Been considering a return to Africa for a few years now as mongering in other parts of the world has become too commercialised as developing countries economies have vastly improved over the last 10 years. From no kissing in Costa Rica to Gogos full of Coyote dancers or Fuglies in Thailand, the girlfriend experience has all but gone. Africa being the final frontier.
Gambia has a reputation for some sex tourism more so with females rather than men… for them, the latter it is called Romance tourism, that’s equality for you. Gambia is also attractive due to a low crime rate and also being politically stable. This would also be my first trip to West Africa having visited Kenya in east Africa and Morocco in north Africa.
The other issue with Africa is diseases, Malaria and least of all HIV and AIDS. But with appropriate medication, repellents and preventive action these nasties can be avoided.
From the UK the two main providers for holidays in the Gambia are the Gambian experience and Thomas Cook. Prior to booking I always check the travel reports to gauge an overall impression of the place and the general consensus was very positive for Gambia. If I went down this route then it would be the first time booking a package deal, flight, hotel, transfers etc all included. Prices looked good though, around £800 for 10 nights including bed and breakfast in a beach front hotel.
Not all hotels though are guest friendly, if they allow guests then there is a joiner fee or small bribe to pay to the security guard. The alternative is using the above holiday portals to book a flight only and then rent an apartment for the duration.
The best place to stay in Gambia is in a district called Kololi near the SeneGambia otherwise known as the strip. The Senegambia is a road leading up from the beach packed with restaurants, bars and nightclubs, no need for taxi journeys here. The main hotels and apartment complexes are also off the strip or nearby.
The recommended apartment was Oasis although not the cheapest. Cheaper apartments were Princess but further away from the strip. I decided for my first trip I would book a package with The Gambia experience, to play it safe as it was my first time, and well out of my comfort zone. While there I could investigate alternative accommodation.
So I went ahead and booked my package for 10 nights with the Gambia experience staying in Sarjes hotel. Sarjes hotel was the cheapest being only 2 star but more popular with the singles. The other hotels was the Kairaba and the Senegambia, more popular with couples and families. I was careful to not book during the school holidays.