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Daniele Besana

The Gambia: bumsters, nice names and haggling

One week in the smallest country of the Africa: The Gambia. With a non-luxury travel to Dakar, Senegal.

by Daniele Besana published on
December 2013 / 8 days / 700 USD 62 Final evaluation
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Legs (3)


Travel diary

"Why are you going to The Gambia?" people were asking.

"I don't know yet. It was cheap." was my answer.

In fact, for less than 400€ per person we could get a package with 6-hours flight Amsterdam-Banjul and one week 3 stars hotel on the beach. Breakfast included ;)

The touristic ares, in the south of Banjul, the capital of The Gambia, has very beautiful beaches and the 30C in December are perfect for some rest pre-Christmas festivity.

But... the beaches are full of friendly Gambiese known as bumsters. They approach tourists (and it's impossible not to look like one) asking how are you doing, what's your name, where are you from, etc. etc. before they get to the point: they want you to go in one of the beach bars they work for, be your guide, get money from you somehow.

They're very friendly so it's hard to ignore them, so the best way we found was a firm "thanks but we don't need anything now" with a big smile.

They are tiring because it's impossible to have a relaxing walk on the beach!

And get ready to haggle for ANYTHING. If they ask 300, offer 100. You're a tourist and they'll try to get too much out of you, just play the game, haggle hard and get ready to loose few euros sometimes ;)

Daniele Besana
Next leg: Dakar


  • by Anonymous

  • Albert Market, Banjul, The Gambia
    Interesting but get ready to be followed by friendly characters looking to get some money out of you. That spoiled the experience. Read

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