The Gambia Warnings and Dangers

  • Soldier ants
    Soldier ants
    by toonsarah
  • Soldier ants
    Soldier ants
    by toonsarah
  • Termite mound - NOT so dangerous!
    Termite mound - NOT so dangerous!
    by toonsarah

The Gambia Warnings and Dangers

  • Bumsters

    You are certain to hear warnings about the so-called Gambian bumster, and you are equally certain to encounter many of these local chancers unless you spend the whole holiday cocooned inside the grounds of your hotel (which would be a real shame!) These are unemployed, mostly young, men who hang around the hotels and tourist areas in the hope of...

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  • TRAVEL IMMUNIZATIONS

    Travelling to Gambia? Hope you are not afraid of needles! You need some immunizations before you go. At the least I would recommend these for any travel other than on a cruise ship:Hepatitis A Hepatitis B – for longer journeys (months)Tetanus TyphoidThe full list is here of every possibility worldwide, but includes some immunizations you should...

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  • MALARIA KILLS

    PLEASE PREPARE! Malaria can sometimes be fatal and at best may make you regret that you survived. Medicines must be taken weeks BEFORE you come here. There are 4 different species of Malaria and humans can get them all from the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. Illness and death from malaria are largely preventable - if you plan...

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  • Tropical diseases

    Actually, Ricky52 has a point. You need to research the kind of mosquito or disease in the area you plan to visit.You can visit the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicines site (which has up to date research on diseases) not just malaria but river blindness, schistosomiasis and leishmaniasis. It is extrememly important that you know about the local...

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  • Toubab in The Gambia

    A few years ago me and my boyfriend went to the gambia. it was somewhere around Easter.It all looked a really great idea because we knew somebody who knew somebody that could show us around the country (which isn't really big :) ).so we booked our flight to Banjul and booked a hotel in Bakau.the hotel was ok. but before you book a room somewhere...

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  • which gifts?

    Gambia is definately a poor country, and tourists feel temped to held, esp. the children. That is noble if you keep some things in mind:If you want to sponsor a child in school, male sure, the money doesn't disappear in the wallet of the teacher. Insist you have a receipt thtat the schoolyear has been paid for!One reads again and again: bring...

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  • malaria

    please, please, please take your malaria tablets. do not listen to advice that they are not in season or the area, that is rubbish, mossies are out all year round, ok granted in the rainy season they are doubled, but they still do linger in the dry season. my husband and son stopped taking theirs because of this advice they were both rushed to...

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  • Bumsters

    Bumsters are young men, not necessarily Gambian who haunt the tourist areas looking for an easy buck. They will try to engage you in earnest conversation and sometimes will not take no for an answer.Best way to treat them is to be strong but polite and make it plain that you do not want their company. They in turn can be very rude, but as you get...

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  • Trips out.

    We went on a excursion through our hotel, the guides are usually cousins of people who work there, they met their reletives while out on the trip, said there goodbyes and we got pick pocketed.Got back to the hotel went to put our gifts away , they had all been stolen by the tour guides relative. Couldn't believe we got robbed on the trip.

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  • No sweets.

    People told us to take books and pencils on the villiage tours for the children, which we did also we took sweets, when we handed them out the children scurried after them and got beat with sticks by the guards.It broke my heart.

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  • Animals of the sea

    I really wouldnt want this guy in the picture sticking on my back while swimming. Not to mention the medusas that were lying dead on the beach. They were just huge with diameters eaven 40 cm! I dont know exactly how dangerous it is to meet these creatures in the sea but I quess quite.. Dead medusas were not even anywhere close to rare. In some...

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  • Biting monkeys

    On our first morning in The Gambia there was a monkeyfamily in a tree couple of meters from our doorsteps. I got a bit too exited and rushed to offer them a cookie. The mom and two kids looked me oddly and started to make this weird, repeating noice. Then the father came and in a blink of an eye bit me in hand. It even came after me and chased me...

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  • sextourism

    You see this a lot in Gambia. The sight is funny and sad at the same time.Older white women sometimes travel to the Gambia to only spent some "quality"time with younger men.That must be the biggest reason why so meny young men were all over my over 60 year old mom. So if you are like her you need to be prepared to that. Like it or not.

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  • Brush Fires

    During the dry season (November through May), brush fires are relatively common in Gambia. Most are set by people to clear dead grasses and brush for cultivation. These fires are actually beneficial for the ecosystem, as many plants require fire to germinate, and the flames get rid of dead vegetation, allowing for faster growth of new plants when...

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  • Potholes

    Some of the roads I traveled in Gambia were the worst roads I have ever seen in my life. The main road between Janjangbureh and Tendaba was once paved, but the surface is now mostly potholes. It is so bad that, where the topography permits it, local drivers drive in the dirt next to the road to avoid the broken pavement. Broken-down cars and trucks...

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  • Don't walk far away from designtaed...

    on the beaches, stay close to your designated Hotal part of the Beach - I made the mistake of walking about 1.5 mile away down the Beach, pretty isolated, and was jumped on by a couple of locals - they were not violent as they could see I was wearing nothing but my swim trunks but I guess they would have took the lot had I been wearing anything of...

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  • Gambian Romeos/Relationships with...

    I'm a bit supised this subject hasn't been mentioned before. Gambians are charming, very caring, attentive by nature and make lovely company/dance partners during your stay. Unfortunately tourists are targetted, particularly in the Senegambia area, by Gambians, Nigerians and Sierra Leonians looking for a better life. I see so many marriages...

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  • TIME IN THE GAMBIA – GMT

    Warning - you have entered a time warp! Upon our arrival in the Gambia we were met by a local Holiday Representative who explained which time zone Gambia is in. He said this "Welcome to the Gambia, the time is now 11 o'clock GMT. That means GAMBIA MAYBE TIME. So when I say I will be there at 2 o'clock I mean maybe it will be 2, maybe it will be 3....

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  • Sea Fishing

    When you book a sea fishing trip be sure to ask for life jackets, as the sea can get quiet rough as the tide changes, and the small boats often fish the sand banks you may also need sea sickness tablets if you get sea sick easily..... but its still worth doing

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  • Swimming

    Take great care when swimming in the sea as there are a lot of strong tides and currents dont swim alone, and dont leave childen un supervised, The sea is fun but be cafefull

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  • Wrestlers

    This happened to a friend I know. On a touristy beach he was offered a wrestling match by a man that turned out to be quite good at it. he got my friend into a painful hold and good naturedly asked for money to let him win. Men do you cry out for help or does your embarassment get the better of you.

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  • I hate to say it but be mistrustful

    My idea of West Africans as mostly honest people unfornately found its exeption in the Gambia. I usually feel no qualms about going with someone who offers to show you round. My experience is that generally they will demand a reasonable sum of money at the end of the day for guiding you. So I had no problem being shown round Banjul by a guy called...

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  • Dust, dust, dust

    Many of the roads in the Gambia are very dusty and not only the unpaved ones. We had the experience that also the main road from the Atlantic coast to the east was very dusty, allthough the road was paved. The many potholes in te roadsurface caused a lot of dust, so at the end of the day we came out of the car with a totally red skin and...

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  • Crossing cows

    Everywhere in Gambia along the highroad we saw often a lot of cows. Sometimes even very huge herds.Always you have to be aware, that no one of the cows suddenly will cross the road in front of your car. Mostly they don't, but you can't be sure.

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  • Road conditions

    If you want to visit some of the more remote villages, I would suggest that you make a point of using a four-wheel-drive, as this is the normal state of the roads outside the main cities.

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  • Poverty - heartache

    Prepare yourself for poverty. Bring clothes to give away. Bring pens for children so that they can go to school.Expect to be well fed in the hotels, but be aware that not much of the money stays in the country.Lots of beauty, but lots of sorrow.

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  • Crime and banditry

    Advice from the British Foreign Office You should not travel by road from The Gambia to Casamance in southern Senegal because of the risk of armed banditry. The Casamance region of south western Senegal (the area of Senegal due south of The Gambia) remains affected by insecurity involving separatist rebel groups. Attacks and armed banditry still...

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  • Marching Militaries.

    I stayed in Serekunda for a while and almost every morning I’ve got woken by singing and marching militaries.The first mornings I thought it was funny, but after a while it was irritating.So don’t forget your earplugs, when you want a good night rest.

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  • Watch out for BUMSTERS

    The Gambia is a popular exotic destination.So, when there are tourists, there are Dollars and when there are Dollars, there are Bumsters (young unemployed locals, who will do anything to get your money).These Bumsters follow you everywhere you go, sometimes they want to be your guide, other times they want to sell you something.But most of the...

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  • Malaria treatment needed

    Don't come to this country if you didnt do the malaria pills on time. Don't play with your life. Before I actually came, I didnt knew what mosquitoes were like, and believe me, in Portugal in the summer we do have lots of Big mosquitos. Here they are much smaller than in Portugal, but they are like thousands of them, and each can trasmit malaria....

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  • Malaria Tablets

    Please make sure you take these religiously whilst you are over in The Gambia and also for two weeks after you come home. I made the mistake of not taking them once I got back and ended up in the hospital with suspected Malaria. Malaria is very common in Gambia and as it comes from the Mosquito (and there are many of these pesky little critters)...

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  • Hassle and small theft

    Arriving to Gambia from the Northern Senegal border, you will be surrounded by dozens of people trying to take everything off you. They will take your bags so you follow them, they will try to exchange currency in their favour, or simply hassle you for money...After we went accross the Gambia river to Banjul, it was even worse.Taxi drivers fighting...

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  • It's not as bad as they make out

    Don't listen too closely to holiday company warnings they are trying to sell you their champagne sunset tours. I know a British tourist was murdered in November 02, violence happens everywhere. You'd be missing a lot if you didn't experience Serrekunda at night or didn't go down to the beach and drink some bhang with the bumsters. On the whole...

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  • Look out for friendly boys.

    A lot of boys come to you and say hello how are you, wat is your name, then they stay the whole time with you.Just ignore them or say that you want to walk on your own.Some of them try to steel something of you,we know this because the police give us a warning.

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  • Bumsters are a plague....

    Bumsters are a plague. Youngsters hanging around and making life and holiday unpleasant. Be polite tough decisive and tell them you do not need their 'services'.Since 2002 bumsters have been removed by the police and military. It is fun now walking thru the streets and on the beach without being hussled by these guys.

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  • You can change money at banks...

    You can change money at banks and exchange bureaus in Banjul, Serekunda and some of the Atlantic Coast resorts.Upcountry, the only place with a bank is Basse Santa Su.Some banks charge a commission to cash travelers' cheques, but those that don’t have poorer rates, so you get about the same return regardless of which you choose. You can draw cash...

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  • No go area after dark!

    Don't consider walking on the beach at night, particularly alone or even in couples. There have been a lot of muggings, particularly around the tourist areas.

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  • I only want to warn you for...

    I only want to warn you for having unprotected sex with the lokal females (most of them are immigrants from Sierra Leone,Liberia,Nigeria and Senegal)or males you meet and get some relation to....BE CAREFUL....there´s some of them whearing H I V and it´s not worth the risk....but if you nesseserely want to....use protection....par example the small...

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  • I travelled with my mother to...

    I travelled with my mother to the Gambia and as two women on our own it was quite difficult at times as the local Gambian men are very persistent and try to give you their addresses and pick you up. Don't be afraid to say no and to walk off from people, if you are not hard enough you will be hassled all holiday especially by the people that do not...

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  • It is really important that...

    It is really important that you take malaria tablets as there are constant malaria scares in the Gambia. In fact it is one of the highest killers in the Gambia. Remember you need to take them a week before you travel.

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The Gambia Warnings and Dangers

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