We also visited a very different village on one of the many islands, where we were free to walk amongst the huts and the women working. This village had a very different and much friendlier feel to it than the fishing village. The people were very welcoming and charming, eager to show us their way of life.more
In Gambia (at least to/from the tourist areas) you can get with the green tourist taxis. In some villages they have their fares written down to a table; e.g. how much does it cost to go to a certain village and back. The fares always include a 2 hours' waiting time (if you want to go for a dinner for example). These drivers are loyal, don't overcharge and are trustworthy. They are not necessarily the cheapest ones. A nice thing is, that if you get along well, the driver usually gives his visit card (or you may ask for one), and you can always call to the same driver to pick you up whenever you have a need to go anywhere. They are super flexible and do whatever they can to satisfy your needs.
If you want a cheaper drive, you should try a local taxi. They are yellowish-green, with a stripe on a side. The cars are a bit older and most probably don't have safety belts. These drivers are trustworthy too, and a lot cheaper. The only thing is that they are not allowed to drive to the touristic areas, so you have to walk (not long) and agree a place if you are not lucky enough to catch one. The same applies when you come back at night; they have to leave you somewhere before the touristic area begins (but it is not many hundred meters).
Third opportunity is to take the public transportation which is not recommended. It is like in India's poor cities or corresponding places - they are not actually buses but small buses and vans which are filled with double or triple times the amount of people. Not everyone has a seat; many have to stand and try to hold on from something. Drivers drive fast. But if you want to try or don't have much money - this is for you. It doesn't cost practically anything.
Even though 90% of the population of Senegal proclaim to be Muslim, animistic beliefs are still very common in rural villages. An animist believes that all earthly objects pocess a soul or spirit. Altars such as this one are found in many villages, with various sacred fetishes and offerings.more
The mini bus we were driving from the Gambia across into Senegal, was not air conditioned, so the only way to keep cool was to have all the windows open. The roads are just dry, sandy tracks, which means that all the dust is blown into your vehicle.By the time we reached the lodge in the evening after a full day's driving, we were absolutely...more
Outside the lodge was a small tourist market which sold various local crafts and trinkets. We wanted to have a look around, browsing mainly, but with a view to possibly buying a small mementoe of our visit. We found the sales people very rude, most unpleasant and downright agressive, making the whole visit most unenjoyable.
Unique Suggestions: Instead of spending our time looking for something to buy, we just wanted to escape to the sanctuary of the lodge. We ended up buying our souvenirs from the lodge gift shop!
Fun Alternatives: We went inside one of the small shops on invitation of its owner. When we didn't find anything to our liking, the owner started to verbally attack us, accusing us of misleading him, deliberately keeping him poorr, racial prejudice and worse! I wish we'd never gone inside!
It had been a long and hot day in a tatty old bus with no air conditioning. With the windows open on the dry tracks across the coutryside, the bus became full of dust. We were covered from head to toe in a layer of ed sand (see photo under Warnings and Dangers). Coming to the lodge in the park, we were delighted to find that the rooms had en suite...more