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Tip of the month: The Green Season Essentials

My Magazine 2023/07
5 min
Welcome to The Gambia, a small West African country often referred to as the "Smiling Coast of Africa" due to the warmth and friendliness of its people.

The Gambia is a popular destination for tourists seeking sun, sea, and sand and a unique cultural experience. No matter when you visit, The Gambia always has something to offer. This tiny country earned its place on the travel map thanks to its gorgeous coastline and lush natural areas.

The most important factor in planning your trip? Figuring out the best time to go. Annual subtropical weather patterns in The Gambia are split into two main seasons: the Dry Season and the Green Season, each taking up about half the year and creating a unique backdrop for your travel experience.

The Green Season is ideal for spotting the many types of native tropical birds and taking in the brilliantly green vegetation and rice fields. Temperatures are higher during these months, but a benefit of the Green Season is relief from the Harmattan, a dry and windy weather pattern pervasive in dryer times.

The Green Season is the perfect time for flexible travellers who don't mind sudden showers and humidity. It allows for a true escape from the crowds and lower prices.

In May, average temperatures reach a high of around 32°C. Humidity slowly starts to rise, but there is still no rain. There are fewer flights and fewer tourists. Some hotels and restaurants close, but many remain open, and the beaches are wonderfully quiet.

Most of June remains dry, with long hours of sunshine, but by the end of the month, there is usually some rain in the form of the occasional shower, and humidity is higher.

It's a degree or two cooler in July and August, with six hours of sunshine on average each day. This is the start of the green season, with rain most frequent at night. Showers during the day are usually of short duration, with the sun soon coming out again.

However, to fully experience the Green Season in The Gambia, it is essential to pack the right gear. In this article, we discuss the essentials for tourists visiting The Gambia from May to October.

 

  1. Lightweight clothing

The Green Season in The Gambia is characterized by high humidity and occasional rainfall. Therefore, it is essential to pack lightweight, breathable clothing that keeps you cool and dry. Cotton and linen are excellent fabric options for the hot and humid climate. Light long-sleeved shirts, pants, and a hat are also crucial to protect you from the sun's scorching heat. You can buy wonderful vivid lightweight dresses at craft markets and support small entrepreneurs that way. And at the same time, take home a useful souvenir. 

 

  1. Insect repellent

The Green Season in The Gambia is also the peak season for mosquitoes and other insects. Therefore, it is essential to pack insect repellent to protect yourself from mosquito bites, which may cause malaria and other diseases. DEET-based insect repellents are highly effective in repelling mosquitoes and other insects.

 

  1. Sunscreen

Despite the occasional rainfall, the Green Season in The Gambia is still characterized by high temperatures and intense sunshine. Therefore, it is essential to pack a high-SPF sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. The African sun can be brutal, and avoiding sunburn and other skin issues is vital.

 

 

  1. Comfortable footwear

The Green Season in The Gambia is the perfect time to explore the country's natural beauty, including its vast mangrove forests, lush wetlands, and sub-savanna grassland turning green. Comfortable footwear such as hiking boots or sandals is necessary to trek through rough terrains and muddy areas. Flip-flops and other open-toe sandals may not be the most suitable footwear option for outdoor activities, but you should pack them for less demanding leisure activities.

 

  1. Rain gear

The Green Season in The Gambia is characterized by occasional rainfall, which may last a few hours or a whole day. Therefore, it is wise to pack rain gear such as a rain poncho or lightweight waterproof jacket to stay dry and comfortable during wet days. If you are one of those travellers enjoying rain showers on your skin, you can simply skip this point.

 

  1. Camera

The Green Season in The Gambia transforms the country into a stunning green paradise, which offers breathtaking scenery, colourful fauna, and rich cultural experiences. To capture these moments, a camera is an essential item to pack. Whether you prefer a professional or a smartphone camera, pack extra batteries, chargers, and memory cards.

 

  1. Drinking water

Staying hydrated is crucial for overall health and well-being, especially on hot and humid days. Therefore, it is essential to pack sufficient drinking water to stay hydrated during outdoor activities. Bottled water and reusable water bottles are widely available in The Gambia.

 

  1. Zip-loc bags

If caught in a sudden rain shower, this small but effective solution can protect your mobile phones and wallets.

 

  1. Hand Fan

As it tends to get hot, little portable fans using rechargeable batteries can be your best companion when exploring the vivid country. The local alternative is a handmade fan from palm leaves (you can even learn how to make it in Tabanani Village) or one of the colourful versions available at any craft market. In addition to the cooling effect, many Gambians use it to fan away mosquitos in the evening.

In addition to the above, it is always a good idea to carry these other essential items with you no matter which country you go to on holiday -

  • Lip balm
  • Analgesic painkillers
  • Anti-inflammatory tablets
  • Antihistamine for insect bites & stings
  • Travellers' diarrhoea treatment
  • Prescriptions medicines
  • Medication for vomiting & nausea
  • Antibiotics
  • Cold and flu tablets
  • Nasal decongestant & throat lozenges
  • Antispasmodic medicines to treat stomach cramps
  • Multivitamins and minerals
  • Oral rehydration therapy
  • Small first aid kit
  • Antiseptics and disinfectants
  • Digital body thermometer

The Gambia has some excellent pharmacies but may not have the particular brands you use or the prescription medication.

In conclusion, the Green Season in The Gambia is an excellent time to explore the country's natural beauty and experience its vibrant culture. However, to enjoy your trip, gear up with some essentials that will make your stay more comfortable.

Need more advice on preparing for green season travel to The Gambia, what to pack and especially, what to do while in The Gambia? Don't hesitate to contact us! Or simply fill out a questionnaire and tell us about your wishes. Based on that, we will prepare a wholesome personalized itinerary for you!
 

LET'S PLAN YOUR TRAVEL!
 

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