Book your experience with locals in Janjanburreh

Community-based tourism is something that can a) give the traveler a deeper insight into the travel destination and b) help local communities to develop and evolve with the help of responsible tourism.
One of the greatest travel destinations inside The Gambia is for sure Janjanbureh, which is also a starting point to some of the remote villages included in the Ninki Nanka trail. The Janjanbureh Tour Guide Association is one of the links to it. We had a chance to talk more about the benefits and options for community-based tourism with a tour guide from Janjanbureh, Jalamang Danso.

According to Jalamang, responsible tourism is the best kind of tourism that a person can be involved in. It allows the tourist to interact with the local people, learn from them, exchange ideas, meet the people in communities, and learn about their way of their life.

In his opinion, both the tourist and the locals benefit from community-based tourism. The tourists are entertained by cultural masquerades, singing, dancing, and showing them things from their everyday life that will excite them. The locals also benefit from tourism because it creates employment for the youths and helps make some income for the development of their community.
Jalamang describes some of the activities that visitors can enjoy when coming to his home town.
In JANJANBUREH, there is three days festival in January each year, where visitors can see different kinds of masquerades such as the Kankurang, Zimba, Hunted devil, Kumpo etc. But for those who could not visit Janjanbureh at that time, there is a Kankurang museum which is part of the UNESCO heritage site. You can learn about the different types of Kankurangs and masquerades in The Gambia and West Africa in the museum. On a cultural trail, you can learn about the rituals and spiritual meanings of the sacred baobabs and listen to the legends about the Kankurang in the evening. Your stay can be even more active if you decide on biking, hiking or kayaking on the river Gambia.

Apart from Janjanbureh, Jalamang guides his travellers also to the villages of Jamali Ganyado and Tabanani. 

In TABANANI, visitors are welcomed by the Kanyaleng woman’s group. The Kanyelengs perform rituals for infertile women so that God can bless them with children. Visitors will join the elderly man in making hand fans, keep them as a souvenir, and learn how to make a delicious domoda fresh from the local garden.

JAMALI GANYADO is a very cultural community. That’s why any visitor that visits there is always amazed. When visiting the village, visitors are always taken there by a horse cart. When they reach there, they will be entertained by the Fulani musical instrument called the Riti accompanied by women dancing and singing. Locals will always invite visitors to dance with them. After the welcoming ceremony, visitors have a workshop with the community cooks to prepare a special breakfast meal locally called Chura gherte. From there, the head of the community, locally called the Alkalo, is allowed to explain how the village came into existence and the type of work they do to feed their families.

With the passion in his voice, Jalamang concludes: “With the villagers, you are free to do anything you want to do because they are always willing to share their experience with the visitors. And that I think is the best thing about community-based tourism”.

Contact Details
Are you planning to visit The Gambia?
If you want to get a taste of freshly made domoda or ride a horse cart in a remote village up the river, send us an inquiry at info@my-gambia.com or contact Jalamang directly.
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