A mix of questions, answers and tips on packing for a holiday to The Gambia
When embarking on my first trip to The Gambia, I asked a lot of colleagues and friends who’d been before about what’s best to take – from clothing and shoes to travel adaptors and gadgets. So in this blog post I hope to impart some of my questions and answers as to what’s best to pack when going on holiday to The Gambia. If you can think of any more questions you’d like answered, please comment below.
What sort of clothes should I pack?
A question which I asked numerous people, as I knew the country as fairly conservative and wanted to make sure I was appropriately dressed – yet still able to catch a tan. In the most part, I packed my usual holiday wardrobe: bikini, strappy tops, evening dresses and skirts, but I also added ¾ length linen trousers, and a couple of long skirts and t-shirts with capped sleeves, so depending on the day’s itinerary, I had something a little more appropriate to walk around in (plus it kept the sun off my high risk burn areas which was handy). It’s also a good idea to have a pair of comfortable shoes for if you’re off out exploring wildlife for the day or doing a lot of walking.
Wildlife in The Gambia. Image credit: Daniel Hocheimy
Travel adaptors… which, if any will I need?
The hotel that I stayed in, Kombo Beach, has 3-pin sockets so I didn’t need a travel adaptor at all. I did take one along with me just in case, and it’s worth noting that some of the hotels in The Gambia do have European fittings, so my advice would be that it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Aerial view of Kombo Beach Hotel, Kotu
Currency – what is it and where can I get it?
Across the whole of The Gambia, the currency is Gambian Dalasi. You’ll find that they widely accept Sterling, Euros and US dollars; however you tend to get a better deal if you’re buying with local tender. The best way to exchange your money is to wait until you’re there, then head down to one of the legitimate currency exchange shops. These are easy to find and there are plenty of them dotted around, plus you’ll get a much better rate than exchanging in the UK. If you don’t spot any, ask the hotel staff or your rep, and they can direct you to the closest bureaux de change.
Leave some room in your suitcase
As easy as it is to go overboard packing shoes and clothes (half of which, like me, you probably won’t even wear), one of my top holiday packing tips is, be sure to leave some room for African themed souvenirs. I’m glad I did, as one afternoon I went along to one of the local craft markets to buy a traditional handmade wooden mask, and a sculpture of this ever present little character:
It’s great fun to haggle with the local stall owners, and if you do decide to move on without buying anything, they will let you go on your way without hassle.
Hopefully, this information will give you a little more clarity on what to pack for a holiday to The Gambia. If you’re looking to book your African escape, visit Gambia.co.uk.
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