You will visit:
Visit the harvesting area with oysters' women with the local boat on the Halahin river and participate in the activity.
While men fish, this industry is entirely dominated by women who, besides harvesting the oysters, are also involved in conservation efforts. Women go to the river to harvest oysters, boil them, and sell them. The shells are burned to produce white lime, which they later sell for construction use.
One of the oldest villages in The Gambia, Kartong is in the extreme south of the country, tucked inland just beyond the reaches of the lapping waters of the Atlantic. Beyond Kartong, there is only an immigration post, a small hamlet and a fishing centre before the Halahin River and Casamance in southern Senegal. Kartong is a pleasant town which has always been famous amongst Gambians because of its sacred crocodile pool. Today it is also the centre of the sand-mining industry in The Gambia.
The Gambian Reptiles Farm (locally known as snake farm) is located near Kartong. Inside a well-preserved forest, you will see various Gambian reptiles such as puff adders, rock pythons, royal pythons, sand snakes, beauty snakes, herald snakes, spitting cobras, wolf snakes, night adders, geckos, Agama lizards, Nile monitor lizard, African mud turtle, African helmeted turtle, bell's hinged back turtle, crocodiles, Senegalese chameleons, geckos, as well as non-reptiles such as centipedes.
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.
The Gambia Reptile Farm is set up not as a zoo but as a research centre to collect more information about reptiles and educate local people about the benefits of snakes in their local environment, for example, keeping the mice and rat population under control. The Reptile Farm encourages people to get rather closer to snakes than they might normally choose.
The magnificent 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.
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.
The importance of planting coconuts along the shoreline cannot be overemphasised. 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.
This charming little 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.
Lamin was born and raised in Gunjur, a community where life is still very traditional, although ways are changing.
The museum offers a warm welcome in a beautiful forest garden, where you can rest in the bantaba while Lamin explains all about the museum and forest garden. Take a tour around the museum and garden with Lamin or Mr Touray, a retired history teacher with a wealth of knowledge that he loves to share.
The project, based on sustainability, is providing women and girls of the nearby villages with skills and a place where they can learn how to, and generate extra income. In the skills centre, young girls are being trained to become professional tailors to make their income and help support their families. The skilled tailors have a credit program that enables them to buy sewing machines over six months.
In the garden project, there are 210 women involved. Women must pay D75 to start the garden project and receive a plot of land for a lifetime. The area of 3 hectares is divided into many fields. A yearly fee of GMD 100 (approx. 1,80€) is payable to cover the maintenance and salary of the watchman.
Take a tour around, and if you are lucky, you might get some fresh fruits straight from the fruit garden.
Tanji Village Museum is located at Tanji, 2km south of the fishing village along the Kombo coastal road. The 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.
"Mama Africa" 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 the fresh cuisine. Feel the energy and appreciate the tranquillity.
At the same time, Mama Africa is a non-profit association that actively cares for and successfully supports women and girls. For Isha, it is important to empower and help women cope with everyday life's problems so they can master the future independently. The key is to ensure an environment for economic self-determination.
Enjoy the exhibitions of the African arts and relax while enjoying delicious food in the garden or rooftop restaurant.
The colourful, coastal fishing village where you can enjoy the beaches and birdwatching. It is a very special experience to see 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, colourful marketplace. Ladies are running into the water, shouting to barter for the fish—a perfect place to try out your negotiation skills.
The trip is easy to moderate. The most activity expected from you is when you have to board a boat (and climb off to the river to collect the oysters, if you decide to). It will include some walking, but there will be no serious activity. If you decide to go for all activities possible the trip is quite long.
We recommend to bring sun protection (headwear, long lightweight clothes, sunglasses, sun cream) and mosquito repellents. Make sure you bring enough water (you can also buy it on the way) and some snacks if you get hungry quickly. If you decide to go into the water to collect oysters with the ladies, you might want to bring water-insensitive sandals and spare pair of clothes.
Private trips can be organised completely by your preference. You select the activities in the itinerary and the place for lunch. We take care of all the rest.
The trip is organised by the Insitute of Travel and Tourism of The Gambia (ITTOG) in collaboration with Ninki Nanka Encounters (NNE).
ITTOG specialises in hands-on training mainly in the Travel and Tourism sectors with special emphasis on travel agency, tour operations, tour guiding, ground operations, events management, entrepreneurship/business skills development, responsible/sustainable tourism, community-based tourism, and general tourism business management.
NNE Foundation is a small, new Gambian charity and UK community interest company (CIC) working towards the responsible development of the Ninki Nanka Trail as a community-based tourist destination.
They work on projects with communities, tourism businesses and local government to develop experiences, products and community-based tourism designed to create inspiring, cultural interaction between travellers and local people and use tourism to create livelihood opportunities for host communities along The River Gambia.
We do believe it's time for another adventure. Don't spend all of your time in The Gambia in one place. Go out and explore! There are so many beautiful experiences waiting for you. Let us help you pick one - and take care of all the rest.