Experience towns and villages in The Gambia
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Having wondered what might have been going on in the rural areas that attracted tourists to the country to always engage on inland tour and go round towns and villages in The Gambia during their holiday here, I decided, too, and embarked on a week tour of our towns and villages as it is better experienced than imagined.
traveling for pleasure and business exploration. Pleasure traveling and
business exploration is not necessarily mean to be in outside ones country or
limited it to the visitors or ‘toubab’-westerners alone. Many times we think it
is the westerners only that are interested in going to other peoples’ land or
that can visit other people’s land and destination.
Since tourism is also leisure traveling, it is better that ones unwind through this by using the opportunity to know more about this our precious country, Gambia, by taking time to explore it for business development purpose among other things and as well know why the country is called the Smiling Coast of Africa.
Some people do not know about Gambia diversity, the beauty of the landscapes or even its culture and people. We all proud of our tradition, custom, and norms of our society still not everyone can explain and differentiate between all the tradition, custom, and norms of our land and how they come to be. This among other things is what the westerners are here to learn, enjoy and take along with them.
Villages and towns are the best place to learn about culture and tradition. So also it is at the village you can have better research work. Town and village are the best place where eco tourists can enjoy their holidays. In similar vein, villages and towns are among good places to enjoy and know more about community and cultural tourisms.
always ready to take their visitors round in order to show them nook and crane
of their settlement and give them full lesson about the history of the land as
regarding the village during your visit. Sometimes, as a citizen they are
astonished to know that almost all your youthful time is spends in the city
without knowing some important villages and towns’ histories or ever been
Typical example is that most people only hear and read about our villages and towns through the television and in the newspapers. Frankly, there are some residents in the capital city that have never been to museum or ready to learn about the Gambia rather they are interested only in western cultures and ideas.
The heritage sites are not meant for the westerners only as you can at least choose a site to visit once a year during your annual holiday. Our towns and villages are endowed with different opportunities that can never be completely explored by some group of people on their visit to them. The retired westerners are making use of this great opportunities avail them as you can see majority of them engages in different things to benefit them and the community they stay as far as responsible tourism is concerned.
the home of hospitality be you fellow country-people from the city, African or
western tourists your visit to any of the village in the Gambia is recognize as
you will be treated like a king and queen. You will receive a heart warming and
generous reception, the people will take you immediately as part of the family.
Everyone will come out happily and cheerfully to welcome and greet you
differently as you will be surrounded by both young and old expecting you to
tell them about yourself, where you come from and about your journey.
In the other hand they are ready to answer all your questions, take you round the village to show you some important places. At night different activities are organize to teach you the culture and tradition of the village. Therefore the village generous reception is incomparable because villagers are genuinely pleased to received visitors more than any other places in the world.
Life in the
village is quite different, enjoyable and interesting more than in the city.
This is due to the fact that villages are not overcrowded like the city; it is
free of hullabaloo and hanky-panky of the youth.It is in the village you will get everything you want fresh.
Stay two or three nights or more in any village in the Gambia and experience
what community or cultural tourisms is all about.
Everyone is always looking forward for the night as it is always time for gathering in each household to share ideas, know about the visitors and strangers better. Same at night in the village everyone assemble in the courtyard listen to the story from the head of the family after prayer and dinner. In some compounds they will bring the television out in the courtyard as everyone sit in front of it to watch a special, educative and interesting program. So also, especially in the weekend, night is always for some village culturally activities.
are among the treasures that we have to cherish; they need development and
constant patronize. Each time you spend in the village is always memorable as
it will last long before getting off the experience from your mind. Again,
inland tour is part of ways to promote domestic tourism during the off season
in the Gambia.
Domestic tourism which is also related to inbound tourism is limited not on to the citizens of the country but all residents which includes citizens and non-citizens alike. This type of tourism is not very much popular here in the Gambia and this is due to inadequate knowledge of the residents about tourism.
All things been equal, domestic tourism should be encouraged not only by the government, but with the help of individuals, institutions among others. This is because domestic tourism can be promoted through event tourism; that is to organize event in some far villages for everyone to attend.
Author: Yunus Saliu