THE GAMBIA a small country in West Africa has a lot of beautiful tourist attractions that are worth visiting. Some of these are historic sites which date back to the slave trade and the country’s colonial heritage. In addition to these historical sites, other attractions that can make visitors enjoy their stay in this country include markets and craft centres showcasing The Gambia’s cultural traditions. One interesting thing about the Gambia is that Visitors can watch demonstrations of woodcarving or browse the colourful batik fabrics that grace market stalls throughout the country and also the sandy beaches for visitors who like to explore beaches. The beaches and related attractions in The Gambia are one of the main reasons that so many people come to this part of Africa, looking for some sunshine when the weather at home is cold and less reliable. Many beaches are gathered around the main resorts towns, include: • Bakau / Fajara – known for its stunning red rock cliffs and charming secluded spots. Swimming conditions here can be hazardous sometimes. • Bijilo Beach – a beautiful natural stretch of unspoiled golden sand. • Cape Point – a gorgeous beach and perfect for visitors on holiday simply looking for relaxation areas in the African sunshine. • Gunjur – a pleasant coastal retreat, where you can enjoy the sun whilst watching the local fisherman unload their daily catch. • Kotu – a wide and flat expanse of fine sand serving as a huge important centre for Gambian tourism. • Sanyang – a sheltered spot, with plenty of beachfront bars scattered along the bay. • South Gambia and Kartong (Kartung) – offering more deserted and quite beaches, away from the more usual crowds of holiday makers. • RIVER CRUISES AND BOAT TRIPS One simple thing that everyone should have in their ‘to do list’ when going on a holiday to the Gambia is a trip up the River Gambia. Take a boat trip up the river and enjoy the sights and sounds of more than 300 different species of wildlife. Other side attraction to the boat trip on river Gambia include the beautiful mangroves, rice paddies and wetlands, also different species of birds like myriads of flamingos and pelicans. There is also the likelihood of seeing antelopes, baboons, hippos, warthogs and even possibly dolphins. • ALBERT MARKET For every visitor to any place in the world, visiting the market is always a top priority. In the Gambia, Albert Market is everything you would expect from a traditional African market. From batik fabrics and handbags hanging from street stalls, to pyramids of citrus fruit balanced precariously on the pavement, it is a great place to soak up the atmosphere and pick up a bargain at the same time. • JUFFURE VILLAGE (JUFUREH / JUFFUREH) This is a historical site. Juffure was made famous during the 1970s when author Alex Hailey published the story of his ancestors under the title ‘Roots’. The village was the location of Kunta Kinte’s capture by slave traders some 200 years ago. Today, visitors can follow a ‘Roots Heritage Tour’ around the village, as well as visit the nearby Museum of Slavery at Albreda. • B R I K A M A WOODCARVING CENTRE The Brikama Woodcarving Centre has become a popular stop-off point for a number of tour companies in The Gambia. Indeed, Brikama and its plentiful woodcarving attractions have become known as the centre of The Gambian woodcarving trade. The centre offers local craftsmen and their apprentices an opportunity to show off their woodcarving skills, from roughly shaping the wood through to finishing and polishing. Visitors are also able to browse the stalls outside the centre and pick up a souvenir or two. • SEREKUNDA MARKET (SERREKUNDA MARKET) Serekunda Market is an even livelier version of it is Banjul counterpart, Albert Market. If you want to experience urban African life at first hand, then this is the place to come. It takes a little way to get used to the hectic mix of cars, street traders and crowds of people, but well worth it if you are looking for something special or just want to browse the huge and colourful assortment of goods on offer. • BAKAU BOTANICAL GARDENS Bougainvillea, tropical palms and indigenous plants jostle for place in this beautiful green space perched atop cliffs on Bakau’s Cape Point Road. The botanical gardens are a peaceful and shady alternative to lounging on the nearby beach. If you fancy a stroll, the garden also offers a nature trail with the prospect of spotting some of the area’s more exotic bird species.