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Trip of the month: Exploring The South

My Magazine 2022/12
4 min
Travel with us up to the border of the south Gambia and emerge in an adventure that combines experiencing community life, environmental protection, animals, history and art – all in one day! The best thing is that you can customise the trip to your interests and preferences, choosing stops for the itinerary yourself!

This excursion is part of our responsible tours. All people contributing to your experience on this trip make earnings directly on the spot. This way, your exploration of The Gambia is not only great memory for you but also an opportunity for additional income for the members of communities in Kartong, Gunjur and Tanji, visiting on the way.

Community-based experiences

Visit the harvesting area with Senegambia Oyster Women Association by a local boat on the Halahin river and try it out yourself! Slide into the river with a plaited basket and look for oysters on the mangrove roots. If courageous enough, you might also look for another type of shell hiding in the river bed.

Learn about Gunjur Women's Garden Project—the project based on sustainability, providing women and girls of the nearby villages with skills and a place to learn how to, and generate extra income. Visit the skills centre and engage in the garden project involving 210 women. Take a tour around, and if you are lucky, you might get some fresh fruits straight from the fruit garden.

Make a stop in the coastal fishing village of Tanji and witness the hectic, noisy, colourful scene of a Gambian fishing community at work. When the fishing boats land with the day's catch in the late afternoon, people descend on the beach in their hundreds, briefly transforming a tranquil fishing village into a loud marketplace.

Animals

The Gambian Reptiles Farm (locally known as snake farm) is set up as a research centre to collect more information about reptiles and educate local people about their benefits to the environment. Inside a well-preserved forest, you will see various Gambian reptiles. Some are extremely dangerous, some are not, and some have been tamed. If you want, you will be able to touch some of them and take a photo with them. The dangerous reptiles are kept at a safe distance.

Religion and monuments

The magnificent Sacred Sand Dunes Mosque has a fascinating history and is visited by Muslims and scholars on pilgrimage from all over The Gambia and West Africa. The mosque, associated grounds, buildings and rocks are all considered sacred because the site provided a sojourn for the Kalifat'ul Tijanniyya Sheikh Umar Taal (Leader of the Tijaaniyya Sect in West Africa) during his Islamisation mission in West Africa. People visit the Sand Dune Mosque to pray for life-changing situations ranging from marital status to reversing the plight of barren women for childbearing.

Environmental Protection

This is a great opportunity for all who want to give back on their holidays in The Gambia. You can help restore and protect the country's coastline against coastal erosion. Coconut trees provide much-needed shade and stabilise the soil against wind and water erosion. Besides, coconut trees provide food, beautify tourist resorts, and help to protect the coastal communities from windstorms. Plant your own coconut tree, which will be taken care of by members of the local NGO for environmental protection. You are most welcome to check on the growth whenever you revisit Gunjur.

Museums

Gunjur Village Museum is a real gem and gives a wonderful insight into the traditions, nature, history and local life in The Gambia. Owned and run by Lamin Bojang, the museum is a real labour of love. Lamin is a naturalist and bird guide who, over time, became aware that the history of his people was being lost, along with the historical objects from olden times. He built the museum by hand, opening it in 2017.

Tanji Village Museum is the first privately operated museum that was founded in 1997 by Mr Abdoulie Bayo. Mr Bayo was the former curator of The National Museum in Banjul. When he retired to his community, he decided to set up a museum with a unique setting. The museum is a natural history and ethnographic museum, divided into different galleries which exhibit the authentic Gambia. Part of the museum is open-air, portraying the traditional Gambian compound and nature trail. When you walk into the museum, every piece of information is self-explanatory and easy to understand as everything is written in English and detailed. You will be led through by an excellent guide with many years of experience and passion for cultural preservation.

Art

Mama Africa Residence & Art Center is a little paradise next to the fishing village of Tanji. International renowned artist Isha Fofana has created a charming ambience: spacious artistic guesthouses, an exotic garden together with her unique gallery. Be inspired by arts and culture, meet people and enjoy nature, relax and taste fresh cuisine. Feel the energy and appreciate the tranquillity.

Ready to book a private or group tour? We are here for you. Check out more details and send an inquiry to book your spot on an exploration journey to the south!

 
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Bird of the month: Red-billed hornbill
Herb of the month: Baobab

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