"Our early visits!!" The Gambia by breezywestyorkshire

The Gambia Travel Guide: 829 reviews and 1,902 photos

Palma Rima area and weren't we were rookies!!

We spent 3 holidays around this area, I remember arriving here first impressions of the Palma Rima were "well it is Africa" with basic rooms but functional. We threw our cases in the room and went to explore the grounds, I didn't really want to go out of the hotel not until we had our meeting with the Rep but my husband who is ever daring said "let take a look outside". Walking outside we were met with a swarm of people all talking to us at the same time, mostly the taxi drivers, guides or people just generally wanting to chat. Our first impression was what "friendly people." But the next day was a nightmare, taxi drivers, bumsters, market traders all stopping for a chat the beach was about 300yards down the hotel road, we headed for it but never made it as we gave up after about 3 hours of being stopped by everyone and went back to the hotel to contemplate what the rest of the holiday might hold for us. It took us a few days to convince these people that we don't take taxi's, we don't want to buy, we don't need a guide. And the most important thing is that we walk and we walk alone you will see why when you read further. Palma Rima is about 15-20 minutes walk from Sennegambia which offers a more lively holiday.

The tricks people play but it their culture!

Although we read about some of the tricks, we fell for many but at what cost a mere few hundred dalais about 5.00 but a wealth of experience gained from it!

These are the most common which almost always involved the person finding a sponsor form on their person.

A Christening, a wedding, meeting a new wife, going to see a garden, visiting a school.

The greates one is this one - I am the security/gardener etc. at your hotel or I walked with you yesterday the day before etc. "dont you recognize me"? it happens two or three time each holiday, now remember I said we walk and we walk alone? well we walk miles and miles from our hotels so we simply ask "which hotel would this be then?" It stumps them every time! We walk the walk and talk the talk now and we love the people and the Country we are well known in all the tourist areas and have many good Gambian friends.

After 6 years standards are improving.

November is the start of the season the bumpsters start to immerge! It is very hot and humid after the rainy season and mosqito are about. February is just a tad cooler and can be windy the bumsters are in full swing. March and April are less busy but bumpster are now coming off the beach and concentrating on finding tourists outside the hotels. May is quiet with many places closing for the rainy season but what ever little business is left your being pestered as people scratch the last bit of making a living from the tourists.

It a great place but you got to treat it with respect, it is classed as a poor country but like any tourist destination it not quite what it seems. Having spent 6 years roaming about we see for ourselves the poor side and the rich side of this Country our friends are trustworthy and we learn from them it is a great place!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Winter sunshine all the year round!
  • Cons:Mosquito can be a big problem at the start of the season!
  • In a nutshell:Not for the faint hearted!
  • Last visit to The Gambia: Oct 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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