What should I take?
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The main factor in deciding what to pack is the heat. Take shorts and/or cotton trousers, and light cotton tops. Add a thin cardigan or similar for the cooler evenings and early morning starts. You'll also want swimwear and some sort of cover-up to wear when going from pool to restaurant. But although The Gambia is a Muslim country it is very liberal and there is no need to be very covered up - shorts and t-shirts are acceptable for both men and women wherever you go. If you’re planning to spend any time inland make sure you have long trousers and long-sleeve shirts for early mornings and evenings – the former because it can be cool, and the latter because of mosquitoes. You'll also want a hat for sun protection, especially if you're planning to do any sightseeing trips and are more likely to be out in the hottest parts of the day.
As to footwear, take trainers or similar for excursions, flip flops for the hotel pool and maybe something smarter for the evenings, depending on where you are staying.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Take suntan lotion, insect repellent and cream for when you get the occasional bite despite those precautions. And you must have protection against malaria which is a real risk here. Don't just rely on the repellent and the mosquito nets provided in all reasonable hotels.
Also bring all prescription medicines, naturally, and any preferred brands of over the counter medication and toiletries. You can buy some things here but you may not recognise the brand name or find it as good as your regular favourite.
Miscellaneous: A pair of binoculars could be useful if you plan on doing any of the many bird-watching trips on offer, or even if you have just a casual interest in the extensive bird life here. Also a bird identification book if you have one.
Bags packed, let’s fly to Banjul!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: There is a growing risk that people who travel to tropical and sub-tropical regions may contract malaria. At the same time, malaria prevention and treatment is becoming increasingly complicated by developing resistance. LARIAM is a widely used prescription medication that is highly effective at preventing and treating malaria. Since 1985 more than 25 million travelers worldwide have used LARIAM.
But when you react bad on this medicine, you should contact a doctor and consider to change it.
Your unwanted items will find a welcoming home
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If you have space for your old shoes, you'll find someone with your shoe size!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Take some extra shampoo and leave it with the people, it's an expensive product for them. Their are such a stylish people that they love to look sharp.
Photo Equipment: Leave your old camera, someone will appreciate it. Remember you must have once thought it pretty cool yourself.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: If you can afford it leave some sports equipment, a new football would mean a lot to a community.
Miscellaneous: What you can pack are all those music cassettes that you've grown out of, original tapes are like gold as most music consists of pirate copies. They are easy to carry around, make a great tip to your taxi driver, and keep the bumsters happy too. Paper is in critical shortage so children's books and comics make an excellent gift. We took some paints and brushes, our daughter Esme bartered two paint sets for a rather fine drum with Peter a rasta painter. Fine sable brushes are much prized but all those clothes your children have grown out of are guaranteed a new, happy owner. There is an amazing shortage of toys, we came across one little boy whose prize possession was a discarded teddy bear's head on a stick, it was very poignant.
Malaria and mosquito
Luggage and bags: light clothing
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Always wear shoes or sandals, even when you go into the Altantic. This is very important as you can get very sick by not doing so (has to do with infections)
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Use an anti malaria product (before leaving home).!!!!!!
Photo Equipment: digital camera is the best. Beware of the dust. Put your camera in a plastic bag.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Beaches are great. Beware of the tides. It comes in rather fast and can cut you of the land.Related to:
Insect repellant... and lots of it
Luggage and bags: something light and easy to carry round for day trips out
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: flip flops are usually fine, i never wear anything else. All standard garments you'd associate with a holiday where temperatures are averaging 30C.
Some thin full length trousers and a light top covering your arms are perfect at dawn and dusk when insect bites are frequent
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: anti malarial tablets are a must and plenty of insect repellent especially if you happen to be travelling between may and october as this is the rainy season and there are mosquitos a plenty!
Lots of sun cream!
Miscellaneous: Not really necessary but for travellers who have real issues with the heat a small hand held fan is always nice for those ocassions when you're just too hot!
Mosquito Repellent, Books, Camera, Visa
Luggage and bags: Bring nothing nice.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: In the long dry season (November to May), temperatures average 70-80F and the humidity is 30-60%. Summer temperatures range between 80-90F and the humidity is high.
The rains begin in June and continue to October.
Throughout the year, temperatures tend to drop substantially in the evenings.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Malaria is present throughout the country, although the risk is essentially limited to travel between June and December -- the wettest months.
It is advisable to take anti-malarial prophylactics and use insect repellent on all exposed skin!!!
Photo Equipment: Telphoto lenses are a must if you hope to capture some footage of the many terrific bird species.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Not any more for me. At this point, just traveling in countries like this is enciting enough. I don't need to do the backpack and camping to make it a thrill. Indeed, many of the better hotels can help you achieve that sensation of camping out.
Miscellaneous: Roots, Alex Haley The story of Kunte Kinte, an African man who is stolen from his African tribe in Ghana and made a slave in the 'new world'. The book was the subject of a poular 1970s television drama, and an annual Roots festival takes place in the village of Jufureh.
P.S. United States citizens need a visa!! Get one at your local consulate or prpare to sit at the very dusty border.
Clothes for charity
Luggage and bags: Most of the population in the Gambia is very poor. All gifts are highly appreciated. Please take as much pens and paper, toys and used clothes as ever you can with you. Your airline company may allow one extra luggage for charity purposes if you ask them beforehand. Dont give the stuff away just there on the streets. That is one way to teach bad manors for children and there will always be someone left without. You will find a suitable situation and place.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If you ask around people seem to bee more than happy to give some clothes away for a good cost. The picture of the girl is taken on the next day that my mom gave her this pink shirt.
Miscellaneous: You may want to take a flashlight with you. There are hardly any streetlights. Power cuts are also common.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Women's Travel
Luggage and bags: let it be some with a key!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: shoes to walk in, light long shirts and trousers. Make sure to take clothes along you can leave for friendly people, they will apprteciate it
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: anti-mosquito-lotion for the skin. Leave your lotion and shampoo there! Likewise the rest of your malaria tablets, paracetamol
Miscellaneous: green tea as a small gift is always welcome. Otherwise bags of rice or sugar. Torches are always needed. And candles, current is hardly steady!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Don't forget your swimming suit, light summer clothes, walking shoes, sandals.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Don't forget to take your malaria pills! With 'lariam' you start 14 days before you leave. Take one pill by week and always on the same day. Go further to take the malaria pills until 14 days after your come back. Also necessary : sunmilk because it can be very hot.
Photo Equipment: Take enough films with you for photographing this beautiful country and their friendly people !
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Basic first aid equipment including sticking plaster, antiseptic cream, cotton wool,headache tablets, tampons, deodorants etc need to be packed.
Miscellaneous: It is best to bring everything you think you might need with you and not rely on buying it there, even if it is available it will be more expensive than at home.Take little gifts for the children, items which in the developed world might be considered too petty to give are often much prized.
Take items that you can leave behind
Luggage and bags: Light weight and old luggage as everything gets very dusty. Small lightweight rucksack for daily use.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: It's best to take as many items as you can that you don't want to return with. My daughter takes and wears items getting too small and returns with an empty suitcase!! Towels not really essential as a sarong makes a light weight alternative.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: A decent 1st Aid kit advisable, be happy to leave it behind as most Gambians are grateful for all received.
Take malaria preventatives and use them, there is100% increase in malaria cases in the U.K.
Photo Equipment: Take everything you will require, you can get stuff there but everything takes a long time to find.
Many people will ask you to take their photo as to have a photo taken in The Gambia is expensive.Try to get an address to send the photo's to or take them back next time.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: When there in October we got off the plane to a temperature of 38C.
At this time of year you need nothing extra for the evening as still very hot. Do where cover up clothes and repellent .
Miscellaneous: Gifts for oraganisations are always gratefully received. If unsure where to give them go to The Gambia Tourist Support Restaurant in Kololi and let them deal with it. Look at ther web site Gambia Tourist Support, they are now a registered charity.
Luggage and bags: Bring a recognisable suitcase as when you arrive at Banjul airport, your luggage comes ouyt randomly on two conveyer belts and you need to grab it as soon as you see it otherwise it may disappear.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Pack light clothes, summer clothes. Plenty of loose clothing. In February the tempperatures hit around 110 degrees.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Take your malaria tablets
Photo Equipment: Take the right batteries for your camera and a spare one as they are hard to come by in the Gambia.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Sun tan Lotion !!
Don't forget the malaria tablets!
Luggage and bags: If you are going to be doing quite a lot of moving around, it is best to take as lighter- weight backpack as possible.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Don't take anything that is too inportant to you, as the red dust gets everywhere.... It is generally a very dry and hot country, so light weight clothing, along with a pair of sturdy shoes and sandals should be fine.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Malaria can be a very serious problem, so definately take anti-malarials, also diarrhoea remedies and rehydrationa salts.
Photo Equipment: In Banjul and most other centres it is possible to get film, but anywhere else it is next to impossible, so it is best to stock up before you leave.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: A mosquito net is probably a good idea if you are planning to sleep outside, but if you are in a lodge then a mosquito burner is probably a good idea.
Miscellaneous: A waterbottle and torch can come in handy, particularly if staying in any rural areas.
Quick list of things I'll take next time
Miscellaneous: Strong sun cream, it really is very hot.
Good tummy-bug medicine as almost everyone caught Banjul Belly.
Football shirts - either old ones of yours or cheap ones you can find in sports stores. You can swap these for anything.
Tampons are hard to find!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: I would recommend taking everything you need with you. Toiletries are moere expensive than in the UK and choices may be limited. With regards to sanitary products definitely DO NOT leave that to chance as you will not find tampons and any sanitary towels you find will be like nappies.Related to:
- Women's Travel
- Study Abroad
- Work Abroad
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