If you have more energy or an adventurous spirit, there are many activities to keep you busy for weeks.
Places to visit
• Kachikally Crocodile Pool: one of three Sacred Pools in The Gambia, where you can stroke Charlie the Crocodile who has appeared in several TV programs, including “Wish You Were Here”.
• Abuko Nature Reserve: a little area of jungle in the middle of the savannah, places great importance on protection and conservation of nature. There is an animal orphanage as well as monkeys, crocodiles, hyenas, antelopes and many species of birds. There is a small cafe where you can relax and have a drink, making this tour particularly inviting for families as well as couples.
• The Gambian Reptile farm near Kartong: This is not really a farm, more a rescue centre for injured and threatened species and an excellent place to see and learn about the reptiles and snakes that are found in The Gambia but seldom seen. Furthermore, its owner Luke works closely with Bala University in Wales, on research programs to discover serums and antidotes for snake bites.?? The location is only a few kilometers from Nemasu. The cost is 100D for tourists, free for Gambians. Most of the exhibits are live but as well protected from you as you are from them. The centre also serves to help make Gambians aware of which snakes are dangerous and which are totally harmless. This is important, as Gambians often will kill any snake they see, dangerous or not.
• Banjul: visit Gambia’s capital city, Banjul. Visit the bustling Albert Market & experience the many sights, sounds and smells of the market place as well as shopping – testing out your bartering skills. You can also visit the Port, and join the locals to cross from the south bank of the river to Barra on the north bank. This is quite an experience in itself! After arriving in Barra, visit Fort Bullen, built by the British in 1826 to guard the mouth of the river from the slave trade which had been abolished. You can do a tour at the Fort & hear of its fascinating history.
• Bijilo Forest Park: one of the several forest parks in the Gambia, is primarily a nature reserve. It covers 51 hectares and is close by, located in Kololi, on the coast near the Senegambia tourist area. This park is popular for its birds and monkeys.
• Tanji River Bird Reserve: Located only a few kilometers down the road from Nemasu, its 612 hectares include dunes, lagoons, mangroves, dry woodland and is popular for the variety of birds which can be seen in the reserve.
• Markets: the Brikama craft market, only about 15 mins from Nemasu, produces and sells hundreds of teak wood carvings, batiks, djembe drums and other souvenirs. It stands on the east side of the road in Brikama, opposite the Abatoire and just before the Teachers’ Training College. It’s also possible to enjoy a delicious local lunch under the huge mango tree! Further along the road, Brikama Town Market is the ‘business center’ full of stalls and local shops where you could purchase almost anything from the local green tea to delicious locally grown fruits and vegetables. The Serekunda Market is made up of wide, sprawling suburbs, heavily overcrowded, and is loud and bustling. Its central hub is Serrekunda Market and Sayer Jobe Avenue which is packed with local shops, banged out taxis, merchants, craft sellers, street peddlers from all over West Africa and other Arab countries. It is the place to visit if you want to experience ‘culturally vibrant’ urban African life.
Gambia is one of the world’s premier drum, or ‘djembe’ centers. It’s an ancient African instrument, and it seems it’s people share its rhythm. We can arrange lessons for you; we frequently have guest musicians play, and you may want to return home with an authentic Gambian-made djembe!
Gunjur is well known in West Africa as a major fishing center. A well kept secret is that further south, close to Nemasu, the Halahin River at Kartong, which separates The Gambia from Senegal, is a fisherman’s paradise. We can arrange fishing trips up the river for you, or you can fish from its banks (we suggest on the Gambian side!).
You may enjoy a camel safari for a few hours along the Tanji beach!
Hiking, swimming & cycling
We have miles of pristine coast for you to hike, as well as walks you can do up the Gambia river and in neighboring villages. Swimming & body surfing is safe & fun right outside our door. Cycling is a great way to explore the countryside; roads are in reasonable shape, are flat & there’s not too much traffic.
When people read about wildlife in The Gambia, they’re generally thinking of the big, headline species. Everyone wants to see monkeys, chimpanzees, crocodiles, baboons, hyenas and dolphins. These creatures are, without a doubt, incredible. They are wonderful to see in the wild and leave memories to treasure.
What most visitors don’t realize is the range of spectacular birdlife and, perhaps more importantly, how easy it is to see it.
In The Gambia, without too much effort, you could reasonably expect to see the Pied, African Pygmy, Giant, Malachite, Shining Blue and Woodland Kingfishers. Over 560 species have been recorded in The Gambia; little but desert lies to the north between the country and Europe, making it a haven for all sorts of migratory birds. You’re almost certain to see a few very beautiful birds – whether you’re looking for them or not!
In Nemasu, we have seen almost all varieties of birds that frequent the Gambia. Walking through the village of Gunjur, a large wetland area is also a haven of bird life.
Further afield, from north-east to south-west, look for the following places:
- Cape Creek and Cape Point (Bakau)
- Fishing beach (Bakau)
- Woodland around the track at the end of Kairaba Avenue, leading to Leybato’s (Fajara)
- Fajara Golf Course (Fajara)
- Kotu Stream (Kotu)
- Path between Badala Park and Palma Rima Hotels (Kotu/Palma Rima)
You can also visit:
- Bijilo Forest Park.
- Abuko Nature Reserve; you’re likely to see some real treats.
- Tanbi Wetlands; plenty of Plovers, Rollers and Sandpipers.
- Tanji River (Karinti) Bird Reserve and Brufut Woods.