African Village Hotel

The vibrant and colourful country of Gambia is situated between the north and south regions of Senegal on the West African coast. It has a tropical climate, making it a perfect location for holidays. The African Village Hotel is located in Bakau in the northern area of the Kombo district which includes the quiet beach resort of Cape Point. The coastline in bordered by palm trees which give shade to the beach. The hotel is right next to the beach and has 71 rooms and apartments, two restaurants, one of which overlooks the sea, three bars including a beach bar, a small shop, tropical gardens and large swimming pool with a thatched bar on an island in the centre. There is also a tennis court and regular evening entertainment. Steps lead down from the hotel gardens to the sandy beach.

Nearby Bakau Craft Market consists of two separate markets close to each other on the coast road and is a great place to visit for souvenirs, hand carved wooden items, batiks and beads. Just in front of the market is the fishing port where local fishermen sell their catch along the sea front. Beyond the Bakau Craft Market lies Bakau Botanical Gardens, with a marked nature trail where visitors are sure to see many of the beautiful birds of the country. Kachikali Crocodile Pool is also located in Bakau and is very popular with visitors. There are Nile crocodiles and tropical birds to see here as well as the occasional monkey. Close by is the tourist area of Serrenkunda where there is another craft market, plenty of restaurants serving international and local dishes including chicken yassa, marinated chicken with lime, chilli and onion served with rice. Jollof rice is another staple dish of Gambia and benachin is a Wolof dish of fish, rice and vegetables casseroled together. Fish and seafood are plentiful along the coast including a local fish, bonga, which is often served as a pate.

Gambia's connection with the slave trade is evident in its most popular tourist trip to Fort James Island, a small rock with a fort where many Africans spent their last days in cramped conditions before being shipped overseas as slaves. The ancient Wassu stone circles date back to prehistoric societies and are located 20 km north west of Janjangbureh. Here the visitor will find 11 rings of stones around burial places. There are long distance river trips to the interior along the River Gambia where chimpanzees and hippos are often spotted. Many tourists do not leave the coastal area during their stay but by travelling inland on an organised tour visitors can glimpse a different way of life and a more traditional one to the lifestyle of those Gambians who live close to the capital city of Banjul.

Senegambia comes alive after dark, with many exciting nightclubs playing a variety of music. The hotels frequently have live bands performing for guests. There are regular flights from the UK to Gambia's Banjul International Airport which is only a few minutes drive from the African Village Hotel. Car hire is available at the airport and can also be arranged via the hotel. There is no railway service in Gambia but there is a good bus system all over the country. Taxis are available including bush taxis which are popular with local people.

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