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Misconceptions about off-season in The Gambia

My Magazine 2022/02
3 min
Between April and October, there are much fewer tourists in The Gambia. Off-season also called green, low, wet, rainy or mango season affects many businesses and individuals. The current situation in the world has made things even worse. But we want to share some facts about the green season which you may not know. We are inviting you to The Gambia throughout the year to make a positive impact on the tourism industry and its people.

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 capitals in Europe.  It is the kind of holiday destination, which is suitable for every type of vacation, whether it is summer vacation for the entire family, an adventurous trip for students and young people, long winter holidays 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 like 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:

1. There are no flights!

Even in the Covid era, there are flights to The Gambia throughout the year. You may not get a direct flight from your country but flights are available.

Flight companies operating during Covid/Off-Season:

Brussels Airlines
Royal Air Maroc 
Tap Portugal 
Turkish Airlines
Vueling Airlines
Air France 
Asky Airlines
Air Senegal
Lufthansa Airlines (operated by Brussels Airlines)
Iberia (operated by Vueling)
Ethiopian Airlines (operated by Asky)

There are some affordable flight deals! You can find cheaper flight deals starting from March till November, sometimes till the beginning of December. The prices are the highest end of December, January, 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.

2. It’s very expensive. 

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

So, if you plan your vacation from now, book your flight early and get a discounted price for accommodation, you will save money and have a wonderful vacation! You can pay from 10% to 30% at some places even up to 40% less. 

If you need our assistance to get in touch with any accommodation place, contact us via info@my-gambia.com or WhatsApp message +2207595378.

We have direct contacts, so it is very easy to connect you with them.

3. 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 all the time, 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 in the night or early morning. The rest of the rainy season it is nice hot weather. The sky reveals magnificent colours and some spectacular storms. The Gambia becomes green and less dusty too.

4. Everything is closed. It’s true, that some businesses will 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.

Here are some of the places operating throughout the year:

ACCOMMODATION
 Tamala Beach Resort 
 Balafon Beach Resort 
 Kalimba Beach Resort 
Bojang River Lodge 
Coco Ocean Resort & Spa
Kololi Beach Resort 
Forest View Apartments
Harmony Beach Resort 
Camara Gardens Apartments
Kasumai Beach Resort 

 

WELLNESS & SPA 
Coco Ocean Resort & Spa
Tamala Spa 
Sparkle Beauty Salon 
Phenomenal Women Wellness Centre 
Yoga & Dance 

 
5. 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 will spend time with locals, you will have more chance to experience and attend a naming or wedding ceremony, wrestling competition, fashion shows, carnivals, beauty pageant, 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, making The Gambia even more lively and worth exploring.

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

OTHER CONCERNS & REASONS

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 in the night.

We think that the most important thing to consider here is that you book an accommodation place where mosquito nets are available and there is an air-condition or at least a fan in your bedroom so you will be able to 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 think it is very important to also follow prevention advice.

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

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

You can also buy electric liquid mosquito repellent in The Gambia, which chases away mosquitoes out of your room. If there are no nets on the windows, make sure doors and windows are closed properly. 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 shirts with long sleeves. This is particularly important during early morning or evening and at night, when mosquitoes prefer to feed.

Still worried what are you 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 will try a fresh mango from the tree, you might never eat mango in Europe again as it tastes different over here! Apart from mango, there are other fruits and nuts 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 cheap prices.

Monkeys are enjoying the mango too
Animals are so happy when The Gambia changes into a green country and when 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 will book your accommodation in a place without a pool or you will 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.

Tamala Beach Resort
Coco Ocean Resort & Spa
Harmony Resort Boutique Hotel  
Bojang River Lodge 
Kasumai Beach Resort 

Good for flexible tourists
If 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 a part of an experience which you will never forget.

See you under the mango tree! 

GET IN CONTACT WITH US

If you need any kind of information about The Gambia, we will be happy to help you. 
Send e-mail to info@my-gambia.com

Follow us on social media @mygambiatouristguide 

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