A land of amazing, clean beaches, great resorts, colourful fishing villages, mysterious stone circles, the mighty river, the home of Kunta Kinteh, and friendly people with big smiles.
Along the coast the Atlantic Ocean in The Gambia, there are picturesque fishing villages of Kartong, Gunjur, Sanyang and Tanji, which all offer captivating spectacle of fish trading, hauling cargo from and onto boats, fishing net weaving, boat carving and... simply people watching. In one afternoon, one can visit all of them. Or take an entire day, starting with beach lounging in the morning in Kartong, visiting an amazing mosque on the beach of Gunjur, lunch and playtime with local kids on the beach in Sanyang, and finish with the utterly unforgettable, sense-twisting, colourful fish trading theatre in Tanji.
Kunta Kinteh Island
Once known as St. James's Island, the Kunta Kinteh Island, in the middle of the Gambia River, near to the village of Albreda on the northern bank, complete with ruins of the slave fort of St. James, is where the roots of the Kunta Kinteh story are allegedly found. A trip there offers insights into local life away from beach resorts. It can be done as a half day trip or a full day escapade combining visits to the historic sites, riverfront villages and the unspoiled, idyllic beaches north of Barra.
The UNESCO-listed Wassu Stones, on the northern bank of the Gambia River, near the somewhat remote villages of Kerbatch and Wassu, are collections of mysterious stone circles. Whilst various theories about their origin and purpose circulate amongst the academics, the true answer is that no-one really knows, or rather no memory or record survives to explain why they are there. Visiting the sites from the resorts in the Serrekunda area requires a whole day. But it can be combined with a two day escapade that includes a visit to Gambia's former capital, Janjanbureh (formerly Georgetown).
One can do a few short excursions along the Atlantic Coast, visiting the capital of Banjul, complete with the old and the new architecture; the Sacred Crocodile Pond in Kachikali; the Monkey Park and the tiny Bijilo National Park south of Kololi; the Abuko Nature Reserve; the large Brikama Craft Market and its musical scene; the mangroves in Makasutu - all south of the river. North of the river, there is the fabulous Niumi National Park, accessible through the endless, completely wild beach.