Preserving The Gambia

We are aware that tourism can have a negative, as well as a positive impact on the environment and local communities. In The Gambia, we strive to ensure, as in all our destinations, that the effect we have is a positive one.

Community

We believe that when we travel, we are ambassadors for our own country. We should respect other cultures and religions and behave in a manner that encourages others to respect us.

The Gambia is predominately a Muslim country, so please dress modestly, especially away from the main resort areas.

Please always ask permission when taking photographs or video. While many people are happy to have their pictures taken, others are not, and a few may ask for money.

We do not offer all-inclusive hotels in The Gambia, encouraging you to enjoy locally owned and run restaurants. There is a great variety of very reasonably priced restaurants in tourist areas selling a range of cuisines from around the world.

We also recommend that you use local guides and encourage you to purchase souvenirs in the markets and locally-owned shops. In doing so, you are ensuring your visit benefits the wider community.

School visits

Many visitors to The Gambia wish to visit a local school. However, we believe children shouldn’t be used as tourist attractions. Please keep in mind that any visit disrupts the school day. That being said, if you are travelling as a family, it can be very interesting for your children to visit a school in Africa. They’ll no doubt find it a stark contrast to their own school.

Please do not take any photographs without permission from someone in authority at the school.

If you would like to visit or make a donation to a school in The Gambia, please do ask us for more information.

Child exploitation

Children in developing countries are vulnerable in many ways, including sexual exploitation. If you see anything suspicious, please report it to our local representative. Prostitution is illegal in The Gambia and paying anyone under 18 in cash or kind for sexual contact breaks both UK and local laws, where the punishment is 14 years imprisonment.

Environment

Save energy by turning off lights, air-conditioning and electrical items when not needed.

Preserve water by turning off taps properly, reporting any leaks immediately, having a shower rather than a bath and only asking your hotel to wash towels and change bed linen when necessary.

Please dispose of your rubbish appropriately and never drop litter.

Plastic bags are banned in The Gambia. Please take any that you bring with you home again.

Unfortunately, tap water is generally not safe to drink in The Gambia. Bottled water is readily available. However, we all know that plastic pollution is a massive problem for our planet. Please consider taking a water-filtration bottle with you on your holiday. Fleewinter has partnered up with Water-to-Go to encourage #plasticFLEEtravel. Their bottles eliminate 99.9% of microbiological contaminants from any non-saltwater source in the world, providing clean, safe drinking water. What’s more, they are offering 15% off to Fleewinter customers. Take a water-filtration bottle with you on your travels, and you’ll never need to buy bottled water again.

Wildlife

Please do not feed or touch any wildlife or cats and dogs. While you may be encouraged by locals to purchase nuts to feed the monkeys in Bijilo Forest, for example, please don’t. Among other reasons, this is because a diet of nuts alone is not good for them, especially for pregnant females. Also, when monkeys see humans as a food source, they may become a problem for the local community. And, of course, diseases can spread between monkeys and humans.

When shopping, please refrain from buying items made from ivory, reptile skin, fur or tortoise/turtle shell or any other product that may come from an endangered species.