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Behind the lens: Ndemban

My Magazine 2023/08
2 min
Ndemban is a village located in the Foni district of the West Coast Region, approximately 2 hours drive from the tourism-developed areas. Its population is predominantly Jola, and because of its position just next to the creek leading to The Gambia River, oyster collection and salt production are two activities that are traditionally still present, and visitors to the village can experience and learn about it.

My Gambia Team first visited the village on our first expedition of the Ninki Nanka Trail, which is the product presenting community-based travel with a sustainable note and fair distribution of income. Ndemban allows visitors to experience an authentic way of life while mingling with the residents and engaging in interesting workshops.

As part of the community tourism development project, homestays were built which can accommodate up to 8 travellers at a time, enabling the experience of living a village life. Staying with the host family and sharing their daily activities in the tranquillity of the remote village will give you a detox from a hectic world, remind you to be humble and at the same time grateful for all you have while teaching you to live your life in happiness and with positive approach. These lessons one can learn from the people of The Gambia, which are, in our and the opinions of many, still the main reason why our Gambia is different from other travel destinations.

 

The first contact person upon your arrival to the village is alkalo, the village chief, who never lost his childish sense of humour, no matter his respectful age. After an interesting chat in which you will talk about how life in your home town is different from the one in Ndemban, the village guide, Bakary, will take you on a village tour where you will engage in gardening together with ladies of the community, visit the local bakery, meet the blacksmith under his hut and take a stroll to the beautiful creek where oyster collection site is. Close to the local restaurant, providing delicious traditional meals, your workshops will take place. Create a unique souvenir for yourself with a technique of tie-dye – dyeing a T-shirt or white material with natural dyes and binding the cloth to create patterns. Extract salt from the creek's muddy water and use it to add taste to the home-cooked meal which you will help prepare.

Indeed insightful experience. You can visit Ndemban Village as a part of a three-day exploration of the country through The Ninki Nanka Trail Classic or decide on a two-day adventure with an overnight stay. If you want a complete detox away from the busy streets and bustling towns, the Ndemban community will happily host you and welcome you as a part of their family for as long as you want.

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