29 ideas for couples travelling to The Gambia

Interested to explore the world together? Not very excited about vacationing in cliché destinations? Ever thought about The Gambia as your next travel destination? The perfect holiday destination for couples who love the outdoors and exploring. The Gambia offers plenty of activities to do together and endless beautiful scenery, local flavours at the street markets, fantastic restaurants on the beach, romantic river cruises and endless sunsets. Just think about how incredible they would be from the Atlantic Ocean in West Africa!

The Gambia, one of the smallest African countries, has a lot to offer for solo travellers, couples, families, groups, students, etc. It has all except mountains and the big 5. It is suitable for all types of travellers, from holidaymakers to adventures.

In this issue, we focused on activities for couples.

In addition to regular excursions such as Kachikally, Banjul, Bijilo monkey park, Makasutu, craft markets, Janjanbureh, Tanji, etc. here are some other ideas:

1. Life is a beach

The beach is a place that always brings joy to people. If you choose an accommodation close to the beach or beachfront, you will be able to combine your holidays with all the activities happening on the beach. You may think about lying on the sunbed and reading a book. Sure! But this is only one of the many options you have. If you love to do some sports together, early morning jog or a walk on the beach will make your start of the day filled with a lot of positive energy and appreciation. You can do some water sport activities throughout the day, swim in the waves, pick shells, watch the birds and seashore crabs with your partner. In the evening, there is time for magical sunsets. Listening to the waves and having a relaxed, romantic walk – Gambian beaches are the perfect fit!

2. Stay and dine on the beach

Breakfast, lunch, or dinner with an ocean view? Yes! There are so many options for romantic dining in The Gambia. You can choose from numerous bars and restaurants directly on the beach. Quiet, romantic candlelight dinners watching the sunset on the beach or the crashing waves on the seashore is enough to bring down all the stress and focus on your partner. The Gambian coast is filled with restaurants with different cuisines. You can also enjoy your dinner, dancing to the drums and songs of afro-beats with the locals. You can also choose a quiet dinner with slow background music for a meaningful conversation. Choose your type of dining and we promise you that you will have a memorable one in The Smiling Coast of Africa. Check out some hotels located directly on the beach, such as Tamala Beach Resort, Kololi Beach Resort, Kasumai Beach Resort, Bojang River Lodge, Coco Ocean Spa and Resort and more.

3. Serene boat trip

What is more romantic than taking a boat trip with your partner? These boat trips can bring in a unique sense of peace and calm. There are short boat trips that you can take from Denton bridge, through the mangroves, into the creeks and return in a few hours. Or you can take a day-long trip through the River Gambia and, if you are lucky, catch some Dolphins occasionally swim to James Island, a historical place and return late in the evening. You can hire a boat or yacht or go with friends with food served for the whole day. They will stop the boat for you if you are interested in fishing mid-way, and if you are lucky, you can catch some fish in the River Gambia. Fair Play Gambia offers river cruises and sleeping onboard. Check their offer if you are interested in exploring the country on the river up to Janjanburreh.

4. Relaxing spa and massages

Tamala Beach Resort, Coco Ocean Resort & Spa and many other hotels in The Gambia offer a memorable spa and massage experience. One of the biggest and most known is Coco Ocean Spa, where you can take the couple package and gift yourself and your partner with a famous Moroccan Hammam scrub. Or you can have a relaxing Swedish massage and see all the tiredness of your stressful work life disappear. These spas have a beauty regimen as well, facials, manicures, pedicures to treat your body the well-deserved break and care it needs. If you are at Gunjur, ask for a Thai Yoga masseur – Lamin Darboe.

5. Beauty treatment for two

Sparkle Beauty Salon offers amazing packages for two. One of the most popular salons in The Gambia can help you to pump yourself while on vacation. You can choose among many services such as manicure, pedicure, massages, hair treatments, etc. They have many years of experience and an international team of Europeans, Americans, and Gambians. They can treat all kinds of skin and hair types.

6. Fitness freaks!

Are you a fitness freak who does not want to compromise on your exercise during your vacation? Then, Gambia has a long list of activities that cater to the active spirit of such couples!

There are a variety of activities one can choose from:

7. Golf

Play golf in one and the only exquisite golf course called the Fajara golf course. You can enjoy a 9-hole or 18-hole round with your partner by renting a golf kit!

8. Biking

are you a biking couple? Fear not, we have routes that are free from a lot of traffic. You can hire a bicycle and ride along some quiet routes with your partner and have an active, fit and satisfying bike ride of your life!

Photo Credit: Yoga Bliss Gambia

9. Yoga

Yoga on the beachside or in a quiet studio by yoga teachers with years of experience can help you to give a much-awaited break that you deserve in your vacation. Ms Raffa and Ms Mellisa have been conducting yoga classes for years in The Gambia.

10. Salsa

Want to learn Salsa? In The Gambia, you can take a couple of salsa classes and dance your way to soft romantic music with Ms Raffa, from Germany in her studio. Baobab Holiday Resort hosts salsa night each Saturday. So if you want to enjoy nice African salsa music and take your partner for a dance, this is your go to choice. 

11. Gym

Some gyms offer couple packages for tourists and residents. Spend your day sweating at the gym doing various group activities like Zumba, aerobics, spinning, cross fit or hit the machines to sweat it out! 

12. Hiking

There are 6 Baobab River Hiking trails in Janjanbureh which will let you explore the village and daily life of Gambians living in that area. Get in touch with Janjanbureh visitor centre and enjoy the long walks in The Gambia.

Photo Credit: Baobab River Hiking Trail

13. Animal lovers and enthusiasts!

Are you an animal lover? You can bird watch with your partner in bird reserves. Bird watching is very famous with various beautiful, incredible small birds of different colours and ranges, unique to this country. Turtle hatching activity in Gunjur or Sanyang will blow your mind when it comes to adopting a nest and seeing the baby turtles run into the sea (nesting season from July to December). Did you know that The Gambia is one of the rare countries in the whole world where you can see chimpanzees in their natural habitat? What about a giant hippopotamus? Living in the river, one of the most dangerous animals in Africa can be spotted on a river trip in the Central River Region. As well as crocodiles, monkeys, baboons, snakes, monitor lizards and so many other animals.

14. Adventure water activities!

Love water sports? No problem! You can choose between kayaking in Tanji or Janjanbureh, Jet skiing in Kotu, surfing at Palma Rima, stand-up paddling in Lamin Lodge, sport fishing from Kotu or Denton bridge are some of the famous activities that you can do together. Though it may not give you an adrenaline rush, you can explore these activities on a fine sunny day and experience the waters of the River Gambia.

15. Volunteering for a gratifying experience!

If charity feeds your soul, you can be a volunteering couple for a day or two in any of the organisations that work with the community. Non-profit organisations work closely with the communities in education, agriculture, waste management, environment-friendly initiatives. Choose an organisation, write to them prior to your trip and fix a time and method you would like to contribute your time and energy to anyone cause that is dear to your heart. You will return different from such a trip.

16. Night life

Do you like to rock and roll for some groovy music all night? Choose nightclubs and dancing pubs with English, African and all kinds of music that keep you up all night with your dancing shoes. Nightlife in Kololi, Kotu, and Bakau is the most recommended and favourite spot for tourists to enjoy the nightlife. The clubs play a mixture of pop, hip hop, salsa, reggae, Afro-fusion and Ndaga. There are always music venues to choose from every day. Poco Loco beach club and restaurant is famous for regular live music entertainment. As well as Solomelos Music Venue, Friends Bar and Three Little Birds in Bakau. Aquarius and Reo’s nightclubs are famous clubs located in Senegambia. Big Apple Executive Lounge is the only non-smoking lounge with a designated lounge for smokers. Plass Bi and Villa Roula in Fajara are restaurants that daily turned into night lounges to offer music and entertainment for its customers to party till the early hours of the day.

17. Explore the up-country

You have two options. You either rent a car and drive with your international licence or hire a taxi and go exploring. You can choose to drive up to Basse or stop at Janjanburreh and stay some days exploring culture, history, wildlife, villages, and much more. There is a guide association in Janjanburreh, which is part of the visitor centre and where you will find very knowledgeable guides which will make sure that you have the most unique experience. If you don’t want to go as far as Basse or Janjanbureh, you can have an amazing time at Kartong, Gunjur, Sanyang or Tanji. There are so many activities to be done at these places. Such as spending time with oysters ladies, learning about reptiles at the farm, visiting Gunjur mosque, women gardens, village museum, turtle project and more. Or spending time at Sanyang or Tanji, kayaking on the river, fishing, saving turtles, tree planting, drumming classes, dance classes, yoga and so much more. All above mentioned are only a few. There are others such as hiking trails, cycling, river trips, tie & die workshops, environment protection, etc. You can choose between basic accommodation like homestays, eco-lodges and simple guesthouses.

18. Lunch or dinner for two at various restaurants

There are many restaurants that offer Gambian dishes in addition to international cuisine. If you have a chance, try homemade Gambian food. Usually, the taste of home-prepared Gambian dishes is richer and more delicious. Some of the famous local restaurants are Kaddy Kaddy, Rahma’s kitchen and African Queen. Meanwhile, the selection of international food is extensive and fantastic. We recommend Yosh for Creol and soul food, El Sol for Mexican cuisine and steaks, Solomelos, Friends and Three Little Birds restaurants in Bakau for music and international food, Kasuami BBQ & steakhouse for meat lovers, Burgers and beyond for delicious burgers, Paradiso for pizza, Saffron & Vineyard for Indian cuisine, Shiraz for authentic Lebanese food, Villa Roula for a mixture of Indian and Lebanese food, Gusto for Italian cuisine, Manos for local and Mediterranean food. Want to dine directly on the beach? Then check Tamala Beach Resort Lounge, Poco Loco, Kololi Beach Resort, Ngala Lodge, Kasumai Beach Resort, Kunta Kinteh restaurant, beach restaurants at Sanyang, etc.

19. Dance salsa with Raffa

Salsa dancing is a unique form of exercise because it provides the heart-healthy benefits of aerobic exercise and, according to science, makes you happy.

It has health benefits like:
• Builds endurance and stamina
• Helps with weight loss ( Burns off 420 + per hour)
• Can lead to a reduced heart rate over time
• Relieves stress
It helps you release toxins.

Significantly increase your overall fitness and general wellbeing.

Each session takes one hour. By the end of this course, you will have a variety of techniques and combinations that you can mix and match, leading to a lot of fun on the dance floor. You will also learn the basic steps of Bachata & Merengues.

20. Photoshooting

Ever thought of going home with unique photos from your holidays? The holidays can be very romantic, and if you’re celebrating with a loved one, you should display that. Hiring a private photographer lets you keep the intimacy between you and your significant other and helps you create the perfect holiday photoshoot. Many photographers in The Gambia exactly know how to capture the romance of the holidays. Plus, the holidays are always a popular time of the year for engagements. Whether it be a surprise proposal or an expected one, you can capture the moment with an engagement photographer who will help capture the most perfect reactions for the most perfect moment. Check some of the profiles: Gremin, Bitz, Tallblaqben, Studio 360, xd_expression

Photo Credit: Bitz Photography

21. Explore Foni Bintang

In less than two hours’ drive from the coastal region, you can enjoy a peaceful day or week in an eco-friendly environment at Bintang Bolong Lodge in the village of Foni Bintang. This place is one of the most popular spots for a cosy and relaxing holiday in the arms of nature with food fresh from nature to nourish your body during your stay. It is surrounded by the peaceful chirping of birds and the serenity of nature. Even if you do not plan to book accommodation at Bintang Bolong Lodge, you can enjoy a whole day in this beautiful place with different activities to try. You can go on a fishing trip with a rowboat or motor fishing boat. Their newest adventure offered is the river cruise with their brand-new boat. They also offer bird watching, guided tours and cultural performances by villagers. For bigger groups, they organize cultural nights in the village and cooking lessons with a local family. You can also rent a bike, a paddleboat, or a jeep for two to explore the beautiful environment of Bintang.

22. King’s & Queen’s Show

A new African musical phenomenon! A new creation for The Gambia. Bringing you a production of singing and dancing to the theatre, with soulful and heartwarming performances, the show will bring you excitement, joy, and happiness. Weekly Shows Every Wednesday at 8.30pm at Ebujan theatre from 3rd of November to 27th of April 2022.

5 singers
4 drummers
5 acrobatics
16 dancers

23. Enjoy cosy Fire Cocoon tables

Poco Loco is located at a unique location on the beach. The place is very famous for live bands performances, good food and a friendly atmosphere. Enjoy a romantic sunset dinner with your own fireplace available only at Poco Loco. Whilst enjoying your moment with your partner, this may be one of the most unique dinners. Beach vibes combined with ocean view, breeze, good music, and good food. What else do you need?

24. Drive around with limo

Hire a limo to celebrate your anniversary or birthday. Gambia Limo Service is the only Limo rental company in The Gambia offering luxurious limousines for your classy occasions. They provide airport pickups or car rentals for business meetings, weddings, commercial ads, movie shooting, music video shootings, classic events, parties with friends and family, nights out or a simple ride around town. There are two modern limousines available to rent: a white Chrysler 12 passenger limousine & a black Lincoln Navigator 13 passenger limo.

25. Mama Africa Art Gallery with lunch

One of the most unique art galleries and centres is definitely Mama Africa Art Gallery at Tanji. There is no entrance fee for the gallery. Visitors can come and enjoy her art or buy a drink in the bar above the gallery if they wish to support her work. She wanted to make sure everyone can enjoy art without having to pay for it.

26. Go to Kafuta village!

Do you want to experience real village life, river, nature, and community-based tourism? Then go to Amy & Karafa! They have a small lodge in Kafuta village (20 min drive from Brikama). If you like simple accommodation, good vibes people, evenings with some nice music and local company, then you will simply love this place. A river is within walking distance from the lodge. Monkeys come as close as the food is. You can go there for total relaxation away from the traffic, crowd, and so-called civilization. Amy and Karafa are great hosts.

27. Engage with locals!

What is your interest? Cooking, drumming, painting, music, craft work, dancing? You can do it all here in The Gambia and you will love it. Gambians will love to show you how things are made, and you will go home with a unique experience and more knowledge. You can ask your host or hotel staff about cooking classes, drumming classes, tie & dye workshops, kora making, dance classes, etc. You can also contact us, and we will connect you with locals who are providing these services.

28. Explore Gambia with Tuk Tuk

Get behind the wheel of your tuk-tuk for the adventure of a lifetime along the roads of The Gambia or sit back and relax on the comfy rear seats of one of our famous tuk-tuks and let your local guide and expert driver take care of the rest. Whichever way you choose, you’ll get way off the beaten tourist track and gain a more authentic understanding of life in The Gambia. The Tuk Tuk gives you a chance to see The Gambia from a different perspective.

29. Play Chess at Solomelo’s

Come and play chess at Solomelo’s music venue, bar and restaurant. Chess lovers meet and play chess every Sunday at 4.00pm. Solomelo’s is also a place where live music is organized regularly. And very soon the big music venue will be ready for different events.

Spending quality time with loved ones and partners in different environments could be something we all desired to do once in a while or always.  The following places and activities would not only provide you good food and drinks but also some memorable romantic atmosphere to cherish in The Gambia.

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