See the location of the activities:
In the morning hours, we set off on a 2 hours journey towards the country's interior. The pleasant route offers us many opportunities to observe the countryside. Local villages, thatched roofs and fences made of stakes or reeds near the mosque and, in some places, schools and authentic sub-savanna vegetation conjure up an image of authentic Africa.
We arrive at Ndemban, the Jola village community, where you will be greeted by the hosts (the village guide), who will show you around the homestay and provide you with any necessary information.
The day will offer many activities where you will be able to experience the traditional lifestyle and learn about the culture.
Upon arrival in the village, the first stop would typically be to visit the village chief. This is an important cultural tradition, as the chief is a respected leader in the community.
If interested in your future, you will be able to meet a village fortune-teller.
A visit to the blacksmith in next. The blacksmith is a skilled artisan who creates a variety of items such as tools, weapons, and jewellery.
After visiting the blacksmith, you will return to the village riverside restaurant for a traditional meal and workshop of the traditional crafts of tie-dye fabric dyeing and soap making, which are commonly practised in the village of Ndemban.
Salt production in the village is done through traditional methods, which involve the evaporation of seawater to extract salt. You will have the opportunity to see the salt production process demonstration and learn about the traditional methods used to extract salt.
Oyster collection usually takes place in the estuary along the coast of the village, where oysters are found in abundance. You will
have the opportunity to participate in the oyster collection as part of your homestay experience. You will learn about the traditional methods used to collect oysters and gain insight into the importance of oyster collection in the local economy.
In the evening, you will gather around a fire and listen to stories and songs played by the kora player. The kora is a traditional stringed instrument played by the griot (a traditional storyteller and musician). The kora music creates a unique and mesmerizing atmosphere, while the stories and songs give an insight into the cultural heritage of the village.
After breakfast with the hosting family, a working day begins.
Visiting a vegetable garden in Ndemban village is a great way to learn about local agriculture and sustainable farming practices. You will have the opportunity to participate in the farming activities, such as planting, weeding, and harvesting.
After that, you will join a family or group of villagers in preparation of traditional lunch from start to finish.
During the cooking experience, the locals will guide you through the process of preparing a traditional meal, including the use of local ingredients and traditional cooking utensils. You may have the opportunity to learn about the different dishes that are commonly prepared in the village, such as stews, soups, and curries. You may also learn about the spices and seasonings that are commonly used in the local cuisine.
After a well deserved lunch it is time to pack your belongings, say your goodbyes and return back to coastal area.
Activities in the village can be adjusted or rearranged according to the group preferences.
The trip is easy to moderate. The most activity expected from you is during the workshops, home cooking and visit to the gardens. The trip will also include some walking.
We recommend bringing 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. Pack everything you need for a two days stay (we recommend bringing powerbank as well). We recommend comfortable wear.
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.