Visiting Gambia in december 2022 #birds #monkeys #nature #beach #tourism

Zayera Khan

12/30/20223 min read

Just arrived in Gambia, spend half the day traveling from Saly, Senegal to Banjul, Gambia. With shared taxis and the slowest border crossing with boat ever!

Thursday 22nd December
Ca 4 hours on the road to leave Senegal and tech the border of Gambia. Border crossing went well, and I did not scammed by anyone!Closest boat ride ever over the water from Senegal to Gambia. Then a taxi to the hotel I am resting at for 2 days.
I can say already now that Gambia seems much more relaxed, and chill. However poverty is more visible too.
I am staying at a small village near Banjul. People are easier to speak with since I finally can communicate in English Electricity shortage a couple of times tonight too. I had traditional Gambian dinner Domoda and Wonjo juice (bissap in Senegal) which is made of hibiscus flowers and leaves. #gambia #tourist

Friday 23rd December
This morning I visited Kachikally crocodile pool; the crocodiles were very docile since they are kept well fed with fish. Yes I also got to pet an adult crocodile and that was a bit strange, the skin was cool and softer than I had imagined. They also had a small historical exhibition about Gambia.
After that I visited the monkey park, where I saw these birds: Red- billed Firefinch, male & female Bronze mannekin Red-billed hornbill, Swallow-tailed bee-ater, African grey hornbill, Red-billed hornbills, Red-billed paradise flycatcher, Brown babbler, Black-cap babbler.

The monkeys were adorable and very much being themselves, playing, grooming, sleeping, bouncing around. Very interesting experience and first hand monkey encounter, as you can see in my previous videos. Close encounters with the monkeys today. A young female monkey ca 5 months old obviously liked me and checked my head, shoulders etc. In the monkey park these monkeys are very used to human beings and the park rangers allow the visitors to feed them peanuts, in order to keep them in the park area. This monkey just came and sat on me several times, very funny interaction. As you can see from the beginning I am very surprised. The guide is talking with me too in the background. Watch the videos in order to see the whole interaction. #monkeys #greentailmonkey #gambia#crocodiles #birds #monkeys #gambia

Saturday 24th December
I did some errands in the morning and then took a taxi from Bakau to Serrakunda as I wanted to see the market. Packed with people selling food items and any other thing one might need. Travelled to an eco lodge is in Gambia, ca 10 kilometers from the Senegalese border. I will be spending Xmas days and relaxing on the beach!
The eco lodge is a very nice, calm and friendly place. Simple and directly by the beach. I hear the waves and ocean.At night I hear the insects, the birds and animal sounds from nature, and I am glad that I made this choice. Internet is not stabile here, so I did not have any connection until now Sunday morning.
#gambia #xmas #ecolodge #vacation

Sunday 25th December
As mentioned in previous post I did a long hike ca 18 kilometers on the beach and in the heat. When I came back to the eco lodge it was packed with Xmas celebrating guests both in the restaurant and on the beach. I find it difficult to relax in such hullabaloo, so I just cooked with it spending time at a distance. A cute young boy at the lodge kept me company for a while, showing me his Xmas gifts and we played a card game. Xmas dinner was a very small buffet made at the restaurant serving Gambian traditional dishes.
After dinner I tucked in and decided to leave the next day. Internet at this location was very unreliable and that also created some frustration.

Monday 26th December
Woke up in the middle of the night, too much food has that effect on me nowadays. Luckily the internet connection was working so I tried to plan the route for my next days; I had planned to visit Casamance, Abene, Kafoutine and then take the ferry back to Dakar from Ziguinchor. But all ferries were fully booked and the trip back to Dakar only possible with car.
Hence I decided to come back to Dakar, spending almost 12 hours on the road leaving the edge of Zambia (near Senegal border) to cross the slowest ferry every again, with long waiting time and craziest ticket purchase (pushing in all directions), waiting to embark for the ferry.
After the ferry, passing the immigration office for both Zambia and Senegal at Barra. First taxi, second taxi, third taxi the longest and slowest car ride in a 7-seater crappy car. At least I payed extra for the first seat, and arrived ca 7 hours later in Dakar. Then the final taxi to teach my friends home.
I literally only had breakfast in the morning and in the car rides only water.

On the highway entering Dakar I saw several road jams with multiple cars involved in accidents, with no human causalities. The traffic situation in Dakar is truly horrible on certain conjunctions and roads. Yesterday I took a decision to shorten my trip and return back to Sweden earlier, for several reasons.
I will be back in Stockholm already on Friday! This long adventure is slowly coming to end. I flew back home from Dakar, Senegal on 29th december 2022.
#gambia #senegal #dakar #ontheroad