GAMBIA | Travel Destinations
The small but mighty Gambia is ready for revival
Along the historically popular tourist trail of West Africa, Gambia is a small but mighty nation that explodes with liveliness and colourful character. As tourism returns to the region, after the west African ebola epidemic nearly ground it to a halt, Gambia prepares to shine once again.
The World Travel & Tourism Council published a study on the affects of the 2014-2016 ebola epidemic on travel and tourism in West Africa, and unfortunately, the consequences of the fearful disease were widespread. To date, no country in West Africa has seen a return of pre epidemic visitation or spending from international tourist arrivals. Even countries over 3,000 miles away from reported cases, such as Kenya, reported a significant downturn in tourism during the fiasco.
When I visited Gambia in 2016, I saw few tourists and immediately felt empathy for the local workforce who would normally be making their living off of a healthy tourism industry. Even though Gambia remained ebola free, there was too much stigma built up against the region of West Africa, and the continent as a whole, and campgrounds, museums and resorts were virtually empty.
My time in Gambia incites memories of visiting ancient sites like the Wassu Stone Circles, or historic slave trade points of interest like Juffure and Kunta Kinteh Island, and having drinks at the resorts and restaurants outside of Banjul. I loved touring the length of the Gambia River, visiting a Chimpanzee rehabilitation project and catching glimpses of exotic birds from my river-side hammock.
Being so close to Europe, and an English speaking country, Gambia is a perfect option for the first-time Africa traveller.