The Wolof Rice Hunt: Banjul, Gambia
May 05th, 2015

BUDGET FOR TRIP: N250, 000 (3 night stay per person)

DISCLAIMER: The budget above is based on my expenses and I would advice you do a further enquiry as to the actual figures. We got a MASSIVE discount on accommodation and paid little or nothing for transportation. Further, the trip was in 2013 and prices would definitely have varied.

My Gambia experience was scheduled for 3 posts away but I got a lot of requests from readers and decided to publish it early. I visited Gambia due to persuasion from my close friend who moved there immediately after law school in 2009. Amidst our tears and goodbyes, I had promised to visit her in Gambia the moment she gets settled in. It took me 4 years but I still stayed true to my words, lol. As luck will have it, my husband (then boyfriend) had been talking about getting away for a weekend, somewhere, not too far away. We agreed on Gambia (yay!!!) and I began planning in earnest. I called up my friend and told her to roll out the red carpet, Yej is coming to town! As usual, I researched everything that could possibly be done in a weekend in Gambia. However, nothing beats having a contact person in a city you are visiting especially if the person is a kindred spirit. My friend helped us with practically everything and made our stay memorable.

VISAS: There are no visa requirements for Nigerian citizens to Gambia and you could fly with your ECOWAS passport. You will need your yellow fever card.

FLIGHTS: The only operating flight to Gambia from Nigeria is Arik Air. I need to get you mentally prepared for this. Ignore the part of the booking that says “non-stop” flight to Banjul. This is a big lie as the flight operates like a commercial bus and stops at 3 cities (Douala, Monrovia and Freetown) before Banjul. We got on the flight thinking we would be in Gambia within the hour or two. As the pilot announced the first stop, we kept wondering what was happening till the hostess informed us we had 2 more stops to go. It took us over 4 hours to get to Gambia (considering the disembarkment and embarkment of passengers at the various stops). We were so frustrated we began taking pictures of the various airports.

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So if you re not very patient and you have A LOT of money, kindly rent a jet! Cost of ticket: N99,000
HOTELS: My friend recommended one of the best hotels in Gambia, Coco Ocean, and got us a HUGE discount on the room. She told her Aunt, the manager, that her friends from Nigeria, “newly weds”, were coming to Coco Ocean for their honeymoon. They were so kind and decorated the room for their “honeymooners”. We were constantly getting “awwwwwww congratulations” from everyone at the hotel. We felt so awkward but had to keep pretending! It’s so much fun being a “newly wed”. Accommodation cost 3 night stay = $450 (N72, 900)

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Other hotel options include:

ACTIVITIES:

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see how slim i look 

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  (I know, I know! This blog is not about my weight lol)

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source: http://limitlessgood.com/pages/what-is-baobab-fruit

source: http://limitlessgood.com/pages/what-is-baobab-fruit

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I tried to “tap” some anointing and the guide promised the crocodile wouldn’t move

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….I guess NOT!!

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 Laks X One of the ladies with the magical hands

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Giving Buddah a thank you kiss.

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Anyone had a near miss or missed flight experience? Kindly share!

“Airline travel is hours of boredom interrupted by moments of stark terror “- Al Boliska

P.S we got on instagram @naijanomads!!! Kindly tag your travel photos using #naijanomads for a chance to be featured.

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