Is it now safe to travel to The Gambia? This time last year, I was, to say the least, unsure of how we would all be coping with Covid and the restrictions it placed upon us. I knew how dangerous it was but refused to believe it could stop the world in its tracks. I planned for our holiday season to start in November 2020 and then watched in helpless wonderment as we started to roll back our opening date from November to December, then January to February and ultimately acceptance we wouldn’t open at all.
By this November, it will be one year and eight months since we last welcomed friends old and new. And, by May this year, after having both my Pfizer vaccinations, I wanted to see for myself,” is it now safe to travel to The Gambia?” and also how likely that may be for the upcoming season 2021/22.
My travel experience
Although travelling from Norway and not The UK as most of our visitors do, here is my experience. I hope it helps clarify for some of you thinking of coming to The Gambia this year, what you should expect from your journey.
In days gone by, travelling for most of us meant remembering three things, passport, tickets, money. These days, there are a few more items on our to-do list. This may seem a little daunting, but I promise you it isn’t.
Flying to The Gambia
1/ Book and get a PCR test. Top tip, use a reputable company and if possible try and avoid a postal test. Everything feels a lot safer when using a well-established company and my recommendation would be Boots. They charge £85, book and pay online, turn up at your allotted time and receive your results the next day. It is a good idea to print your test result as well as having it on your phone just in case your phone battery runs out or indeed your phone is lost or stolen while in transit.
2/ If you are flying via another country to The Gambia for example with Vueling via Barcelona or Brussells air via Belgium you will need to check their requirements to fill in a passenger locator form.
3/ Passport, tickets money!
Flying from The Gambia
1/ Book a PCR test at Eco-Bank Gambia. We can do this for you. It costs £35.
2/ Get the PCR test within 72 hrs of travelling into The UK (Some parts of Europe can be different). Don’t worry, we will drive you to the testing station and guide you through the process so you can relax.
3/ Results are accessed via your phone here and we can print them out for you at the lodge.
4/ Complete a passenger locator form within 72 hrs of travelling back into The UK (Europe timescales can be different). We will download and guide you through the process at the lodge. ( It takes just a couple of minutes )
Upon arrival to The Gambia, there are no quarantine requirements as long as you have a negative PCR test certificate. Also before proceeding through customs you will receive a rapid test at the airport. (results in a few minutes)
Upon returning to The UK there are no quarantine requirements as long as you have received both vaccinations. If you are returning to Europe you will need to check their individual country requirements
Safe to travel insurance
From the moment you leave until your return, it makes great sense to purchase “safe to travel” insurance. We recommend Heymondo. Linda and I used them for our trip in May and were so impressed with their service and price that we have now partnered with them meaning that you get a discount on your premium.
Nothing to worry about
I must confess because it has been so long since I last travelled anywhere, I was a little worried. I needn’t have been. The process was much as before and now I’m fully vaccinated feel it’s time to get back to living life. Of course, in a socially distanced and safe way. If you feel it’s time too, remember you can BOOK TODAY with no deposit and nothing to pay until four weeks before travel.
See you soon in The Gambia..
Details correct as of 7th August 2021. Be aware that rules may change!