Celluloid Diaries: Gambia day 4: Beaches, museums, and fishing markets

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Gambia day 4: Beaches, museums, and fishing markets

gambia fishing

This is DAY 4 of my adventures in The Gambia. Also check out Day 1: Boat Trips, Forest Walks, and Eco-Lodges, Day 2: The Roots of Kunta Kinteh, and Day 3: Petting Crocodiles and Monkeys.

Tanji Fishing Centre 

There’s no better place to experience a real touch of The Gambia than at the beach of the Tanji Fishing Centre, so I started my day by watching the inhabitants walk into the sea to assist fishermen to unload their catch and carry it in baskets to the shore. 

Part of the fish is sold immediately on the beach itself, alongside a broad variety of fruit and vegetables. Another part is brought to the beach’s smoking houses where they are smoked and packed in containers. It’s definitely something I’d recommend, but the smell of the smoked fish is so pungent that you’ll probably race through it all as fast as you can. 

In any case, the Tanji Fishing Centre is not to be missed when you visit The Gambia.

tanji fishing centre
gambia fishing boats
tanji fishing centre gambia
beach market
fresh fish market
tanji fishing market
tanji market gambia
smoking fish houses

Sandele Eco Retreat 

Next, we went into the forest, at the edge of miles of deserted beach, to visit the Sandele Eco Retreat. Upon our arrival, we were served baobab juice or African milkshake. First time I ever had one, and I absolutely loved it. Some thought of it as too sweet, but the touch of vanilla and sugar was just the right dose to bring the unique taste of the baobab to life. 

Just like the Tumani Tenda Camp (see day 1), the Sandele Eco Retreat is a community-based resort that is completely locally made and uses its profit to support the inhabitants of the nearby village of Kartong. For every tourist staying in the retreat, twenty-five percent of the generated income goes to the village. For additional revenue, the 4000 people that live in Kartong rely on farming and fishing. For now, the retreat is leasing the lodges from their British owners, but in ten years the Sandele Eco Retreat will entirely belong to the village. 

Sandele Eco Retreat has won a number of awards, including The Guardian's Ethical Travel Award and Trip Advisor's Certificate of Excellence.

sandele eco retreat

sandele eco retreat gambia

Rainbow Beach Bar 

By now, it was time for lunch. And what better place to do so than at the Rainbow Beach Bar, with a magnificent view on the ocean, the sand tickling between our toes, and a local Jul Brew beer at arm’s reach?  

beach bar gambia
rainbow beach bar gambia
beach gambia

Tanji Village Museum 

In the afternoon, we visited the Tanji Village Museum, a private institution presenting the ethnographic and natural history of The Gambia. In the different galleries, we learn about Gambian birds, reptiles, fish, insects, and wildlife, but large sections are also dedicated to the exposition of local instruments such as wollof drums, kora, five-stringed lute, simbingo, rattles, etc. Outside the museum, huts and live representations show us a hint of what life in The Gambia is like. 

After the tour around the museum, the staff treated us to a little performance of live traditional music.  

tanji village museum
tanji village museum gambia
gambia museum
gambia tanji village museum
gambia tanji museum
gambia huts
gambia live music

Goat market 

On our way back to the hotel, Coconut Residence, we made a small stop at a goat market. I thought I had seen it all when it comes to goats (dozens of them walk around on the Gambian streets), but in this place there were more goats than I could count.

goat market
gambia goat market
goat market gambia

Dinner at Coco Ocean Resort and Spa

We ended the day with dinner at one of the chicest hotels in The Gambia: Coco Ocean Resort and Spa

coco ocean resort gambia

Disclaimer: I visited The Gambia as a guest of The Gambia Tourism Board, Coconut Residence, and SN Brussels Airlines. The opinions are my own. 


  1. Een schitterend log met prachtige kleurrijke foto's, mijn compliment hiervoor Vanessa.

  2. What lovely pictures and on a damp, cold day it has cheered us up.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

  3. The goats are like chickens roaming around - they're everywhere.
    That's a cool story about the village and the resort.
    And smoked fish is delicious. You wouldn't think it smelled bad while being smoked.

  4. That fishing village reminds me of home =)

    Dropping by from http://pixiedusk.livejournal.com/319660.html

  5. This looks like an amazing adventure, so colorful. It is lovely to see a part of the world I have never seen. Great photos!

  6. Oh I love goats!!! Great photos!!
    What the heck is that green stuff in the first pic?
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  7. Hi Vanessa .. what a lovely looking place - and am so pleased they're helping the locals as best they can ... the Baobab is an amazing tree - all parts of it can be used ... I'd like to try the juice ... and those goats, and fish ... cheers Hilary

  8. Amazing shot! Looks like such an exciting place to visit!
    Happy Wordless Wednesday! :)

  9. Zeer mooie foto's. Ben ook al in Zwart Afrika geweest en herken de levenssituaties.

  10. Lovely photos - I love the variety of life you have shown us! definitely looks like an interesting and beautiful place to visit.

  11. What a interesting place! Great photos!

  12. Wow, what an amazing adventure; your photos are beautiful. Thank you for sharing at Inspire Me Wednesday. Featuring you in next week's issue.

  13. Fascinating - thank you for sharing your wonderful journey at http://www.image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2014/11/moon-view.html

  14. Wow… what amazing photos… thanks for sharing something most of us will never see.

  15. Wow what an incredible adventure, that looks like an amazing place!
    Love all the dogs and goats everywhere. Happy Thanksgiving Vanessa.
    Dip Elliot and Lynne x

  16. Wow, I love the vibrant photos. So wonderful! You are making me want to travel again!

  17. I'm always interested in other cultures and ways of life. Great pictures. It also looks like perfect weather without one cloud in the sky and a serene blue ocean.

  18. What stunning pictures! Thanks for bringing Gambia to all of us. The vibrant colors and various scenes make me feel like I have a much better feel for Gambia. Sounds and looks like you are having a great trip!

  19. Hi! Thanks for coming by our place! Happy Be-Lated Thanksgiving to you!!

  20. Excellent photos, a different social reality!

  21. Wow! What an experience to photograph! Wonderful photos also!

    Happy Weekend to you,
    artmusedog and carol

  22. Gambia sounds wonderful and your photos really capture how vibrant it is!

  23. Reminds me a bit of Malaysia, especially the fishing.

  24. What an amazing place! Wow, it looks as you had quite an adventurous trip!

  25. Oh wat mooi allemaal. Ik moet alles nog lezen, maar ik begin bij het begin :) Mooie tekening ook van jou :) Fijne avond en Pawkisses van Little Binky :) <3

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  36. Wow! Great. Really Gambia is known for its stunning beaches along the Atlantic Ocean coastline. The most popular beach destination is the coastal resort town of Kololi, which offers a range of accommodations, restaurants, and water sports activities. Kololi Beach is a wide stretch of golden sand and is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, or taking long walks along the shore. Other notable beaches include Cape Point Beach, Tanji Beach, and Kotu Beach.

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