Sunbeach Hotel reopens on Cape Point | Sunset Beach has a facelift | More flexibility in our excursions | Titan Airways returns to The Gambia this winter
October saw me back in The Gambia in temperatures far above those that I had left behind on a misty London morning. As we approached Banjul Airport, I was impressed by the green countryside spread below us – a scene reminiscent of the UK, yet the heat on exiting the aircraft reminded me that we had definitely arrived in Africa – only a six hour flight from home, yet a different world.
News from The Gambia this Autumn
The purpose of this visit was largely to see what changes have been made over the summer within the hotels – and I was pleasantly surprised at how much progress there has been. For some it is a question of refreshing tired paintwork and replacing furniture and bathroom tiling, for others there has been major investment with very impressive results. I must mention two properties in particular. Sunbeach Hotel in Cape Point, which has been closed for several years and now reopens after an extensive renovation as a beautiful, beachfront, all-inclusive hotel, which cannot fail to impress. While at the smaller Sunset Beach Hotel in Kotu, the pool area has seen a major facelift, with 2 stunning new freeform pools and a restaurant area which maximises the views over the ocean - with such a setting, the limited beach access here due to the ever-changing current of the Kotu stream becomes almost irrelevant. And talking of beaches, a major project to replenish the sands in Kololi is on the horizon and I hope that this will be underway by my next visit to The Gambia.
Sunbeach Hotel in Cape Point reopens as a beautiful, beachfront, all-inclusive hotel, creating nearly 200 jobs,
while the Sunset Beach Hotel in Kotu has a fabulous makeover
above and below: Sunbeach Hotel being refurbished
Dining out in The Gambia continues to be great value
Although October is officially still the ‘low season’ with fewer flights from Europe to the destination, I was struck by the number of people enjoying the sunshine and restaurants in resort areas; while some hotels close during summer, others remain open for those wishing to experience the uncrowded beaches, abundant wildlife and friendly locals. One thing that was apparent during our stay, was how cheap it is to eat out compared to back home – and compared to other destinations where Euro and US dollar payments have become far more expensive since Brexit – not so in Gambia. The choice of excellent quality restaurants and cuisine on offer never fails to impress me and I always look forward to a cold Julbrew, the locally produced beer, to finish off a day’s work, followed by a freshly prepared meal – Lebanese, Mexican, Indian, Chinese or international, amongst others; where to start?
above: Buddha sushi restaurant at Ocean Bay Hotel
More flexibility in our excursions
I was also excited to see changes being introduced to our excursion programme which are now available to book in resort – as a specialist we attract high number of repeat customers who have experienced and enjoyed many of our traditional excursions in the past. With our new mini-tours and private vehicle or boat hire, it is now possible to enjoy different aspects of The Gambia in a very cost-effective, yet fully insured fashion, with far more flexibility to choose a day to suit your party – what’s not to like? Friends of mine have already experienced a family day out in a Land rover with their own driver and guide, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
above: Tanji fishing village, a popular stop off point on our excursions
Titan Airways return this winter
We returned to Gatwick on the first of our Titan Airways flights this season and were reassured that the aircraft quality and impressive service levels that our customers enjoyed with Titan last winter are back – winter really has arrived! With Christmas just around the corner, and bookings coming in thick and fast, we anticipate it being a busy year for The Gambia; so if you are tempted by warm temperatures, no jet lag, friendly English-speaking locals and a destination that offers a safe introduction to the vibrant African culture, then our expert staff are sure to find something to suit you.