Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The Gambia

"If we go to Gambia a week later than planned we can save a fortune," he said.  "The return flight will only cost £24. What do you think?"
It was a good price.  A six hour flight for £24!  An amazingly good price! 
I wasn't tempted at all. 
The flight was on Tuesday 25th December!
I wanted to wake up on Christmas morning and open presents round the tree, eat too much at dinner and fall asleep in front of the telly with my family not sit on a plane.

We went on a birding trip: a few days at the coast then up river to Tendaba then cruise on to Janjanbureh (once known as Georgetown) before travelling back down to Lemon Creek.

Well, the Gambians were the friendliest people I had ever met, the chimps were cuddling each other in the trees and the hippos yawned at us from the water.

The men kept referring to me as 'Lady Boss' implying the women tell the men what to do.  In the rural communities the women worked the fields in the heat of the day; the women and children carried the water and washed the clothes and swept the dusty yards.  Men tended the animals and went fishing.  There seemed to be hundreds of children.  They pay for boys to be educated but girls can go to school for free - this is to encourage parents to educate the female population so perhaps in future years the idea of Lady Bosses will be a reality!

The tourist hotels and lodges had beautiful gardens but the local people are too busy growing crops to spend time on flower gardens.

We walked through huge rice fields and 'allotments' filled with sweet potatoes and tomato plants.  Here we complain about slugs damaging our crops.  There they have to chase the monkeys away!

Here we forage the hedgerows to make our wine.  There they stick bottles in the palm trees to collect the sap .... sixty feet up! The things some men will do for a drink!

The birds were colourful, wonderful and plentiful.  Andy recorded over 230 species - over 50 in the hotel garden at Lemon Creek.  

At Passport control on the way home the smiling official stamped the page and told us he expected to see us again next year .... we told him he had a date!

Visit Cock of the Rock for bird photographs from the trip.


  1. Fabulous - you kept that quiet - sounds like you had a wonderful time - just to get away from our awful weather must have been a treat.

  2. Beautiful pictures of Gambia.
    Merry Christmas!

  3. Hi, Lovely photos. I am off there myself on January 12th and will write a blog too. Can you tell me where you saw the hippos and the chimps please?