KARTONG IN GAMBIA OFFERS FANTASTIC BEACHES AND UNSPOILT NATURE. AN INTERVIEW WITH THE GM OF BOBOI BEACH RESORT EXPLAINS THE SECRET OF THIS ‚HIDDEN PARADISE‘. GAMBIA IS THE SMALLEST COUNTRY IN AFRICA BUT IN TOURISM THE COUNTRY IS REALLY BIG!
The Gambia 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 over 11,000 square kilometres. Just over three 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 attractions …
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 „From where do you come from sir?“ and if you then answer that you come from UK, IRE, SWEDEN or other European countries you are sure to have the sympathies of the Africans. For us as travel journalists operating worldwide, it was very exciting to find out what makes the population of this friendly country tick in 2021 and 2022. Africa expert Frank Mueller from Rostock in Germany also speaks appreciatively: „The Gambia is certainly the country with the best chance for development 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. Old age is also valued very differently here, old people are treated with respect.“
KARTONG IS LOCATED AT THE GAMBIAS SOUTHERN ATLANTIC COAST AREA AND IS NEAR RENAISSANCE
Kartong and some beautifully and secluded ecolodges are located in the Kombo South District in the West Coast Region on the southern tip of the southwest coast of The Gambia in West Africa. The rural settlement is located on the Kombo Coastal Road, near its end and close to the international border with Senegal, which is bordered by the Allahein River (San Pedro River). Kartong is a multi-ethnic village community made up mostly of Mandinka, followed by Jola and other minority tribes such as Karoninka and Balanta. The village has about 5,500 inhabitants, is located about 60 km from the capital Banjul and is one of the smallest and oldest settlements in Kombo South. The coastal landscape is captivating in its beauty and a nature lover may spend hours marvelling at the varied flora & fauna of the region and will not get bored even after hours. Nature captivates the visitors. One of the great advantages of this landscape is that even the hotels take great pains to interfere with nature as little as possible.
BOBOI BEACH RESORT IN KARTONG OPENED IN THE YEAR 2000 AND HAS BEEN CAREFULLY EXPANDED EVER SINCE
The British David Crowford had grown fond of The Gambia when tourists only came to the country from time to time. He married a Gambian lady and shortly afterwards took the opportunity to acquire an unique beach property. Yet this idyllic spot is only 350m away from the little-travelled (but well-built) Coastal Road that connects the capital with the south of The Gambia and Senegal.
At first, the beginnings were modest, bushes were trimmed and beautiful palm trees were left standing. The first guests rented tents, after a few years the first five African round huts were added and the occupancy boomed after the Coastal Road was brought into good condition in 2004. Gradually, even a few ‚tree houses‘ were added, and more bungalows followed. The special feature of the resort is, on the one hand, that it is self-sufficient; there is only solar energy as a source of energy and the holidaymakers are here in the midst of nature, far away from all the noise of a metropolis like Banjul or Senegambia. Aisha Faal (picture above), a holidaymaker from Mauritania, says: „For me, this seclusion and tranquillity and the beautiful beach are absolutely relaxing. I borrowed a book ON THE EDGE OF ENCREDIBLE from the BOBOI library today and am relaxing here, even left the mobile phone in the bungalow, hahaha… I really enjoy my stay here and I can imagine to come back again.“
BUBA HAS BEEN THE MANAGER OF BOBOI BEACH RESORT SINCE IT OPENED 22 YEARS AGO. IN THIS INTERVIEW, HE TALKS ABOUT THE REASONS WHY HOLIDAYMAKERS STAY HERE FOR SO LONG AND AGAIN AND AGAIN
In the interview with Buba Jammeh, we learn that most of the resort’s guests come from England, followed by Dutch, Germans, Swedes and Spanish. Many holidaymakers stay for weeks, some even from November to March.
The reasons are obvious, Buba explains:
– „Our staff is very friendly.
– Our location is uniquely beautiful and nature surrounds the guests as if in a cocoon.
– „Beware“ warns British guest Jeff Breach: „The sound of the sea at this resort can be addictive.“
– The beach is one of the most beautiful in all of West Africa and the lucky guest is usually there all alone. Where can you find something like that?
– We built the bungalows so that no trees had to be cut down.“ Buba laughs, „We don’t need air conditioning, we have trees.“
BUBA ON HIS VISION OF THE FUTURE OF BOHOI BEACH RESORT:
„I expect that we will take the standard off by 40%. This will also make us relevant to a more affluent target group and allow us to spend more money on staff, on environmental protection and on optimising our eco-friendly energy and hot water supply. The facilities will be among the best in the whole region in the Southern Gambia. We are also planning organic farming and will plant mango trees, papaya trees and more along these lines. In the medium term, our guests will be largely supplied by our own organic quality fruits. We have vitamin D in abundance, plus healthy food and the almost always blue sky. What more could you want?“
PRICE EXAMPLES FOR HOLIDAYS AT BOHOI BEACH RESORT:
„One night in a tree house is available from 600 Dalasi (10,50EUR) plus breakfast. A night in a sea bungalow costs 35EUR for two people with breakfast. Especially for those holidaymakers who want to stay at least four weeks, it will be cheap. The monthly rate is 20EUR per night. Longer stays will be cheaper again.“ Buba says: “ Since the heating in Europe can stay off, holidaymakers who want to experience their winter in a whole new way will save real money.“
Welcome to The Gambia at our beautiful Boboi Beach Resort in Kartong, located in the very southwest of The Gambia….
Much more information:
So welcome to The Gambia, the ‚Smiling Coast of Africa‘ ❤️
Article written by travel journalist Oliver Gaebe
BellaCoola Film Production UG
email: bellacoola-liefert (@) die-besten-bilder.de
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