Maleria is a serious illness!!
Luggage and bags: There are plenty of porters at Banjul airport they will get you through Customs as quick as possible for a tip of £1 per case well worth it! Cases are ex-rayed by customs which is not really a issue for most people, but for us we usually carrying items such as learning aids for schools, which quite often means we have CD players, old mobiles phones etc, running the gaultlet each time we visit as they expect to collect duty on already high taxed goods that we have bought or had donated in the UK so it's haggle, barter or just plead or you may lose an item or two.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: November, December is humid so light clothing, light wieght jacket for evening time. Good comfortable trainers/sandals. Beware if you go off the beaten track as shoes get ruined with the sand. Beware on the beach the sand can be very hot, on my last visit it melted the glue on my new sandals!!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: A good medicine kit is essential, take pills for headache and bad stomachs as you never know when these things can hit you, usually when the pharmacy is closed you can bet. blister plasters are a great invention as they don't fall of until the blister healed. Anti malaria tablets, some have side effects some don't. Malarone although expensive have the least side effects ask your doctor they will advise the best ones for you, once you got your prescription Shop around for the best deal as your local chemist can be double the price of the larger supermarket chemist!!!
Photo Equipment: I wouldn't take expensive equipment
Miscellaneous: The locals appreciate anything at all, if you leaving your toiletries do try to leave a note saying what you have left, and to whom they are for most hotel are staff are stopped by hotel security this saves any hassle for the person you have gifted them too. Pick pockets and theft is world wide issue The Gambia is no exception especially in the crowded places, don't flash the cash try to keep small amounts of money in different pockets simply don't put temptation there in the first place!!
Generic of MALARONE available
Luggage and bags: Light and though. If you intend to travel use a small bagpack which will also be your hand bag and your beach bag. Do not take your best sansonite! Put enough survival clothes in it when travelling (1 swimming costume, 1/2 tshirst, 1 dress or pair of trousers, bermuda, underwears and socks. 1 pair of plastic shoes for the beach etc) in case your suitcase is lost by the company.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Take clothes that you can leave or spoil with no regrets. Do not forget the soil is red and so is the dust... But do have also nice tops for evenings. Gambian like to dress up. Adapt yourself to your surrounding. If you stay in a nice hotel and have dinner there you can wear your high heels. Otherwise better not bother to carry them. Remember not to offend people and do not wear short shorts or show your belly. Carry some long sleeve shirt with you in case of need. It will also protect you from the sun!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Leave half empty bottles but make sure before that the hotel allows people to get them and that they are not going to get problems or that it is not going to go to someone else. If you have paracetamol you can leave it too. Women if you do not need your tampoons while travelling back leave them.
Photo Equipment: Unless professionnal use, do not come with sofisticated material. Think of a pair of binoculars. Even if you think you are not interested in bird watching you might like it.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Wear shoes on the beach (even when swimming). plastic swimming pool shoes or beach plastic sandals are ideal but you can also wear anything light with a sole... Do not go on the beach with valuable things. Others: Good sunglasses, hat, high protection suncream. Even if you are not camping bring a torch as there are no roads lights everywhere and switch off early in the evening.
Miscellaneous: Malarone is the easiest to use anti malaria tablets (1 day before and 7 days after departure) and generally has no side effects. It is a bit expensive, but there is a generic which costs around 1 pnd less per tablet. It is important to take a treatment againt paludism and to buy it before departure as you never know what you will find at destination (fakes possible). Use repellent as it will protect you from others possible tropical illnesses carried by mosquitos (dengue fever).Related to:
- Women's Travel
Get some extra's for the locals
Luggage and bags: While packing do take some extra clothings you don't use anymore. The locals will be greatfull to you.
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