Bargaining is the name of the game - for everything from fruit, to shoes to souvenirs!
You can expect to reduce the price by anything from 25% to 50%. Of particularly good value are elaborate wood carvings, items handcrafted out of straw, leather and cloth, African music cassettes, silver jewellery (buy with caution), sand paintings and batik pictures. The Gambian tailors have a great reputation for making almost anything to order at a very reasonable price.
There are also a few fixed price boutiques for those who prefer not to haggle, stocking imaginative African designer clothing and adapted European styles. Most hotels now have a minimarket nearby with a selection of groceries, bottled water and soft drinks. It always pays to buy your bottled water from these minimarkets as the water in the hotels can be expensive.
An authentic African experience can be encountered at the markets in Serrekunda, Bakau and Banjul - but it is not always for the faint hearted. It is truly an education to see how the locals socialise and shop for their everyday needs.