Top 10 tips for being a responsible visitor in The Gambia

Updated on May 08, 2017 by Kathryn Burrington

Blog > Top 10 tips for being a responsible visitor in The Gambia

Not everyone realises how easy it can be to make a few small changes to your habits to become a more responsible traveller. Here are our top ten tips for holidaying responsibly in The Gambia.

Top 10 Responsible Tourism Tips

1. Learn the Local Language

While English is commonly spoken in the resort areas, locals will always be pleased if you make an effort to speak even a few words in their language. In The Gambia there are several local languages including Mandinka, Wolof, Fula and Jola.

Here are a few common phrases used in The Gambia:

English Mandinka Wolof
Thank you Abaraka Jerejef
Hello Asalamu Alikum A Salamu Alikum
How are you? Heraba / I be di? Na Nga Def?
Good Morning Hera Laata Jamangen Fanaan
Good Evening I Wuraara Jamangen Enddu
Goodbye Fo Waati Koteng Ci Jamma
Today Bee Tey
Tonight Bii Suutoo Ci Gudi Gii
How Much Jelu? Nyaatala?
What is your name? I Ton Ndii? Na Ka Nga Tudda?


2. Learn about and respect local culture

Familiarise yourself with the local culture and traditions. The Gambia is predominately a Muslim country so please dress modestly, especially away from the main resort areas. If a local festival is happening while you are there, take an interest and even join in. And be sure to try some local cuisine. Find out more about traditional food and drink in The Gambia here.

Fish Benechin in The Gambia


3. Respect the Environment and Wildlife

Act responsibly to protect the natural beauty and wildlife for future generations to enjoy. Never feed wild animals, including monkeys. There are many reasons why this should be discouraged, just one being that the monkeys come to see humans as a food source and become a problem for the local community.

Green Vervet monkeys in The Gambia - Top 10 tips for being a responsible visitor in The Gambia - please don't feed the monkeys


4. Taking photographs of people

For various reasons not everyone in The Gambia likes having their photograph taken so please respect this and always ask permission before taking a photograph.

Top 10 tips for being a responsible visitor in The Gambia - please ask befire taking someone's photo


5. Noise Pollution

Respect other guests and locals by keeping noise levels to a minimum at night.


6. Spend Your Money Wisely

Make sure your money benefits the wider community by buying local products, using local services and eating in local restaurants. When shopping please refrain from buying items made from ivory, reptile skin, fur or tortoise/turtle shell or any other product that may be sourced from an endangered species.

Shopping in the craft markets in The Gambia


7. Preserve Energy

Save energy and the environment by turning off lights, air-conditioning and electrical items when not needed.


8. Preserve Water

Water is often taken for granted in the western world but it’s important to avoid waste when on holiday in The Gambia. Please help preserve supplies by:

  • Only leaving dirty towels and laundry on the floor for washing.
  • Turn off dripping taps.
  • Using a basin of water with a plug rather than a running tap.
  • Having a shower instead of bathing in a full tub.
  • Reporting any leaks immediately.

Children colecting water in The Gambia


9. Minimise rubbish

Always dispose of rubbish appropriately. Litter not only looks unpleasant but can also attract vermin and be potentially dangerous to wildlife and people. Plastic bags have now been banned in The Gambia so please make sure you take any you bring into the country home with you again.


10. End Child Sex Exploitation

This is a problem in many developing countries, so we ask you to report to your representative anything that you consider to be suspicious. All prostitution is illegal and paying anyone under 18 in cash or kind for sexual contact is punishable by both local (14 years imprisonment) and UK laws.    



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