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5 Misconceptions about Off Season in The Gambia

My Magazine 2023/07
6 min
Between April and October, the number of travellers to The Gambia reduces, mostly because of the long promoted off-season, also called green, low, wet, rainy or mango season. Giving the impression that life in The Gambia stops and rain is pouring every day, these misconceptions are preventing many travellers from experiencing The Gambia in all its green glory and the beauty of occasional rain showers. Here are some facts about the green season which you may not know. We are inviting you to The Gambia throughout the year as The Gambia has so much more to offer than just sun, sand and sea. Its magnificent cultural value and unspoilt nature are here for you to enjoy!

The Gambia is a place where summer never ends. It is an all-year-round destination located within comfortable flying distance from major European destinations and European capitals. It is the kind of holiday destination suitable for every type of vacation, whether it is a summer vacation for the entire family, an adventurous trip for students and young people, a long winter holiday for retirees, a romantic getaway for honeymooners or an educational & volunteering group experience.

It is different from many African countries. It is a small, quiet, affordable land of smiling people where many travellers feel at home. The wonderful nature, wildlife, rich culture and traditions, interesting but painful history, colourful villages and above all, friendly, hospitable people who are always willing to help.

So, here are 5 misconceptions about off-season in The Gambia:

There are no flights!

There are flights to The Gambia throughout the year. You may not get a direct flight from your country, but flights are available. With direct flights to Istanbul, Brussels, Lagos, Dakar, Barcelona, Freetown and Casablanca, the connections to other airports worldwide widen.

Flight companies operating during Green Season:

  • Brussels Airlines
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Vueling Airlines
  • Air Peace Limited
  • Air Senegal

There are some affordable flight deals! You can find cheaper flight deals starting from March to November, sometimes till the beginning of December. The prices are the highest end of December, January, and sometimes in February, July & August. If you book early, you can get better deals.

If you do not have experience with booking a flight online direct from airlines, visit your local flight agent. We are sure they can help you to book your flight to The Gambia.

It’s very expensive.

Well, what is expensive for some, it’s cheap for others. We can guarantee you that you will find the best prices in the green season as almost all accommodation providers offer discounted prices. Some restaurants offer special nights, BBQ buffets and other attractive and affordable offers for visitors during the green season. There are some very cheap great flight deals as well – not throughout the whole green season but at specific dates & months. Check it out!

So, if you start planning your vacation early, book your flight early and get a discounted price for accommodation, you will save money and have a wonderful holiday! You can pay from 10% to 40% and at some places, even up to 50% less for the same service and room than others paid in December or January.

If you need our assistance to get in touch with any accommodation place, contact us via travel@my-gambia.com or WhatsApp message +220 214 0001. We have direct contacts, so it is very easy to connect you with them.

It is a rainy season, so it is always raining.

Yes, it is a rainy season, but it is not raining all the time. There is a big chance you will not experience any rain in April, May and June, maybe up to mid of July. Weather changes constantly, so it is very hard to say when exactly the rain will start. Some short sharp storms usually go away quickly. Most of the time, it rains at night or early morning. The rest of the rainy season is nice hot weather. The sky reveals magnificent colours and some spectacular storms. The Gambia becomes green and less dusty too.

Everything is closed.

Some businesses will indeed close for the green season, but numerous accommodation providers, restaurants, local agents, transportation providers, etc., are operating the whole year. You might get surprised at how many places are actually NOT closed.

There are no events, festivals and other activities.

Many events take place in December, January & February. But there are different events happening throughout the year. If you spend time with locals, you will have more chances to experience and attend a naming or wedding ceremony, wrestling competition, fashion shows, carnivals, beauty pageants, culture nights with kankurang, local annual festivals, etc.

Football tournaments – locally called ‘nawettan‘ – are in progress in almost all urban and rural villages attracting thousands of football enthusiasts and making The Gambia even more lively and worth exploring.

We are always updating our events section. Please note that some events have very short notice, so we recommend that you check it daily when you are in The Gambia.

OTHER CONCERNS

How to handle humidity and mosquitos

In the rainy season, humidity levels and air temperatures are higher than in the dry season. Sometimes can rise to 95%, and temperatures can reach up to +40° with storms often at night.

The most important thing to consider here is that you book an accommodation place where mosquito nets are available, and there is air-conditioning or at least a fan in your bedroom so you can sleep at night.

Seek malaria advice with your doctor (or travel clinic). It is recommended to take anti-malarial medication throughout the year, not only in the rainy season. We believe it is very important to also follow prevention advice.

You can bring a mosquito net with you but know that many accommodation facilities provide it. For additional protection, treat the mosquito net with the insecticide permethrin.

There are quite a few natural repellents on the market and others that can adequately protect you. Bring a child-friendly insect repellent with you, as finding it in The Gambia is pretty hard.

You can also buy electric liquid mosquito repellent in The Gambia, which chases away mosquitoes from your room. If there are no nets on the windows, make sure doors and windows are closed correctly. You can also spray pyrethrin or a similar insecticide in your bedroom before going to bed.

Use insect repellent on your skin and in sleeping environments. Remember to reapply it frequently. The most effective repellents contain diethyltoluamide (DEET) and are available in sprays, roll-ons, sticks and creams.

Wear light, loose-fitting trousers rather than shorts, and wear long-sleeved shirts. This is particularly important during the early morning or evening and at night, when mosquitoes prefer to feed.

Still worried about what you are going to eat?

Well, not in the green season!

We are mango addicts! And yes, fresh, sweet and juicy mango is only available in the green season. If you try a fresh mango from the tree, you might never eat imported mango again, as it tastes different here! Apart from mango, other fruits and nuts are available; cashew nuts, papaya, oranges, kabba, avocado, bananas, coconuts, etc. And all these fruits and vegetables are cheaper compared to dry season prices. Fish markets offer a wide choice and low prices.

Animals are so happy when The Gambia changes into a green country, and the trees are full of sweet fruits. For the monkeys, you will probably not need to move an inch to see them as they will come very close to get their mango smoothie. It is ideal for spotting the many types of native tropical birds and taking in the brilliantly green vegetation and rice fields. Central river park offers beautiful scenery, chimps and hippos. The green season is also great for fishing activities.

Great pool deals

If you book accommodation in a place without a pool or simply want to spend a day somewhere else, you will get the best pool deals in the summertime! Many hotels and lodges offer their place for parties, ceremonies or just a place to relax beside the pool during this time.

Good for flexible tourists

Suppose you are a “no problem” tourist; you will enjoy the green season! Yes, you get the heavy downpours with spectacular thunder and lightning, but it’s usually not all day and not all the green season. Yes, you might get stuck in a sandy puddle with a car, or your favourite restaurant won’t open on time due to heavy rain in the morning, but all this is part of an experience you will never forget.

See you under the mango tree!

We are here to make your travel to The Gambia one of a kind. Share your wishes with us, tell us what makes your holiday special, and we will find the best-fitted itinerary, services and accommodation for you!
 

LET'S PLAN YOUR TRAVEL!
 

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