Practice ethical and sustainable tourism
The Gambia, known as the “Smiling Coast of Africa,” is a breathtaking country with vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and warm-hearted people. As a responsible holidaymaker, it is essential to be mindful of your impact on the local environment and community. By practising sustainable and ethical tourism, you can contribute to the preservation of Gambia’s natural beauty and support the local economy. Here are some ways you can be a more responsible holidaymaker while exploring Gambia:
1. Support Local Businesses
Opt for locally-owned restaurants and shops. This way, you directly contribute to the local economy, providing income and job opportunities for the local community. Explore markets, purchase handmade crafts, and dine at family-owned eateries to experience genuine Gambian hospitality.
2. Conserve Water
Water is a valuable resource, particularly in regions like The Gambia. Practice water conservation by taking short showers, turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, and reusing towels instead of requesting fresh ones daily. By conserving water, you help alleviate water scarcity challenges in the country.
3. Respect the Local Culture
Immerse yourself in the local culture and customs of Gambia. Learn a few basic greetings in the local language, dress modestly when visiting religious sites, and be respectful towards the beliefs and traditions of the Gambian people.
4. Reduce Plastic Waste
Plastic pollution poses a significant threat to Gambia’s ecosystems and marine life. Be a responsible holiday maker by minimizing the use of single-use plastics. Carry a reusable water bottle, refuse plastic straws, and bring your eco-friendly shopping bag. Participate in beach clean-up activities to help keep Gambia’s beautiful coastlines pristine.
5. Support Wildlife Conservation
Gambia is home to diverse wildlife, including endangered species such as the West African manatees and The Red Colobus Monkey. Engage in responsible wildlife activities, such as wildlife-watching tours organized by reputable operators. Avoid interactions that exploit animals or disrupt their natural behaviours.
6. Taking someone’s photograph
In the Gambian culture, a polite request for permission to capture someone’s image is considered respectful and is appreciated by the locals. It demonstrates your awareness and sensitivity towards their personal space. Taking a moment to engage in a brief conversation before you take a photograph can also provide an opportunity for cultural exchange and connection. So, whenever you feel compelled to capture a beautiful moment in The Gambia, remember that a simple request for permission can go a long way in fostering positive interactions and creating memorable experiences.
7. Learn a phrase or two of the local language
While English is commonly spoken in the resort areas, the locals would genuinely appreciate it if you could make an attempt to converse in their native language, even if it’s just a few words. In The Gambia, there exist several local languages, Mandinka and Wolof are the most widely spoken.
Here are some phrases to help you on your way😉
|Hello||Asalamu Alikum||A Salamu Alikum|
|How are you?||Heraba / I be di?||Na Nga Def?|
|Good Morning||Hera Laata||Jamangen Fanaan|
|Good Evening||I Wuraara||Jamangen Enddu|
|Goodbye||Fo Waati Koteng||Ci Jamma|
|What is your name?||I Ton Ndii?||Na Ka Nga Tudda?|