Gambia: ‘The Country of Smiling People’

Gambia: ‘The Country of Smiling People’



Destination Gambia is no doubt one of the countries in Africa followed and visited by tourists and holidaymakers, thanks to its wonderful tourism sceneries and hospitable people. This is why the country is widely recognised as the Smiling Coast of Africa.

The Smiling Coast is heaven on earth for everyone. If you want to make a trip to another world as you are planning your holiday for the coming winter, The Gambia must be your choice Destination. Make a trip to discover the most hospitable people and as well as enjoy the continent’s cultural heritage.

Dominik Skurzak, a Photo-reporter in an interview aired on Poland TVN Channel recently, described The Gambia as ‘Country of Smiling People’.

TVN Channel is a very popular Polish commercial TV network and is available by satellite, cable television and digital terrestrial TV.

In the seven minutes’ interview with Dominik, he talked about his trip in Africa and experience, especially his Gambia experience.

Read the excerpts of the interview to discover more about this beautiful country where you can visit to experience the journey of your life.

TVN: We usually interview people that set off to exotic places from Poland, you have gone to Africa but Africa is not an exotic place for you! It’s the place you were brought up in.

Dominik: That’s true I have been living there for more than 7 years. In North Africa, it was Libya. I came back to Poland when I was 14.

TVN:  You say “it was Libya.” You mean that there’s no Libya anymore?

Dominik:  Unfortunately, yes. It has been the biggest dream of my life to come back to Libya one day. I have been always thinking that it will finally get better. Well, it got even worse.

TVN:  How did your journey look like? How did you become who you are today? Where did you travel?

Dominik: I’ve been always exploring Africa, starting with Morocco, the easier part of this continent and then I went deeper. I traveled over Sub-Saharan parts of Africa and in my opinion it’s the most interesting part emotionally.

TVN: And what’s so special about it?

Dominik:  It is about the human, it is the truth about the human. It is the world that we can reflect in. I am always saying that it is the kind of a mirror for us white people.

TVN: And what can we see when we look into it?

Dominik: Oh, it’s very complicated. It’s generally hard to talk about Africa here, in Europe. The real reflections always come to you when you are there.

TVN:  You spent a lot of time in The Gambia. What can you tell us about this country; something that we won’t find in internet or a guidebook?

Dominik: I have been travelling the world as a photo-reporter and I must say that there’s no such friendly country as The Gambia… it’s the country of smiling people. I have been working there for a year, making a guide for National Geographic, the only guide about this country in Polish. It has even won a 1st price for an illustrated guide in 2014. So I have been able to get to know this country extremely well.

I have to say that when this work on the guide was finished, I decided that I will be taking people there. It was not possible for me to leave Gambia behind.

TVN:  You say that these travels aren’t just ‘trips,’ you call them ‘cultural travels.’

Dominik:  Yes, there are not relaxing trips, they are… maybe not ‘hard,’ but they are travels inside of us. As we travel so far, 10 thousand kilometers, we don’t go there to watch colorful postcards; we go there to actually meet a human. It is the most important part of my job.

TVN:  And what stereotype is debunked as a first one?

Dominik:  It’s amazing how people react when they don’t have their own knowledge, if they are possessed by stereotypes. They need just few hours and they totally change their way of thinking.

TVN: And what’s most weird for them?

Dominik:  That it is safe there! Of course, we don’t go to dangerous places, you have to remember that Africa is huge and diverse and there are a lot of places – both dangerous and safe. When we are in The Gambia, that is super safe, I think that it is much safer than Poland, people are asking me “are we allowed to do this or that?” And after few hours it turned out that we are allowed to do absolutely everything. And every 3 minutes we meet amazing people, asking about things. They are such friendly meetings with those people. Totally different, but deep inside they are the same as we are.

TVN:  And if we’d like to go there alone? Without such a guide as you, how should we do that? What would you suggest?

Dominik:  You can take a charter flight; they are popular in winter, because in The Gambia there is a peak season; from November till the end of March.

We can go there alone but Gambia is a bit all about mass touristic, it is main source of income and it is very open so we will be always taken to the beach and it is not what is it all about.

TVN:  And what’s it all about? What is it instead of relax on the beach?

Dominik: It is about people! Their way of thinking, of solving their problems, what makes them happy, or sad? If someone is just a bit curious about the world and other people then after one day this curiosity will become red-hot…

NB:  You can watch this Gambia – Promotion in Europe (Poland TV interview) on GTBoard Facebook – or direct on youtube

by Yunus Saliu