is the smallest and poorest of the African countries. Banjul is
its capital with only 350,000 people. The country is very narrow,
lying between Senegal on the north and south. The country is 90%
Muslim. It got its independence in 1965. We took a ½ day
tour of the city and surroundings. Like Dakar, tin shacks line the
road but it seemed cleaner than Dakar. We even saw a man walking
the streets with a cart, picking up trash, and a lady sweeping the
sidewalk in front of her shack. We stopped in the town of Serre-Kunda,
the most densely populated town in Gambia. There we saw a demonstration
of how batik is made.Our
bus then took us down a dirt road for about 10 blocks where the
local market is set up. Most people have no refrigeration so they
must go to market everyday to buy their food. It was quite a sight.
We saw women carrying pails on their head loaded with fruit, vegetables
and fish. Also standing by a well to get water. We were glad we
were in a bus and not walking thru the market as there was a trench
along some of the streets with waste water running through it. Amazingly,
many of the shacks had satellite dishes on their roofs. And lots
of children were running everywhere. In Gambia, it is legal for
a Muslim man to have 4 wives so 10 children per family is the norm.
next stop was to the Catchically Crocodile Pool to visit and pet
Charley, supposedly a famous crocodile featured in a British TV
documentary. The best part of the stop was the walk through the
jungle to get to the pool because it had some interesting plants
and trees, including a giant Kapok tree.
we got back to the ship, the pier was lined with vendors selling
all the native handicrafts. It was much easier to maneuver through
than the markets. Fred bought a shirt, Barb a caftan.
We now have 3 days at sea. Because of elections in Abidjan, Ivory
Coast, there is expected to be some unrest and disruptions in the
city. So the captain has decided to bypass that port. Just as well
since we really didn't see any tours we wanted there anyway. We
also noticed that in Senegal, 5 security guards were brought on-board,
we think as extra precaution while sailing around this part of Africa.
To view more photos from Banjul, please go to Gambia
Photo Gallery. To read about the next location visited, go to
Locations Visited Photos Map