I love Mangoes in May! They are one of those special fruits that you crave but seldom have. Probably because when we see them in the supermarkets, they are not ripe and are a bit more than you want to spend on a piece of fruit.
The mango is known as the ‘king of fruit‘ throughout the world and in The Gambia, we have many varieties. The orange ones are called Tanduk and are great made into a pickle, while my favourite is called Hadon and are satsuma sized, sweet and juicy. We have both at our lodge!
Mangos in May grow in abundance, remaining till the end of August. In July and August, they cover the floor with their sheer numbers and the animals can’t eat them quickly enough. We like to use them in curries and spicy dishes, as well as in our homemade ice creams, smoothies and desserts.
More fresh mangoes are eaten around the world every day than any other fruit!
Mangoes have many qualities. Mangoes can be used to tenderise meat for example due to the enzymes contained within.
An average-sized mango can contain up to 40% of your daily fibre requirement. When mango is green and still growing there is a high vitamin C content. As the fruit ripens and matures the amount of beta carotene (vitamin A) increases. Beware of their oily skin though. It can cause a rash similar to poison ivy and indeed is related to poison ivy and poison oak. Also, the leaves are considered toxic and can kill cattle or other grazing livestock.
Did you know that the weather in May and June is amongst the best Gambia has to offer? With daytime temperatures of 30 degrees and nighttime a very comfortable 22 degrees it is a fabulous time of the year. Because the tourist season is generally regarded as being over at the end of April, there are also far fewer tourists.
Not all airlines are flying over this time of year, which we hope will change. However, airlines such as Vueling have very good prices for their flights to Banjul. Flying out of LGW via Barcelona still has a total journey time of only 7 ½ hours.