The Gambia Tourist Traps

  • Tourist Traps
    by alyf1961
  • Tourist Traps
    by alyf1961
  • Like Well trained seals(just not as cute!)
    Like Well trained seals(just not as...
    by rob-craig

The Gambia Tourist Traps


    The bumsters are harmless if you don’t fall for their tricks, they are friendly and talkative. Usually they will walk with you for a while then give up if you politely say you are not interested. I had heard before going to Gambia that they take you to see their farm (market garden) then ask you to sign a book for their wedding which other tourists...

  • Money changers

    When you are out and about you will find locals coming up to you and offer you to change money. Be aware of those offering a high rate as it sometimes turns out that they fool you. Hidden in a bunch of 100's you will find some 25s. Or they will just give you a few notes short. So always count your money.....but when you start doing that they will...

  • Beach Touts...

    Pretty much any beach along the commercialised hotel stretches on the coast are dotted with a mixture of beggars and locals with sales skills that would put most corporate high flyers to shame. Be warned, the hotel staff tend to employ local folk to patrol the borders to stop them hard selling you so if you must venture out of the confines then...

  • Green Tourist Taxis

    The Green Tourist taxis are not different from their yellow cousins other than colour and price! Walk out of the controlled tourist zones avoiding various touts, negotiate a competitive price with a yellow taxi or better still take a bush taxi - the large vans which take set routes. Just keep in mind they only leave when they are full. A lengthy...

  • At the beach

    Whilst on the beach be aware of all those who want to be your friend and ten minutes later are putting their hand out saying "give from your heart!" they want money off you,, dont get me wrong i have met lots of lovely people in gambia, that is the reason why i have been 3 times in 18 months i just love the locals,, but like every where in the...

  • local guides are best

    The holiday company reps will try to sell you their trips.They do this within the first 24 hours of your arrival,before you have time to familiarize yourself with your surroundings.They will advise against using the local guys as your guides,telling you that it may not be safe.DO NOT BELIEVE A WORD OF IT.The local guys will give a better service...

  • School visits

    Like a couple of suckers we took pens,pencils ,books,etc,etc AND GAVE MONEY TOO!DON'T YOU BE FOOLED,yes this is a poor nation but the more we do the less they will try to help themselves.Basically the trick is the money goes straight into the teachers pockets and not into the school itself Definately do not give any money

  • Bumster Tricks

    A local bumster noticed my wife had several mosquitoe bites on her arms and legs. English mosquitoe cream no good" he said and picked up a jar of cream from a stall in the market. He opened the jar and said "Smell, coco butter very good protection from mosquitoes" and smeared cream down my wife's arm "Only 450 dalasis" he said. I replied "No...

  • Money changers on Gambia/Senegal border

    The illegal money changers on the border offer a much better rate than the banksbut ask them the rate then do the maths in your head or on your own calculator. They have a trick I cant quite explain it but it brings up a slightly lower amount which is negative so you might notice the minus sighn next to itAlso dont get seen doing this you wont get...

  • A bit too touristy!

    Taking a visit to Jufureh to see Binde Kinte (a decendnant of Kunta Kinte, a famous slave taken to America around 200 yrs ago.) It is very very touristy, with people arriving by the bus load, waiting to have their photo taken with Binde, give it a miss if you want to avoid the crowds. Get your photo taken! Visit the much smaller villages that...

  • A bit too expensive!

    A trip out to James Island, costs about US$15 return, and all you can see is a bit of wall and a canon - definately not worth that much money. Take this time to really look around, especially after paying so much to get there. Take a boat trip into the mangrove swamps!

  • "Friendly" children

    All over The Gambia you will be approached by friendly children practicing their English. "Hello", "What's your name", "Where are you from", "Your first time in Gambia", "How you like my country?" "I give you my address, you send me gift" so on and so forth. We chatted with most of the children who approached us, being friendly but saying a firm...

  • crocks

    Went 2 see "Charlie" when I was in Gambia. The danger of this trip is not to play whit. The crocks are walking around and then you get to say Hello to "Charlie" the friendly crock :-). This are wild animals! Be careful! Be carefull!!!!!! Their are so many other things to do in the Gambia.

  • Bumster Alert!!

    Beware of the guys that hang around the outside of Hotels offering services. They are just on the make. A firm but polite NO THANKS will usually se them off. The Gambian government is trying to clamp down of these guys by introducing registered tourist guides.

  • Give your money to the people

    The biggest tourist trap has to be the one set by the international tour operators who get you into their welcome meetings before you can talk to the locals. The fill your mind with doubt and uncertainty putting you into a nervous state of mind so that you sign up for their overpriced tours of the Gambia. Don't commit yourself to any of these, take...

  • bargaining is the game

    Whenever you buy something make sure you only pay 1/3 of the price that is asked. Always compare in different shops or markets.Look around for a while and do not buy stuff too quick. You'll be sorry afterwards Do discuss prices. Euro's or Dollars can be changed in the streets. You will get the best rate then. First inform at the official banks to...

  • This was my first trip to West...

    This was my first trip to West Africa. We loved the country but were a little annoyed by the permanent hassle of the young local people, called Bumster, who will not let you walk alone on the beach or in the city. They will always offer their services, e.g. shopping or tour guidance.

  • A lot of people make problems...

    A lot of people make problems about the 'bumsters'. These are young people and they don't let you for one minute alone. If you walk for 2, 3, 5 or more km. - well they walk and talk to you.Even if you are sitting on the beach, well there are them!But for me and my husband : no problem. Because before we went to the Gambia, I read about this...

  • Some hotel guests had been out...

    Some hotel guests had been out fishing and caught this beautiful Stingray fish (I think that is what it is called) the local fishermen hung it up and it was over an hour before the poor thing died.

  • We were out walking one day...

    We were out walking one day when we were stopped by a young guy and asked if we would like to see a new born baby just around the corner, we went with him and he took us down back alleys way off the main road, When we got to the house the 'new' baby was about 6 months old-what they wanted was us to give them some money, which we did to politely get...

  • The worst tourist trap has to...

    The worst tourist trap has to be to spend all your money on 'tourist' activities rather than on local things. Is it not better to give a local driver/guide your money than give a tour firm/hotel/big business extra profit ? Sure you must be careful but isn't that part of the fun and stress of holidays.

  • The men working as local...

    The men working as local guides may offer to negotiate prices for you. This happened to me and i ended up being 'ripped off' for camera hire (the camera broke after one day and ruined the photos i had taken) I later found out that i had paid way over the odds and instead of getting me a good price the guide had actually been negotiating a cut for...

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The Gambia Tourist Traps

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