Practical tips for your journey to Senegal and The Gambia
You will be staying in typical Africans guesthouses. Please realize that the guesthouses are very simple, it’s about having an ‘African Experience’. This means that there is no air-conditioning, irregular electricity, usually cold running water, often shared bathroom facilities. The rooms are clean and the beds have mosquito nets. The food is simple but fresh and tasteful, made from local ingredients. Mostly the staff in the lodges is very helpful, but do not expect the same service like in your country. If you have any complaints or feedback it would be best to give information to your guide or the local manager.
The best time to visit Senegal and The Gambia is from November until April, the dry season. December and January are the coolest months with temperatures at daytime around 25-28 degrees and cool evenings. The sun rises at about 07.00 and sets around 19.00.
The currency in Gambia is the Dalasi. At this moment it moves between 38 and 43 Dalasi for one Euro. There are only few possibilities in The Gambia to use VISA or Mastercard, so just bring cash with you. We can help you to exchange for local currency.
Make sure to get all your vaccinations and especially for malaria! Check the list of vaccination with your health organization. Clean wounds immediately and apply a band aid. Bring band-aids with you. Make sure you have a good travel insurance and we can always help you to find a doctor or dentist when you need one. Drink a minimum of 2 litres a day. Mineral water is easy available.
Wear clothes from natural materials, like cotton, linen or silk. West African people are not very fond of shorts; they are for poor people or when you are working in the garden, so it’s better if you don’t wear them. Nobody will say anything but you might feel a bit conspicuous. It will also make it easier to make contact. Long slacks for men and women is the best choice .T-shirts, blouses and shirts are all fine. Be aware that Gambia and Senegal are Muslim countries, but not as strict as in Arabic countries. Bring sandals and light walking or sport shoes. Climbing boots are too heavy. Bring some plastic flip flops for in the shower. Bring a hat and protective sun screen.
* Leave the big Samsonite suitcase at home and bring a soft weekend bag. Bring a daypack for your daily needs.
* Flashlight and pocketknife
* Mosquito spray with deet
* Something to put around your neck when you get hot, like a small towel
* The most beds in the lodges have only bed sheets. In this climate it is mostly enough, but bring a fleece blanket for cooler nights in December and January.
* Most of all: bring your curiosity, openness, generosity and adventurous spirit!