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first visit to the gambia.....

Oxford, United...
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first visit to the gambia.....

hi

i am currently thinking about taking a 2 and half week trip to the gambia jsut after christmas and would be grateful for any advice please.

i am thinking about booking at the Oasis relax lodge in Bijilo - there aren't currently any trip advisors reviews for this place, but it looks nice - anybody know it - any advice?

Is Bijilo a good spot for a first visit? I am travelling alone (female) is it safe to wander around at night alone? I would like a little night life but nothing hectic, but mainly want to feel safe as a woman alone. Are the beaches lovely and the water safe to swim? is there enough to do when not wanting to just sit on the beach, like day trips and things?

How about taxis? Is it cheap to get around and maybe visit other resorts for dinner etc? Will I need malaria tablets in Dec/Jan - is this a risk?

I have travelled alone to Thailand/Sri Lanka and felt safe and confident, but decided it was time to hit the African continent this year, and made my first trip earlier this year, to Marrakesh which I absolutely loved.

I'd be really grateful for any advice/hints/tips you have :-)

thank you

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Bijilo
Bijilo
West Coast Division, Gambia
London, United...
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14 reviews
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1. Re: first visit to the gambia.....

If you survived Marrakesh you will be fine in Gambia.

The Gambian hustlemerchants are pussycats compared with their Moroccan counterparts.

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Gambia
Gambia
Africa
York, United Kingdom
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6,478 posts
1 review
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2. Re: first visit to the gambia.....

The Oasis Relax is the old Phoenix Lodge under new ownership. It's a ten minute taxi ride to Senegambia but you would need to get a taxi to the door both ways if alone as it's a 5 minute walk down an unlit road to the main highway to flag a shared taxi down. It's not that the road is unsafe but single woman rules apply as on any other country.

The water is NOT safe to swim in, too many undercurrents. There are however a couple of nice beach bars in 15 -20 minute walking distance from the Phoenix.

Tbh as a first timer woman on your own I'd suggest staying in a hotel rather the Oasis. You can always escape to less commercial beach bars etc once you have your bearings, perhaps Oasis for the second trip?

Edited: 30 July 2014, 13:44
York, United Kingdom
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6,478 posts
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3. Re: first visit to the gambia.....

Yes you will DEFINATELY need malaria tablets, pointless risking your life on such a short trip.

Edited: 30 July 2014, 13:46
Torfaen
Destination Expert
for Gambia
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1,441 posts
9 reviews
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4. Re: first visit to the gambia.....

Have to agree with Granny, If I were you I'd look for a hotel rather than the Oasis in Bijolo as a first timer. There is pretty much NO nightlife in Bijolo (though the beaches are lovely - paddle but dont get in too deep)

Even on the busiest "strip" of Senegambia I doubt that you would class anything as hectic. Personally I would look at Senegambia/Kololi hotels or maybe Kotu hotels - Kotu is quieter but easy to get taxis and the beaches are pleasant. Malaria protection is really essential. Day trips are available take a walk down the Senegambia strip and you will see a few companies offering days out. Arch Tours are usually highly recommended.

I will be in The Gambia for the full month of January if you want to meet for an afternoon beer I'd be happy to meet up

Rgds

Haydn

Edited: 01 August 2014, 19:19
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Kololi
Kololi
Serekunda, Gambia
Kotu
Kotu
Banjul Division, Gambia
Arch Tours
Arch Tours
713 Reviews
Kololi, Gambia
Gambia
Gambia
Africa
South Yorkshire...
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4,487 posts
21 reviews
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5. Re: first visit to the gambia.....

There are quite a few regulars like Haydn and myself who will happily meet up to show you the ropes on the first day or so or as Haydn says just for a beer. I will be there late November till late March and will be around the Kololi area most days. If you want to meet PM me and I will give you my number in Gambia

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Kololi
Kololi
Serekunda, Gambia
Gambia
Gambia
Africa
4 posts
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6. Re: first visit to the gambia.....

i can show you around and take you to were you wish to visit ,and i can even meet you at the airport,hope you will enjoy your trip,if you really want to contact me,my email is luckyef@yahoo.com.have a nice and lovely weekend

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7. Re: first visit to the gambia.....

Get a contact for everything. Accepting someones businesscard is a gentlemans agreement to use them. And the gambians don't steel eachothers customers. So, get a guide, a juice lady, a driver and so on.... I prefer hotels in the kotu area. Good beach and friendly people.

8. Re: first visit to the gambia.....

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