Duration: at least one week
Stay: Bees Mouth
Gambia’s only 42-km long coastline offers the perfect beach spot for everyone. If you are looking for a party, Kololi is the place to be, but if you seek more tranquility and serenity, check out Gambia’s South. We found many deserted beaches, many of them with spectacular sunsets. Be careful, though! The currents are strong!
You might have already realized that we never warmed up to Kololi, no matter how many times we returned. After the initial days in Kololi, we were ready to escape the local bumsters and headed toward the South. Gambia’s coastline is only 42 km long, yet we experienced quite a difference. Instead of all-inclusive, sex-tourism hotel enclaves, we found inspiring eco-lodges and vast, quiet beaches. Some of the best beaches in the Gambia are located in the South!
Brufut's Paradise Beach
Starting in Brufut, the so-called Paradise beach should be your first stop on your way south. While you’ll still find some All-inclusives, there is an increasing number of Boutique Lodges along the vast beach.
As you travel further south, you’ll find more tranquility and individual tourism with amazing Eco-lodges. The beaches around Gunjur are stunning and often deserted. Sadly, a Chinese factory started its operation two years ago, and you’ll encounter dead fish, which left somewhat of a bitter aftertaste.
The beaches in Kartong
Kartong marks the last village before the border with Senegal and is a perfect stop to get to know people and village life. The beaches are quiet and ideal for relaxing. Kartong Village is an exciting and developing tourist destination located on the southern tip of The Gambia. This small coastal town has a population that consists primarily of Mandinka people, followed by Jola tribespeople and other minority groups such as Karoninkya & Balanta, who live together in harmony despite their differences!
Kartong’s economy relies heavily upon fishing, but more travelers discover this peaceful location for relaxation or adventure trips to the Gambia.
By the way: Gambia’s South offers some fantastic surf breaks! Until now, it’s a well-kept secret, so you will likely enjoy the breaks all by yourself!
Get ready to travel the Gambia
How to get to Gambia's South
Minivans run along the route and are by far the cheapest option. However, there are two significant downsides to going by minivan. First, the minivans have no schedule. Secondly, they stop along the main road, which is quite the walk with luggage to the accommodations along the street.
The. much more commfortable option is going by taxi. This way you can also stop along the way.
Best time to visit the Gambia
The best time to travel to The Gambia is during the dry season, which runs from November to June. This is when the weather is most pleasant, and there is less risk of contracting malaria.
Safety in the Gambia:
We have always felt very safe and didn’t experience any issues. The most significant “danger” are “bumpsters” annoying you or following around.
Bring your Lifestraw Go! The Gambia’s tap water is not safe to drink. The water does not go through the same purification process as in the EU, and diarrhea can occur in people who have not yet built up immunity to bacteria or other impurities in the water.
Biggest challenge for the responsible traveler
Trash: Plastic pollution is incredible! Bring collapsable food containers, cutlery, and your Lifestraw Pro!
Sex tourism: Sex tourism is a force in the Gambia and is incredibly challenging to witness.
Sunscreen: Protect The Gambia’s waters and wear reef-safe sunscreen.
Packing List the Gambia
When packing for a trip to The Gambia, remember that the weather is hot and humid year-round. However, the Gambia is also a predominantly Muslim country, so it’s essential to dress accordingly when away from beaches.
Check out our packing list come prepared!
Eco-friendly stays in the Gambia
Sadly, the Gambia is not a destination which attracts too many concious travlers making it even more crucial to make good choices when traveling the country. Despite the Gambia’s issues with sex tourism, there are a growing number of sustainable accommodation options available. From eco-lodges to solar-powered hotels, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your holiday while also helping to protect the environment. Here are our top picks for sustainable accommodation in The Gambia.
Places to visit in the Gambia
The smiling coast of Africa
Marrakesh – the dream of 1001 nights
Marrakesh mesmerized me from the second we left the cab. Surrounded by “guides” eager to lead us to our Riad. Never would we have found our Riad ourselves, even though the taxi left us only about 300 m from the entrance. The unimposing door was hiding the beautifully decorated and colorful Riad. We were confronted with the incredible detail of Moroccan style. We stood there with our mouths open. Deeply impressed and taken aback by so many impressions, so much beauty.
Packing list Morocco – Things to bring to your Morocco trip
Are you traveling to Morocco and wondering what you should bring? Check out our packing list! No worries, we have tested and extended it with the things we wish we would have brought!
Meknes – authentic vibes between beauty and roughness
After visiting the blue medina of Chefchaouen, we were off for a more authentic experience. Meknès is not as often visited as its glamorous neighbor Fez. We really can’t understand why. To us, Meknès was a fascinating city to visit. It’s not as busy or big as its famous neighbor Meknes, but that only adds to its charm.