GAMBIA RATES HIGH FOR ‘CONFERENCE APPEAL’
Famed for its hospitality, The Gambia is a natural choice when it comes to hosting events. In addition to beautiful beachside locations, visitors can expect to find warm and genial hotel staff with a talent for organization and smooth running of events – thus ensuring a relaxing and enjoyable time for all.
As a sought-after tourist destination The Gambia is also a fast-growing business destination where conferences and business-related events are the order of the day. Recent examples include the Green Africa Sustainability Conference and the African Women in Leadership Organization (AWLO) conference in 2012.
RICH HISTORY LEAVES A LEGACY OF EXCITING PLACES TO EXPLORE
The Gambia has a rich and colourful history. One of the best ways to enjoy this fascinating country is to explore its cultural heritage. From the earliest days of trans-Saharan traders in gold, ivory and slaves in the 9th and 10th centuries, The Gambia was an often-disputed land. In the 15th century the Portuguese settled there, taking control of the trade routes. Later came the colonial ‘scramble for Africa’ – race to exploit the natural resources of the continent. During this time, the Latvian Duke of Courland colonized St. Andrews Island. It was subsequently captured by the British in 1661 and renamed James Island. In the following years, the country was plagued by wars involving the French colony of Senegal and local tribes.
CRAFT FAIRS HOLD KEY TO SMART DRESSING
Gambians from all walks of life enjoy bright, eye-catching fashion and visitors can stroll down virtually any street and find a scene of riotous colour.
Fabrics are often tie-dye, or ‘cuub’ (which means tie-dye in Wolof, one of the main tribal languages). Tie-dye is produced using a dip dye technique, often using local natural dyes such as mango leaf. Also very popular is batik fabric, produced by applying wax to create resistant areas before dyeing the cloth. Many craft markets buy their garments from the batik factory in Serrekunda, a family-run business, where visitors can see the process at first hand. Master craftmen can take more than a week of patient waxing and dyeing to produce their beautiful designs. Visitors can see this artistic work at first hand and learn how the fabrics are used to tell a story.
A PARADISE FOR LOVERS OF SEAFOOD AND OTHER FINE CUISINE
In a country bordering the Atlantic Ocean, it’s no surprise to find that fish is a popular choice. There is an abundance of freshly caught delicacies such as fresh barracuda, captain fish, ladyfish, butterfish and Atlantic prawn to be found in the local restaurants. The succulent and delicious ladyfish, often with traditional yassa or benichinflavours, is a ‘must try’. Both local and international fare is served in the country’s many restaurants including Italian and Indian cuisine. Good food is available, too, in many of the hostels, with excellent service accompanied by Gambian style geniality.
FROM RIVER CRUISES TO EXTREME SPORT – THE GAMBIA HAS IT ALL
Famed for its long beaches and ample sunshine, The Gambia is ideal for relaxation, while for the more intrepid traveler there is an array of activities to enrich any visit, from sport to nightlife through to cuisine and culture.
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