Christmas Day with an (African) twist

Kololi Travel Blog

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Collection of wood-carved items for sale in Senegambia Craft Market
Winter sun these days tends to rank higher and higher on a tourist's wishlist, and the option of spending Christmas Day on a beach in the Gambia almost seemed like the greatest christmas present that was never intended for unwrapping. The long-established Senegambia Beach hotel, which lent its name to the Senegambia entertainment strip leading off from the hotel, is one of the country's prime properties, and its beachfront location suggests why its popularity in the context of the entire country will always have the stamp of permanence. This was the most authentically African country visited to date, and sufficient evidence to suggest that the country, in land mass terms 'a finger in the mouth of Senegal', literally thrives off its income generated from tourism.
Two Gambian musicians greet visitors at an outdoor museum
Excursions are adequate, at least for a week-long visit, and the jeep safari tour, coupled with yet more quad biking (yay!), and day trip options to nearby Serrekunda market, and the capital city, Banjul, complimented the enjoyment factor generated by simply lazing around the poolside, or lounging around on the pleasant stretch of beach. Although poverty still abounds in the Gambia, you can be assured of a warm-spirited welcome, and I always tend to find that, as with any other unfamiliar destination, a small amount of cultural sensitivity goes quite a long way. In terms of local food culture, I highly rated the chicken and beef domoda and yassa dishes, which were relatively simply put together, but did not compromise on the overall taste factor, and since a substantial portion of the country's revenue is generated by the fishing industry, freshly-caught fish is commonplace. A miniature version of a Gambian drum now occupies a prominent place in a collection of similar-sized souvenirs from previously-visited nations, and is intended as a symbolic reminder of the overall sense of Gambian spirit. Considering the range of emotions generated during the trip, my overall assessment of the Gambian experience is that it is living proof that a visit to a third-world country most definitely does not always equate to a third-rate holiday.
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Collection of wood-carved items fo…
Collection of wood-carved items f…
Two Gambian musicians greet visito…
Two Gambian musicians greet visit…
Christmas Day at Serrekunda market…
Christmas Day at Serrekunda marke…
Pure monkey business caught on fil…
Pure monkey business caught on fi…
Delightful stretch of Kololi beach…
Delightful stretch of Kololi beac…
Kololi
photo by: Lynsey_loves_Cali