I’m extremely excited to be attending a blog trip with The Gambia Experience from the 26 – 30th April 2013. It promises to be an amazing trip to a part of Africa that I have not visited before and which happens to be the smallest mainland country on the continent.
I’m looking forward to meeting the talented and creative bloggers that are attending and the whole experience should be very special. The internet will be slightly limited during the visit but I hope you will choose to follow our adventures on Twitter and Instagram using the #BlogGambia hashtag as we’ll all post whenever possible.
The cool Attendees:
Kathryn Burrington Twitter – @GambiaXperience
Simon Falvo Twitter – @1step2theleft
Jaillan Yehia Twitter – @SavoirThere
Jayne Gorman Twitter – @jayneytravels
Monica Stott Twitter – @TheTravelHack
Tom Warburton @TomWarbie on behalf of BaldHiker
We’ll be arriving late afternoon and am already looking forward to settling in at the incredible Mandina Lodges in Makasutu Forest before spending sometime exploring the local area.
“The Mandina Lodges at Makasutu Forest offer unique and striking accommodation, situated on a mangrove-clothed tributary of the River Gambia in the heart of the African bush and provide an upmarket experience in the wilderness”.
Saturday 27th April
am – After a welcome breakfast we’ll be visiting Kanuma to see ‘light up a village project’ and a traditional kumpo. We’ll then return early afternoon, so there will be plenty of free time to explore Makasutu.
Sunday 28th April – A completely free day to explore the area around Makasutu. That’s right you read correctly a whole day to explore under our own arrangements. Some assistance from the hotel guides is probably advisable though!
Monday 29th April
am – We’re all going cooking and I’m really looking forward to experiencing a cooking course with local woman and chef Ida. We’ll start by visiting the local fish market to buy some things to prepare lunch. Once at Ida’s we’ll be helping with preparing, cooking and then provided it appears edible eating our lunch.
I am really excited about meeting Ida as she sounds quite a character and will be able to explain about the culture in The Gambia in an informative and entertaining manner.
Provided we survive our culinary attempts a taxi will collect us for our return trip to the lodges. A visit to Brikama market has been recommended before returning to Mandina as it is very different from the fish market we visited earlier.
Tuesday 30th April
am – Free time! Additionally there is the possibility of a visit to a local school in Brikama. This school has close connections to The Gambia Experience and has recently benefited from a generous £1,000 donation from them.
The majority of attendees will begin to depart during the day but I will be staying for a further 7 days under my own arrangements.
1st to 7th May
I have already contacted several agencies and there will be opportunities to visit a number of volunteering projects in the area. I am particularly keen to visit some community projects arranged by People and Places and Adam Bah of Responsible Tourism. There isn’t a planned itinerary and I will be travelling independently but there should still be plenty of opportunities to make some exciting discoveries.
Gambia Experience is still providing my accommodation as follows:
1st – 3rd May Ngala Lodge Boutique – “From its magnificent elevated setting, the lodge combines individual character with a highly personalised service in a relaxed and friendly environment. We believe its recent Trip Advisor Award for Excellence is well deserved”.
4th – 7th May Coco Ocean Resort & Spa – “This superb beachfront property with its professional spa and wide choice of room upgrades offers an oasis of luxury for a truly memorable holiday”.
I am very excited to visit The Gambia, it appears to be a very colourful destination and should provide some stunning photographic opportunities. Please follow our adventure on #BlogGambia you won’t regret it!