The Gambia

Home Page The Gambia The People Faces of West Africa Senegal Ngor Island Our Paradise Island The Pink Lake Culture and Arts Kachikally Museum Art and Crafts The Markets Africa's Dark Past Goree Island Juffureh Village James Island Contact Us Guestbook

First Impressions - A Beautiful Country

The Gambia is a country with a wonderful mix of old world and new world. In some areas you find very modern buildings and large, beautiful homes with many modern conveniences. In the capital city of Banjul, you will see modern office buildings and paved streets, as well as sections that look like they are almost untouched by the 21st Century. I say "almost" because the modern world has made its imprint with internet cafes, video rooms (kind of like a movie theatre except they watch Gambian movies on televisions in small rooms), and Playstation rooms. There, children (of all ages) delight themselves in the action of the most popular video games. There was a Playstation room on the block where we lived with a packed house no matter what time we passed by. Many main streets are paved, while others are not; and cars may have to go around a donkey-pulled cart every now and then. But it is the duality of old and new that adds to the beauty of the Country.

I love any place near the water, so one of the first places I visted was the ocean. This is one of the beaches in Bakau, about 15 minutes from the Gambia's capitol city Banjul.

Fishing is a major livelihood for many. Here the men prepare their nets for the next day's catch. Notice the decorative colors of the boats, inside and out.

Fishing canoes line the beautiful beach and some are moored just off shore. The men will swim out to them when it's time to fish again.

A fisherman shows us some of his catch and then tries to sell them to us. I really wanted this big red snapper.

But I wouldn't have known what to do with this barracuda. They catch many different kinds of fish, crab, shrimp, and oysters.

A fishing boat is returning. Women and others will rush down to be first to fill their buckets with fish.

Here, they are trying to get the boat ashore.

And speaking of fish...the boats bring back all kinds. The cargo space in a canoe can hold lots of fish.

That's me enjoying the shade of this palm tree on our way to another beautiful beach in an area called Senegambia. Did I mention how hot it was! I brought all the wrong clothes!

Actually Senegambia is the name of the area's first resort hotel, then the whole community adopted the name. Indulge me with a few pictures of this gorgeous beach.

The water was almost crystal clear and the beach bright and clean. I could still see my feet in the water going out quite far.

It was mesmerizing watching the waves rush on shore, and with the horizon beyond, I felt like I was at the edge of the world.

Here you can see some of the tourists who stay at the several hotels here. It is ususally colder this time of year so they're really enjoying this heat wave.

The Gambia River is like an ocean, it's huge. We had great fun crossing it on the Ferry.

Here, also is a good look at some of the Gambian People. They crowd onto the Ferry with cars, carts, goods and animals.

Just getting on was an experience. Everyone is in a hurry to get a seat. We would go as high as we could because the view was priceless!

They crowded all that they could onto the ferry. The words "filled to capacity" did not exist.

You could also take a canoe across. It cost more than the ferry but was much faster. These canoes had outboard motors.

Another ship on the River travels near. Isn't the water beautiful.

They carried everything on the ferry; cars, trucks, goods going to market, animals, and lots of people.