Gambia offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy a wide selection of things to do on a nature holiday. Bird lovers can head upstream on a traditional canoe called a pirogue to spot more than 300 different species of feathered friends. A leisurely ride on the pirogue can also lead to the wetlands which are lined by mangroves. Georgetown on MacCarthy Island is a good daytrip for more birds, eco-parks and colonial history.
For those who prefer to traverse Gambia by land, going by bicycle offers a unique opportunity for adventure. You can also rent a four-wheel drive vehicle to enjoy exploring the natural surroundings at your own pace. If you get weary of active pursuits and want to relax, it is easy to find one of the country’s many coastal destinations and beautiful beaches.
African Adventure Tours is one of the pioneers in four-wheel drive adventures in Gambia. You can explore the south on a rugged army truck or land rover t get a better feel for the people’s daily lives and its culture. The dusty and bumpy roads add to the thrill, but most vehicles are equipped with comfortable seating. Tours typically start in Abuko’s livestock market where you will be brought to Lamin Lodge for breakfast, and then taken further into the countryside and fishing villages.
The bush and beach are excellent destinations for quad biking, which is offered by select operators like Tilly Tours. Trips can span from one to three hours depending on the package. Travelers will be picked up from their hotel and taken to the base for instructions on driving and safety before setting off on their guide safari with two guides and routes that include local villages.
You will find bicycles for rent almost everywhere with negotiable rates. Cycling is perfect for the brave because the terrain is varied and unpredictable. Certain attractions are also only accessible by bike.
The beaches of Gambia are an excellent places to unwind and there are a good selection of water sports on Fajara, Bakau, Kotu, and Koloi. The coastline along the capital is very busy so if you prefer a more quiet retreat, head to the south of Kololi to discover pristine paradises like Gunjur and Sanyang.
Interested travelers can try sport fishing on the coasts of Banjul, en route to Kololi. Different types and sizes of boats are available to match the number of participants. Gambia Tourist Support can help you arrange an outing. There are also boat trips down the River Gambia starting at the River Gambia National Park where one can spot hippos, pelicans, as well as enjoy views of the wilderness and the luxuriant foliage.
Wildlife watching and birding are popular eco-attractions. The sprawling Bijilo Forest Park is home to several species of birds and monkeys. Nature reserves like Baboon Island, Makasutu Cultural Forest, Kotu Creek, and Abuko Nature Reserve are the top spots for native flora and fauna. Guided treks may also be organized in conjunction with these activities.
There are camel safaris that take travelers along the beach. This is a recommended half-day activity for families with children, as the ride is quite safe and enjoyable. You can also take music or dance lessons from a master of the kora, the national instrument of Gambia. Drumming is demonstrated by local craftsmen to those who want to learn to play the djembé.