During the reparation of our tyre in Soma we found out, what the reason was of our flat tyre within ten minutes after our departure from the Atlantic coast.
First we saw that the tube was full of repairs. Second the tube had not the right size for the tyre.
After our first night in Soma, the first thing to do the next morning was to find a workshop to repair our flat tyre.
In the Gambia and most West African countries that will be never a problem, because every town or village has many workshops. So we find quite easy a workshop, recognisable by the many tyres along the road.
After the flat tyre at the first day we lost also the shock absorber of our Toyota. It was the one, which was repaired in the local workshop in Ker Serigne the week before.
What we didn't know yet this first day, that this was only the start of a lot of technical and mechanical problems with the cars during our transsahara trip.
Finally we solved all problems with the car and could head east. The Mitsubishi Pajero in front of us would be the image of the next weeks on our way to Senegal, Mali, Mauritania and back to the north to Morocco and Europe.
Anyway we thought all problems were solved.......
Finally after 5 days we started our trip. First we had to drive to the east to visit the Niokolo Koba Park in Senegal and to continue our journey to Mali. We were very excited.
Within ten minutes after our departure we had the first problem with our car ......a flat tyre.
It was the one we bought in Serrekunda the day before.
For the Toyota Landcruiser we needed new tyres of the right size. We were advised to look for these tyres in a shop in Serrekunda.
At the main road in Serrekunda we found this shop with lots of second hand tyres in all types and sizes you can imagine.
Before we could leave for our transsahara trip, the two 4WDs had to have a check up.
In Ker Serigne was a local workshop. Every time we thought the cars were fixed, it turned out there was a new technical problem.
Finally we had a delay of almost four days before we could start our overland trip.
Like everywhere in West Africa we saw also in the Gambia a lot of horse carts, like this one in the centre of Serrekunda along one of the mainroads.
In the Gambia the most horse or donkey carts were used for transporting goods. In other parts of West Africa we saw that these carts were used as taxis or for transporting the whole family.
If you stay in one of the hotels at the coast like we did during our first visit to the Gambia, it's nice to hire a moped for short distances.
We did hire a moped and visited quite easily other places along the coast, Serrekunda and even Banjul. We took the scenic old coastal road with wonderful baobab trees.
When I see baobabs, it gives me always the real feeling to be back in Africa.
Driving standards are unpredictable and some local taxis are not roadworthy. Driving after dark carries added hazards because of poor road and vehicle lighting. For this reason, you should exercise particular caution when walking along roads at night. In the event of an accident, emergency medical facilities are very limited.
During the rainy season (June‑October) potholes on roads are common and you should take care when driving. Poor roads up-country make travel outside of the Greater Banjul area difficult year round. You can use a UK driving licence for up to three months.
Security checkpoints are common on all major routes in The Gambia. They are not always well sign-posted and care should be taken when approaching them, especially at night.
There are only two ways accross the River Gambia: the tiny fishermen boats, overcrowded, or the huge ferry, also overcrowded with people, cars, and TIR trucks.
It was a very hard experience, since the overload made the boat run aground. One huge truck had to get out, so the trip could continue...
Then, the overcrowded people compartments, with people vomiting, the smell of overdue meat and poultry, etc was just unbaring...
Very hard times in Gambia...!
These tourist taxi's will also bring you somewhere for an agreed price, and if you like, the driver will wait for you to drive you back. And if you like, he also will join you to visit a market or so.
Green taxi's are rather expensive...
In The Gambia, you have different kinds of taxi's...
These ones are very cheap and are common used by the local people. Normally, they have a scheduled track, and stop every time someone wave with their hand. However, very often there's no place left, so you have to wait for another one.
Price for one trip per person (approx. 5 kms) : 0,20 euro
Some drivers also agree to bring you somewhere for an agreed price.
Buh Ba and Ibrahim Bah, two guys delivering sugar from one end of the country to the other waiting for the ferry as well...yes, there's a lot of waiting, and waiting and waiting and more waiting around here.
really looooong lines waiting for the one ferry that piles the river back and forth...the day i had to cross all 14km or something like that of the country, the single ferry had broken down and it took our taxi 6 hours to go that measely distance!
The Kombo Beach is the only hotel we have been to in The Gambia, we stayed here the first time and...more
well such an extraordinarily well run venue in Gambia. German influence, very efficient. What...more
AU Hwy, Brufut Heights, PO Box 3311, Serekunda, Gambia
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples