According to more and more tourism experts, The Gambia is the right winter destination for those who want to jump into the waters of the warm Mid-Atlantic at daytime temperatures of up to 30°C in December, with a feeling of freedom that we are now unaccustomed to. The sea here has a pleasant water temperature of 23° – 27° at the beginning of December. Spending Christmas or the turn of the year here is very enjoyable, the beach is shared at most with a few fish and … only occasionally a few people. There are days when only the wind, the sun and you are at the sea..
Why does The Gambia deserve a special recommendation in winter 2021/22??
The Gambia is the smallest country in Africa and lies on both sides of the lower reaches of the Gambia River, the country’s namesake, which flows through the centre of the Gambia and empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The country has an area of just under 11,290 square kilometres. Just over two million people live in the country. The lively capital Banjul is the country’s largest conurbation, yet offers by far the ‚friendliest people in Africa‘ in addition to very many beautiful beaches and nature parks and other sights. The Gambia River landscape is one of the most diverse bird paradises in West Africa.
The Gambia is a safe and sunny winter destination
The Gambia’s assets are its people and the excellent security situation in the country, despite the omnipresent effects of the global impediments to travel. The people of Africa’s smallest country are genuinely warm and friendly. Again and again, a white person is asked „Where do you come from sir?“ and if you then answer that you come from UK, Luxemburg or Switzerland, you are sure to have the sympathy of the Africans. For us it was very exciting to find out what makes the population of this friendly country tick in December 2021. Africa expert Frank Müller from Rostock also speaks appreciatively: „The Gambia is certainly the country with the best development opportunities in tourism, because the security situation is very relaxed and a Gambian has a very friendly nature. Here you are still welcomed with open arms – and the people are happy about us holidaymakers.
The Gambia’s assets are its people and the excellent security situation in the country, despite the omnipresent effects of the global impediments to travel. The people of Africa’s smallest country are genuinely warm and friendly. Again and again, a white person is asked „Where do you come from sir?“ and if you then answer that you come from UK, Sweden or Switzerland, you are sure to have the sympathy of the Africans. For us it was very exciting to find out what makes the population of this friendly country tick in December 2021. Africa expert Frank Müller from Rostock (Germany) also speaks appreciatively: „The Gambia is certainly the country with the best development opportunities in tourism, because the security situation is very relaxed and a Gambian has a very friendly nature. Here you are still welcomed with open arms – and the people are happy about us holidaymakers.
What do the people in The Gambia expect from the future?
All people in The Gambia naturally hope that tourism in the country will return to its old strength. In 2019, almost 620,000 holidaymakers visited this attractive country in western Africa. Due to the global Corona pandemic, The Gambia’s main industry, tourism, collapsed from March 2020 and everyone is suffering: taxi drivers are selling fewer tours, the roadside fruit seller is selling less fruit and hotels have much lower occupancy rates than before 2020. Restaurants are also selling only 20% of their food and have had to lay off many staff. Gradually, local travel and accommodation businesses in The Gambia are recovering from the crisis and one senses that more and more people are allowed to work in tourism. It is important to know that the sensitive sector of tourism is the No. 1 economic sector of Africa’s smallest country. Natural resources are not (any longer) available, other job opportunities are almost non-existent and, above all, very low-paid. The average income of teachers, policemen or workers is well below 100 £ per month.
High time to draw the attention of holidaymakers from European countries to the small Gambia
In my opinion, a holiday here is particularly recommendable in the winter of 2021/22. The climatic and geographical peculiarities allow bathing and swimming in the sea even at Christmas and the beautiful river landscapes and mangrove forests make ornithologists and nature lovers here freeze with excitement. The partly endemic fauna and flora of The Gambia’s riverine landscapes are of a special kind, as this small video also proves:
My recommendation is the combination „Relax at Harmony Resort and experience the wildlife of Africa live“:
The Harmony Resort in Brufut (one of the most beautiful districts of The Gambia’s capital Banjul) recommends that those seeking relaxation first spend a week at the Harmony Resort after arrival, soaking up sun and energy and good nutrition. Then it’s off to a wooden houseboat on the Gambia River for three days. The combination of holiday enjoyment and viewing the arena diversity of West Africa is unique and much cheaper than, for example, the Serengeti or a similar programme in the Kruger National Park. At the same time, the houseboat is a great way to get very close to nature.
Harmony Resort Manager Cecilia reveals her vision of her Harmony Resort Boutique Hotel and The Gambia as a great travel destination in an interview:
Now I speak exclusively to Cecilia, the owner of Harmony Resort Boutique Hotel. Cecilia was born in The Gambia, worked for years in London in England in a leading position and came to The Gambia in 2019 to take over the fantastically located Harmony Resort Boutique Hotel. It is considered one of the best boutique hotels in the country and demonstrates this quality not only through its location but also the garden setting and goodness of the cuisine. The currently 13 very nicely appointed suites offer all the comforts for families, couples or singles.
The Harmony Resort shines with its location and facilities
British-born Gambian Cecilia has realised her vision of an exclusive boutique hotel in 2019. The stately building is designed for up to 25 suites, currently there are 13 very pleasant suites with quiet ceiling fans, efficient and fortunately very comfortable air conditioning. All of the suites have a nice terrace, and it also makes holidaymakers happy. For example, Harmony Resort holidaymaker Agah, who lives in Dublin, says that „he had an extremely good rest here“ in November 2021. Agah: „When I landed in Dublin on 1st of December, I suddenly realised how nice it was at Harmony Resort and in the smallest country in Africa“!
The good climate of The Gambia promises relaxation and the feel-good atmosphere of Harmony Resort enhances this effect:
The whole hotel complex is very quiet and offers a great view of the Atlantic Ocean. There is a large garden between the pool and the beach, which invites you to sunbathe and also to do yoga or other activities. The concept of this boutique hotel is coherent, friendly staff takes care of the well-being of the international guests. Europeans feel particularly at home here; Germans, Austrians or Swiss are always relaxing by the pool or in the garden, armed with a book. The endless soft sandy beach is only 2 minutes away and you are in another world.
Favourable week or two-week packages make the stay affordable
The low weekly rates at Harmony Resort might be interesting for long-term guests, especially in winter. An overnight stay costs up to six nights from 60 British pounds including breakfast for up to two people in the cheaper suites. An upgrade to one of the better and larger guest rooms may be granted from seven nights. One week incl. breakfast costs only 350 British pounds in the high season (for example January or February) and two weeks are on offer for only 650 British pounds. As a second person is already included, the night costs only 24 British pounds for two-person occupancy and a two-week stay. The low weekly rates at Harmony Resort could be interesting for long-term guests, especially in winter. Halfboard is also to get on request for 13 £ per night.
Two weeks in The Gambia at the Harmony Resort incl. a 3-day excursion to the magnificent flora and fauna of the Gambia River are available from only £1650 incl. flight from London to Banjul and back. If the holidaymakers stay for three weeks or more, Cecilia also makes special long-term offers, for which you can really only say yes :)!
Cecilia’s visions for Harmony Resort in 2025:
The smart boss Cecilia leads her staff with a lot of empathy and the guests are also taken care of accordingly. She says in our interview on 4 December 2021 about her visions for her nice boutique hotel:
„In 2025, I see our Harmony Resort with 20 exclusive suites and an occupancy rate of 70% on a good track. Our main market will be Europe and guests will make Harmony Resort one of the top addresses in The Gambia. We will have a second infinity pool and more islands of well-being on our large property. An outdoor restaurant will also become one of the top addresses for fine dining. And we will promote organic farming and be able to offer a whole part of the food in organic quality.“
Africa expert Frank Müller on this new boutique hotel & Gambia:
The plans of the Harmony Resort are promising and Gambians will also benefit from the boom in tourism. The country is safe, has a very good climate and friendly people. You can also stay here for the winter. This is my special recommendation for those who can afford it and no longer want to support the C-theatre in Europe.
Welcome to The Gambia, the ‚Smiling Coast of Africa‘ ❤️