From The Gambia - a message from our MD

Updated on Jul 10, 2023 by Chris Rowles

Blog > From The Gambia - a message from our MD

Read about our MD's most recent trip to The Gambia, in February 2016.

Late January saw me back in The Gambia – this is our main hotel contracting trip for next winter, although we are already on sale and bookings are coming in thick and fast. I travelled, together with Karen our Product Manager, on our new Monday flight from Gatwick with Titan Airways. After all the positive feedback we have received this winter, we were keen to check out the service once again and were certainly not disappointed.

The weather was really great – hot and dry, with very little wind and clear blue skies most of the time. We visited virtually all the hotels in our programme and it was great to see the majority of them busy again after the disastrous time they had last year, with The Gambia being an unfortunate victim of the Ebola crisis despite never having a single case. Many properties are now in a position to start talking again of making improvements over the summer months - although most hotels are looking really good right now. Tourists certainly seemed to be enjoying their holidays on the Smiling Coast and there is no sense of the troubles that have blighted other parts of the world recently.

Eating out whilst in The Gambia is something I always look forward to, and this trip was no exception, with a new sushi restaurant (pictured above) recently opened at Ocean Bay Hotel – a first for The Gambia! I found restaurant prices, both within the hotels and outside, very favourable for Europeans, and once again the quality of food was exceptional.

Systems at the airport may seem a bit haphazard to the first-time visitor - sometimes taking fingerprints and photos or using an X-ray machine for screening of baggage on arrival may not appear logical, but our decision to use smaller flights more frequently means that getting through Banjul Airport is certainly still much quicker than at Gatwick – a bottle of cold water, a fan and a smile from our Gambia Experience staff will welcome you as you exit into the sunshine.

We came back into Gatwick to be greeted by Storm Desmond – and just yesterday Storm Imogen hit. If you are looking to escape our continual wet and windy weather remember that, only 6 hours away, 30 degree temperatures and an ice-cold Julbrew, the locally brewed beer, are waiting for you!


About Chris Rowles

Chris Rowles, Managing Director, has been travelling to Gambia 3 or 4 times per year for over 23 years. As well as working on the commercial aspects of the business, he had been involved in both charity work undertaken by The Gambia Experience, and over the years has given his opinion and advised many in The Gambia how to sympathetically develop tourism, whilst preserving the uniqueness of the destination and its people. 

Posted in Holidays | Tagged Chris Rowles


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