pleasure of attending local festivals, where I witnessed captivating traditional dances and experienced the infectious rhythm of the local drumbeats.
Soak Up The Atmosphere
Exploring the bustling markets was an eye opener. The vibrant colours, the delicious aroma of freshly ground spices, and the melodic chatter of enthusiastic vendors created an unforgettable atmosphere.
I couldn’t resist trying the local foods, such as Domoda (peanut stew) and Benachin (one-pot rice dish), which I also learned to make myself and now cook at home.
Planning my next trip for 2024
Reflecting on my first holiday in The Gambia, I am filled with a sense of gratitude for the incredible experiences and warm hospitality I encountered. It’s culture, breathtaking landscapes, and the genuine smiles of the local people have left an indelible mark on my heart. As I write this, I know that this visit was just the beginning of my love affair with The Gambia. No prizes for guessing that I will be coming back!
If you are seeking an unforgettable adventure that combines nature, culture, and warm hospitality, then The Gambia should undoubtedly be on your travel bucket list.
Written by Joyce Adams.