Ocean Bay Hotel & Resort

4.5 out of 5 stars4.5 Stars

PO Box 4065 Bakau Post Office, Bakau, Gambia
Ocean Bay Hotel & Resort
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Satisfaction Excellent
Very Good

Value Score Average Value

Similarly priced and rated as other 4.5 star hotels

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Good For Couples
  • Families80
  • Couples82
  • Solo75
  • Business56

More about Ocean Bay Hotel & Resort

This is not a 5 Star Hotel

by TripAdvisor Member crossmans

Having previously visited the Gambia and stayed always at the Kairaba Hotel, We thought it was worth trying the refurbished Ocean Bay Hotel. First impressions were very good, but the came the room. We were unlucky to have been allocated a room in Block 7, which included our room 709. Although all the literature states that every room has either an oncean view or a view overlooking the gardens this is untrue. All rooms in this block have a view either of an 8 foot wall if your on the ground floor, or if your on the first floor you get a view over the wall topped with barbed wire and broken glass to what I can only guess was the sewage outlet from the hotel as the smell was overpowering. The couple below constantly complained of the smell and were bitten very badly by all sorts of unpleasant insects. We asked 3 times to be moved to another room, but despite being promised that we would be moved nothing happened. I am sorry to say that with the accomodation that we experienced and the poor level of service at reception, this is no more than an overpriced 3 start hotel.

If you are looking for quality accomodation of this nature, I can only recommend the Kairaba Hotel, which is truly a five star hotel, and will be where we shall be returning.

Perfect 5 star Hotel,

by TripAdvisor Member Travelus2

If you have booked this hotel you are in for a treat. This hotel should have a 5 start rating, its set in beautiful lush grounds, with Coconut trees and Palm trees attracting all types of lovely birds.

The grounds and beach area are patrolled by security guards so you have peace of mind 24 hours a day; the general public areas are air conditioned as is the purpose build library just by the pool this is a haven of peace and quiet and the perfect retreat when the sun outside is too hot.

The food on offer is varied and plentiful (we were on B&B basis) and breakfast ranged from hot food including being cooked to your liking for Crapes filled with fresh Mango and other fresh fruits and Omelettes. Fresh different types of bread are available each day – there is a cold buffet including meats and cheeses as well as a whole range of fresh food.

The rooms are large and spotlessly clean (we had a second floor ocean view ) and had a room safe, mini bar, satellite TV and good bathroom facilities with power shower. If there’s is down side to our stay it was one or two power cuts (inevitable in this part of the world) which the hotels own generators soon corrected, we also suffered a loss of water during one evening which was also quickly put right.

The evening food available is of equal high standard but much more expensive than that available from the local restaurants.

You can eat inside or outside by the pool, service is very polite including poolside drinks.

The pool is excellent but small children need to be supervised as the pool is deep even in the shallow end - there is a childrens pool as well but even this is about a meter deep.

The hotel also has the Clipper restaurant (Asian and Thai food) which equals any that could be found in London both in ambiance and the very high quality of the food (prices like London prices so expect to pay around £40 - £45 for two including wine. They have a good wine list but had a shortage of white wine. You have to book and dress is informal but not shorts etc.

Along the beach just past the fresh juice bar (great for fresh fruit and coconuts) is the Calypso bar selling good food at usual local prices, a good place for a lunch where you can sit and watch pied Kingfishes, and reef Herons having theirs out of a small lagoon – don’t forget to take binoculars – Chapman’s is also very popular (run by two English woman, you might have to book) and is very easy to find and is within walking distance of the Hotel – turn right as you leave the hotel walk to the corner bar (Green and White painted wall – the bar is OK for a drink and food as well as being very lively at night ) turn left and Chapman’s is about 200 meters up on the left past the craft shops (don’t forget to barter)

There is an Italian restaurant (leaving the hotel turn left and is about 300 meters up on the right almost on the edge of town) Food OK but the owner needs to improve the lighting as its difficult to see what you are eating, he also overloads the portions be careful if you order Garlic bread it’s the size of a pizza and far too much for one person, reasonable prices. Most of the roads are poorly lighted so remember to pack a torch.

The Gambians are lovely people and very friendly the Bumpsters will want to introduce themselves to you and walk along with you to wherever you happen to be going, expect loads of hand shaking, at first this can be very off putting as its not the behaviour that we get or would put up with at home, they are OK we never had any trouble and if one is walking with you then you are safe from being approached by any others – besides its good to talk to them and to find a bit more about the local people. Be careful if they ask you to sponsor them! Think again. The average wage in the Gambia is between £25 – £30 per month so the odd tip 25 – 50 dalasi is OK (you can get Dalasi at Gatwick before you fly.

What they do ask for (adults and children) is soap, hair products, medicines, paper , pens, English newspapers (for the football) comics – all of which is very expensive locally - the locals speak excellent English – Credit cards are difficult to use so don’t rely on this method to pay for anything including at the hotel, the exchange rate at the hotel was 47 D to the pound as against 52 D outside – we did not need to exchange up any money and the local currency is very dirty,

Try and visit other areas, especially the fish market and beach area around 5pm when the boats come in with their catch, it’s a visual feast and great for photography.

Ask Mass Kassama the local official tourist guide situated just over the road from the hotel to take you there although you could walk we did and it’s perfectly safe to do so. We used Lamin Hydra as our taxi driver very nice guy (Mess knows him) as a guide we had a driver and guide for the whole day for just £20. we could have paid less if we had used local taxis but I think your safety and the road worthiness of the vehicle has to be thought about, if you like to get really close to your fellow travellers take a bush taxi.

Enjoy your stay at the Ocean Bay its perfect, but like any foreign holiday read up on the place first, we found the Rough Guide to The Gambia a first class reference book.

The best on the strip (4 star not 5)

by TripAdvisor Member adamDevon

The Ocean bay is the best hotel in Cape point and has all you need for a relaxing stay in the Gambia. Our standard room was equiped with air con- phone- tv (plenty of football but no rugby urgh..) and two single beds pushed together- bath room was fine but hot water ran out at peak times but cool shower was fine for me. The electric seemd to go off at times but that was not just the hotel - it seemed that the entire resort went blank for a couple of minutes most nights. The prices within the hotel are expensive, English prices at least. Your holiday rep will meet with your group and offer some good advice so try and make to the meeting on your first day or so. They will try and persuade you to go on trips with the hotel which is fine if you dont mind forking out the ££'s but the same trips can be organised at a fraction of the cost via local guides. £10 pound can probably feed a family for a month in the Gambia so we decided to use local guides. Trips can be made far cheaper, discretly and on a personal level rather than walking around with larger groups.

The first photo is of a chap called Abdoule Manneh from the West African Birds Asso. He is a gentleman, father of two and ex-policeman that will happily be your guide and made our holiday into something special. He will organise anything from fishing to birdwatching and has extensive local knowledge. For our first trip into Bakau we went into the town, croc pool and museum - approx 4 hours. He will sort out local taxi's (not the more expensive green tourist ones) and is flexible with requests and will deal with any hassel. We paid him D300 (approx £6) for our first trip and he was pleased. The hotel wanted £25 for the same thing.
Abdoule can be found if you walk onto the beach from the ocean bay and turn right towards the fruit lady's stall. Go past them and next you will see the massage lady (Adama). This will take you 5 minutes walk. Abdoule is usually sitting under the shade of the tree's with his telescope. If he is not there leave a message with Adama and he will meet you either later or the next day. He is normally there from 7am to 7pm. Please say hello from Adam and Bekah when you see him!!
Dont be put off by the locals prying for your attention, just be polite but firm and try to leave them with their dignity, however, the more persistant they are, the firmer you should become. Like dealing with kids really. However, we also made friends with quite a few locals and had some really great times with them as they are genreally kind and considerate and alot of fun to be with.

There are plenty of good restuarants around and all within walking distance of the Ocean bay. I recommend Chapmans for great food and value for money with well trained and friendly staff.
As most of the population are muslim they tend not to drink, instead they smoke the weed they like to call 'bob marley'. Its still against the law but they all do it quietly behind the scenes. Those wanting to smoke must be very carefull because if you are caught by the local police there will be big bribing costs to endure. The locals might also be in cahoots with the police as they too can benefit from a small pay out. Be warned.

It does help if your are a 'people person' but dont be afraid to meet the locals - they dont bite. We had an awesome time and I only wished I had taken more stuff over to give away. We were allowed 30kg in out suitcases and I although mine was quite full, it only weighed in at 18kg. I was kicking myself. Old mobiles, clothes, sweets or any electrical items you dont use take along. I spent a tenner in the pound shop before I left for bits and peices to give away. It was a good move.
Planned trips to schools and hospitals are common and recommended but if you go in organised groups you can sometimes feel pressured to donate by expectant men with ways of making you part with money - fine, but try to make sure your gifts are put it in the hands of those that need it as corruption is rife. Even the police like their back stratching tips from the locals ( they never bother the tourists unless you step out of line). We discussed with Abdoule where all the pens and pencils go and he just rolled his eye's. We donated but away from the places that were expecting it, maybe just walking through Bakau or kids at the harbour...far more satifying than some pushy bloke trying to convince you thats its all for a good cause when you already know it is.
You heart strings will be tested but stay strong and only give when you feel its right.
I got caught by a guy saying he was in a band in our hotel and he needed money for his new drums, he gave me a bracelet and asked for a donation....utter [--] but I got caught... I gave him D50 and he started to get a little pushy before Abdoule stepped in and stopped him from trying for more... ooops I felt a bit silly. Still, it happens and no one is infalable so be viligant at all times when out and about.
Things you will see - european / english middle aged women pairing up with young Gambian men. Each to their own but I cant help feeling their emotions and needs are in different places.
Remember, it is predominantly muslim so going topless is generally regarded as disrespectful. The lads are not used to it and the women frown upon it. It also tends to show that no research has been done on the local do's and dont's.

You will hear all the cleche's like 'lubberly jubberly' and 'your happiness is our pleasure' the list goes on.....and on.

Money - just take pound sterling over and change it when you get there. Just a quick walk from the hotel and get to the exchange bureau at cape point within 4 mins walk (just turn right out the front of the hotel and you will see it on your left....cant miss it). @ D51 to the pound. Much better than D47 the hotel was offereing. (20/03/07)
Next to the Bureau is the place to get water - a packet of six large bottles costs D150 rather than paying the same for one small one at the hotel.

Our holiday was amazing and the hotel is a great retreat after a day exploring. The beach is guarded during the day and the poolside is private and relaxing. Oh, and my favorate --the breakfast buffet had crispy bacon and scrmbled egg and plenty of choice to fuel you up before a hard days relaxing or venturing off into the undergrowth...yum.
We will go back to see our Gambian friends again. Its not like any holiday we've had before and I'm glad we did some research as you are obviously doing now!
Good luck and have fun.

Very good hotel, good location

by TripAdvisor Member PunchSuffolk

Have just come back from 2 weeks at this hotel. Pleasantly surprised at the standards - spacious room, very good facilities and very good and varied food. Beach was lovely with powdery, soft sand. Sea was refreshing, probably a couple of degrees colder than the Med, hotel pool a bit warmer. Weather was hot and sunny all the time. Flip-flops required to walk on the sand early afternoon! Leave the snorkel at home as although the sea is quite clear, there's nothing to see. There are just a few restaurants within walking distance and of these, we heard good reports of Chapmans. Mr Bass's bar was a pleasant place to spend an hour with a pre-dinner Jul-Brew lager or Vimto. Wine is not as expensive as expected but is of variable quality and availability!

We were not too bothered by the Bumsters - went on trips out with our friendly beach boy/lifeguard and a Gamtours rep who was on our coach transfer. A visit to the fish market when the boats had just come in was quite an experience and, of course, we met Charlie, the vegetarian crocodile. All the Gambian boys, big and small, are mad on football and are not too shy to ask for money to buy balls and even the shirt off your back! We took some childrens clothes and they were gratefully received, also pencils, etc, but they seem to need paper more than pencils. Unfortunately, this weighs the case down a bit. A visit to the Independence Stadium to watch an African Nations Cup match between The Gambia and Guinea Bissau was an experience - more people wanted to get in than there was space available for, but our 'guide' negotiated with a soldier the other side of the iron gates and, having paid 3 times the face value for tickets (which had doubtless already been sold at least once) we squeezed through the crush. The stadium has a capacity of around 20,000 but we estimated 30,000 were actually there. Gambia lost 0-2 but the most amazing sight was a British woman who sat on the terrace reading a book and smoking throughout the first half!

All things considered it was a great holiday. Full day trips would be quite tiring in the heat and we only went out for half days, opting to spend most of our time relaxing on the beach with a few cooling dips in the sea. Mosquitos weren't a problem as long as we used sprays (they always find the place you miss) but may be more so during and after the wet season (June-Oct).
Gambian people are exceptionally friendly and 'smiley' - you can't help liking them. Not a particularly 'active' holiday location and probably not the best place for young children, but would we go back? Yes!


by TripAdvisor Member relaxedLondon

We wanted a winter sun holiday and The Gambia was one option that came up. Having never been before to Africa, we were rather unsure. These reviews were our bible before we left!!!
Having read most of the previous reviews we were still apprehensive. However, as soon as we landed at Banjul we were not disappointed, a fan and a bottle of water waited for us. The transfer to the hotel was a lovely air con coach and we were speechless when the coach had to stop to let a pig across the road!!!
On arrival at the hotel we were given a lovely fruit drink and taken to our room. We had upgraded our room and found we were just a minute from the pool, which was handy.
We didn't do many trips but we just had to see Charlie and his family. I can now say that I have touched a real live croc!! What an experience. We didn't venture out in the evenings as we were half board and to be honest didn't feel the need to move from the hotel.
The food in the hotel was very good and the chef's and waiters very friendly. The weather although it was hot, always had a breeze coming in off the Atlantic to cool things down. The pool staff were always helpful, willing to move the umbrella as the sun moved and always waiters around to bring your 'iced lemongrass tea'.
All in all this was a great holiday and we will be coming back again.

Bad start - but it got better

by TripAdvisor Member Cardiff2

Having read some glowing reports about the Ocean Bay we decided to try it out. But sometimes hotels can get you off on the wrong foot.

As we like larger rooms we booked a triple. On arrival at the hotel we were asked whether we wanted a non-smoking room (yes please) and we asked not to have a room on the ground floor – which is a personal preference. So we were taken to a smaller, twin-bedded, ground floor room that stank of cigarette smoke.

Back to reception, where we hung around a bit. But no, sorry, that was it. No other rooms available. The very helpful porter told us lots of people were leaving the following day so we could ask to move then – but that was not suggested by reception staff, who didn’t seem very interested in the situation. The rep asked us to tell him about any unresolved issues – so we did. That was the last we heard of it.

The following morning we were tracked down and told we’d have to pay for the beers we’d had from the mini-bar. But we hadn’t even opened it! Then someone phoned to check who was staying in our room. Oh dear.

But the sun shone, we had a few lunch time drinks at the beach bar and started to relax. Things got better. The smoky smell was banished and we decided the room was better placed than most. We were surprised that the hotel is only three years old as it somehow seems a bit older. The communal / reception area is classy and the rooms are OK – but definitely not 5 star. The bathrooms were a rush job it seems, and let down by some shoddy work.

The hotel grounds are very nice: very well kept, and the staff seemed very eager to please (well, most). We ate at the hotel’s Clipper restaurant, and found it excellent. The food and service were superb. It was only a few pounds more than at several local restaurants we tried, and we thought it was worth it. It's a bit formal, though.

The breakfast buffet was very good, too, with plenty of choice. We were amazed at how pricey our drinks were at happy hour (2 for 1) at the beach bar, only to discover, near the end of our holiday, that spirits are not included! Yes, we should have asked.

The beach itself is great – uncrowded and ideal for walks. However, this is dog paradise. There are many, and they may follow you around a lot. And a few bumsters patrol, but there weren't too many.

Like many people, we wandered over to the Calypso bar & restaurant a few times, which was fine. The nearby Chapmans was quite good too.

Outside the hotel, in the nearby town, you will see lots of poverty, and you may find yourself torn between guilt at your prosperity and the irritation of bumsters trying to take you to local shops in the side streets. But it's best not to go. Every thing has a negotiable price (even bottles of water). The shops will try to charge you twice the price of the hotel shop, and then the bumster will plead with you for money ‘to show the goodness of your heart.’ And many people you pass in the street will claim to be from your hotel, which they are not. They ask: ‘don’t you recognize me?’ The best strategy is just to say ‘no’. It may sound harsh, but it is necessary.

Regular tipping is expected. In fact it took four tips to get our bags from the airport to the hotel room – and vice versa. Take some 25 Dalasi notes (50p) or it could get expensive!

If you fancy a bit of local character go to the Black & White Atlantic Bar at the end of the beach. It’s a shack with no facilities except for a few tatty tables and chairs and cool box with beer a third the price of the hotel. It’s a chance to chat with locals like Ebrahim and Jonli, who are fun company. Call in – they need the custom.

We took some pens etc for local children, but were kicking ourselves that we did not take spare clothes (tee shirts / shorts / caps etc) that locals really appreciate.

In summary, the Ocean Bay grew on us and we had a good time. We are slightly baffled by its alleged five stars – but it’s a pleasant hotel in a great location.


by TripAdvisor Member cmgallag

We spent the first week in April at the Ocean Bay and had a lovely time. Its a really good place to get away from it all and except for one day out we spent the week relaxing on the beach. The check-in process was really quick and easy and we were all given fruit juice on arrival. The rooms are plenty big enough for two people and the bathroom is also quite big. Football is shown every night on the tv if you don't want to miss anything and its also shown in the Reception. The pool area is nice and clean, we spent one day there but found the beach to be better as you didn't have to listen to the music that they were constantly pumping out (Celine Dion, Backstreet boys etc). We didn't have to fight for loungers on the beach, we used to go down after breakfast (about 10.30) and there were always plently of spaces available.

The hotel itself is absolutely spotless and the gardens are gorgeous. We were on B&B basis and can't complain about the food at all. For breakfast there was everything - bread, toast, meat, cheese, bacon, eggs, hash browns, pancakes, fruit, omlettes etc. The food around the pool is pretty much like prices in England but again we had no complaints. The Calypso bar down the beach (right out of the hotel) does nice food as well. If you want to avoid the bumsters on your way there you can walk close to the sea and then cut up over the rocks, straight into the bar. We had to do this a couple of times as one in particular took a shine to us. Having said that he was the only person who pestered us all week. We went to the Italian Restaurant (left out of the hotel - take a torch as there are no street lights) and one of the bumsters accompanied us all the way down then despite us already having made it clear that we didn't need him to take us on any trips he walked us all the way back again just chatting.

We did what was billed as a half day trip but lasted all day (Discovery Tour) and we would definitely recommend it. We went to the monkey park, the craft stalls at Bakau, the place where they make Batik products in Serrekunda, we then went to the SOS village and could go round the housing there and visited the orphanage, lunch was included and from there our guide took us to the national museum in Banjul and to the Albert market. It was a really good day and we saws lots more of the Gambia and the people than we had ever anticipated.

All in all it was an excellent holiday and we would definitely go back to the Ocean Bay!

One of the top hotels in the Gambia... and it shows!

by TripAdvisor Member Eat_chocolate

The Hotel
When we were being transferred from the airport to the hotel I was immediately pleased that I chose this hotel once I saw the others that we stopped at along the way! It's one of the top three Gambian hotels, is very grand and impressive compared to the others and has (I was told) housed a couple of celebrities...

You enter into a huge lobby and we were greeted with a glass of wongo juice and a hot towel which I thought was a nice touch. To get to your room you have to go through the lobby and pass through the grounds. That's the point at which you'll say "yes, glad I chose this one!"

The resort is right on the beach and is set in lush and immaculately kept grounds which are tended to lovingly every day. It's idyllic - palms trees, mango trees..... There's a beauty salon beside the pool where the girls deliver excellent beauty treatments, even physiotherapy and sports massages. I had a few bits and pieces done and was really impressed by the standard. Prices are reaaalllllly reasonable.

I went to the Gambia at the end of the season, so bear in mind that my review is based on an off-peak experience. I'd like to think that this makes no difference to the way the staff conduct themselves during peak periods...They were very accommodating, so warm, friendly and will bend over backwards to make sure you enjoy your stay. For me that made a difference because I felt really comfortable. The guest relations rep, Lobbah stands out for me - she was superb and definitely seemed to be able to solve any problems.

I stayed in a deluxe room (two single beds) which was large and roomy and clean.... but dark. It exceeded my expectations as I had read several times that the standard of African hotels are very basic. I didn't think so - there was a mini bar, safe, satellite TV, ample storage space, seating area, balcony... so it was fine for me. All things considered, I would rate it a 4 star room. However, I did have some issues...

1) It smelt musty for the first couple of days, but I put that down to the room being unused, and with the door open, that eventually went away.
2) The lighting was pretty poor - because of the position of the block (I was in the 400s), there was insufficient natural light .
3) Towels could do with a boil wash as many of them are stained - I'm really fussy so would not use them. The bedsheets were changed only once in a week.
4) Experienced a few, brief power cuts which were over in a few seconds, but it something to be aware of.
5) No irons or boards in the rooms because the hotel has its own laundry service, which I didn't use, based on the state of the towels!

On the plus side, the room itself was cleaned thoroughly every day.

The Area
The hotel is in the quiet resort of Cape Point, Bakau There are probably about a few restaurants and cafes in the area and one bar where local bands perform nightly (really good alternative to the hotel entertainment). There is a smattering of hotels and that's your lot! This was fine for me, but it does mean that you're a taxi ride away from the livlier main tourist areas. If you want to be in the heart of things, you might want to consider finding a hotel in Sennegambia, which is where you'll find the obligitory tourist strip - your restaurants and your nightclubs.

1) Be prepared for the 'hassle' that you will undoubtedly encounter, but don't be phased or intimidated by it... just go with it! The Gambians are really friendly and are only trying to chat to you (and of course, entice you into a shop or sell you a trip!). I found that by clearly telling them that you want to walk alone or don't want any company, they tended to be responsive and left you alone - however, be aware that you can get a lot of really useful local information through these chats!

2) Travelling around: The taxis that sit outside the hotels (tourist taxis) are about 3 - 5 times more expensive than the local, yellow taxis - although they do include a 2hr waiting time.

3) Eating out: The hotel food is fine but don't limit yourself to it. Sennegambia and Faruja have a much wider choice of restaurants. Both areas are a cab ride away. Going to Sennegambia will cost you 500 delasi in a hotel cab (includes 2 hrs waiting time), or about 120 delasi in a local cab (one way). There was one restaurant called Kora, which is slightly off the beaten track (an extra 4 mins walk to be exact) but was absolutely delicious, and worth the walk! It's easy to find a range of cuisines - English, Italian, Chinese, African

Hotel very good Bumpsters a pain

by TripAdvisor Member unsureaboutTaba

Hotel very good by Gambia standards. Grounds are superb, Room clean and spacious although could do with updating. Hotel food good but pricey local restaurants fine but limited for choice.
Now for the main reason for this review anyone travelling from 1st May is in low season and as the resorts are not busy the bumpsters outside do not leave you alone. While most of them take a polite no thank you and go away others stick to you like Glue until you pay them or arrive in the bar/hotel where they are not allowed. For us this spoilt the holiday as the Hotel/Weather/Food were all good enough, that we would have gone back. Our rep from the Gambian experience was also good but they really need to sort out these young males outside the hotel who spoil a lot of peoples enjoyment

Very relaxing

by TripAdvisor Member sussexbythec

The Hotel
Reception area is large, with a bar area and TV. This was ideal for watching English football, but as the sound was down it wasn’t in your face. Rooms were large and clean. Yes, musty initially, but that cleared after an hour or so. Rooms were cleaned every day. Aircon was good, better than Sennegambia hotel (but that was a few years ago) and was free.
Pool looked smallish, and had American Country & Western music blaring away. However, the beach was superb, a wide expanse of sand with plenty of sunbeds. There were always 3 security guards on patrol during the day, plus they carried on during the night. Not really needed, but 1 small incident they dispatched a bumster who had overstayed his welcome.
Bar prices are double that found in bars outside.

General area
Locals are always ready to talk to you and persuade you to visit their stall or ‘Tescos’ (their local mini market). As stated be firm and just say you are going to a restaurant etc and they will stop following. Don’t fall for the ‘I’m a drum teacher and the skin has split…need 150 Dal for competition next day’ trick. Not much around the area, Mr Bass (turn right 200yds) restaurant is good, as is Hungarian (turn left 100yds), best is Calypso (get to beach turn right 100yds). Other areas are accessible by Cab, look out for Sekou (pronounced like the watch Seiko) and his 10 seat minibus. He will take you to restaurant / bar and sit and wait. Try Francisco’s hotel / restaurant in Fajara – owned by an English fellow. He guarantees you will be full after food – you get big portions, great taste and cheap, esp wine. We had 2 bottles and 2 courses for under 1000 dal. You go to Butchers Shop and will cost over 3000 dal (though very good).

Be aware, that there are very few ATM’s around, none at Cape Point, and they only dispense 2000 dal at a time (Visa only). We wanted to take 10,000 dal out to last a few days, but the card got stopped after 2 go’s by the card company. We called them and stopped the block and got more money out, but it’s a pain doing this 5 times in 1 visit. Next time I’ll bring English £’s and change it locally (near Mr Bass, with better rate than hotel).

One last thing, we went 1st week in May, which is out of season. Very quite, so no probs getting sunbed or table in restaurants. Certainly NOT lively. However, great for relaxing.

Forum Posts

Ocean Bay Hotel

by diyum

Booked my holiday (in December) to the Gambia yesterday, never been there before and have decided on a suite at the Ocean Bay Hotel. Has anyone stayed in one of the suites at the Ocean Bay Hotel? It is costing over £6,000 for the two weeks and I already starting to get cold feet.

Re: Ocean Bay Hotel

by jeethro3

Have been going to The Gambia now for ten years, my personal friend Malick works at The Ocean Bay Hotel.It is a new 5 star hotel, brilliant, but the price you quote is OTT.
The new Gambia Experience book for this next season the highest price in the book is £1319 for Dec 14 nts per person, plus £23 pppn for suite, a/c inc,
This hotel is also well out of the way, if you want to see/enjoy local food and drinks plus the night life you need you be in the Senegambia area ideally The Kairaba Hotel which is also 5 star. Hope this helps? my e/mail address if you need any advice, (lamin3@ntlworld.com)

Re: Ocean Bay Hotel

by manwhocan

Obviously you have more money than sense!

Will We Be Safe?

by diyum

Think of visting Gambia in August and have spent most of my day reading the forums . Frankly, the problem with the bumsters worrys me as I'm disabled and will be travelling with my wife and 5 year old daughter. I'm also a bit concerned about safety as disable people tend to be a bit more vulnerable.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

RE: Will We Be Safe?

by siobhan&steve

hi, we were out there in jan this year, you havent said were you are staying. koto beach area is quite bad for the bumsters as they have been moved on by the tourist police from every where else, so they all hang out there. the best advice is if you are in that area is to get one of the offical guides from outside the palma riva hotel, once you've got one in tow the others will stay away, if i can be of any more help please e-mail me at irishwales@yahoo.co.uk

RE: RE: Will We Be Safe?

by diyum

Thanks siobhan, very kind of you.

We're considering the Kombo Beach Hotel but I've been told by the holiday company (Gambia experience) the Coconut Residence is more disabled friendly. Unfortunately, the Coconut Residece doesn't appear to be kid friendly and is a lot more expensive.

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

RE: RE: Will We Be Safe?

by jigeen

Don't be afraid of the bumsters, they're just human beings who want to make a living. Sometimes they can go on to your nerves, but they are no criminals.

You find a lot of disabled üeople in The Gambia, mostly caused by Polio. That't nothing new for the Gambians, and most of them will help you the best way they can.

Coconut is not directly to the beach, Kombo hotel is. But is has multi story buildings, that might be a problem. Try Sunset beach hotel, directly at the Seaside. It's also located at Kotu beach where the bumsters are less than in Kololi.

RE: Will We Be Safe?

by jigeen

by the way: Why August? It's in the middle of the rainy season! Hot and dump. And some roads can't be passed so that not all the trips are available.

Re: Will We Be Safe?

by diyum

Forgive my tardy response. Only just decided to go today so I'm back hunting for information on the internet. We've going in December and settled for the Ocean Bay Hotel.

Wondering if anyone has stay there?

Re: Will We Be Safe?

by manwhocan

There are many disabled people in The Gambia and most people give them respect.
What sort of disability do you have? In a wheel chair?
Check www.realgambia.net for an alternative to being bothered by bumsters because you are at an hotel.

Gambian holiday

by Joanna72

Is it safe to go to Gambia as a single female? I am planning to go in July/August.

RE: Gambian holiday

by AdamJpage

Hi Joanna:)
Im planning to go there in November, staying at the Ocean Bay hotel. Apparently its very safe around there, especially around the hotels because they have tourist police. The locals can sometimes be a handfull, and will want 2 sell you things and be your "tour guide". Just take them with a pinch of salt. So i've heard, the best thing to do is just hire one of them to take you where you want to go, as they'll keep the rest of the "hecklers" away from you. Then just give them a small tip at the end of the day. (remember they're poor so about £10)I'm lookin forward 2 it though, should be good! But the answer 2 your question, you'll be fine. just don't stray from the public places on your own xx Adam

RE: Gambian holiday

by ricky52

As Adam says, get yourself a guide (these can be found at your hotel, they are not employed by the hotel, but have their permission to work from there)
They will stay with you all day and keep you safe.
You will get plenty of people wanting to sell you things, it is the way things are in the Gambia.
You can also hire a taxi for you and your guide from the hotel. you book the taxi by time and not by milage, you tell them you want the taxi for 5 hours and that taxi will stay with you for 5 hours.
Your guide will charge you next to nothing for his/her services, my advice to you is to pay him/her what it has been worth to you. Our guide asked for 50p for a days work, we gave him £5.
Remember and use these two words "Alma Delasi" which means "I have no Delasi" (money)The locals find this very funny and gives them a bit of a suprise as they don't expect tourist to speak their language.
The Gambians are lovely, lovely people. Enjoy your holiday

RE: RE: Gambian holiday

by ricky52

I forgot to mention, it is going to be very very HOT.
We went in January (which is the Gambian winter and it was 33c at 11pm)

RE: RE: Gambian holiday

by Joanna72

Thanks for your advice.


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Ocean Bay Hotel & Resort

Hotel Class 4.5 out of 5 stars

PO Box 4065 Bakau Post Office, Bakau

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 Ocean Bay Hotel & Resort

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Address: PO Box 4065 Bakau Post Office, Bakau, Gambia