Bananas Bar And Restaurant

Bananas Bar and Restaurant is located in Bakau in the Northern Kombos region of Gambia. It can be found on Old Cape Road on the edge of Bakau and has a wonderfully laid back atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy local Gambian dishes made with fresh produce. There are also European dishes available including grills and fresh fish. Ladyfish is served grilled with bananas and lime and is a house speciality. There are also fine wines and beers available in the Bananas Bar. Bakau is renowned for its excellent restaurants where local people and tourists mingle, as well as several friendly and intimate bars which stay open until late. The Northern Kombos area is the hub of the tourist region and there are a huge range of restaurants to choose from. International cuisine ranges from European, Lebanese and simple barbecues - there is plenty of local cuisine and Asian banquets on offer. Bakau and Serrekunda are the centres where the good Gambian food restaurants are located and are extremely reasonably priced. Many restaurants have a terrace where visitors can dine under the stars by night. The smaller local cafes are fascinating as the restaurant frequently doubles as a kitchen and so guests can watch their meal being cooked. Night-life is vibrant in the area. Bakau focuses mostly on the West African music scene and the majority of night clubs do not open until midnight, closing at around 4 or 5 am, after which many people head for an afra cafe to buy grilled meat to take away.

Bakau is a popular holiday resort and is situated in the northernmost part of the Northern Kombos, only 12km from the capital city of Banjul. It includes the elegant area of Cape Pint and smart streets of the new town, with beach side properties along Atlantic Road. These streets continues down to Fajara where many politicians and successful businessmen live, as well as diplomats and wealthy expatriates. There are many tourist hotels as well as independent hotels along the coast, leading to a strong mix of the vibrant local community and visitors. Bakau Old Town has banks, a post office and supermarkets as well as a craft market that has batik stalls, drum-makers and also sells fruit and vegetables grown locally. The village market is a lively place selling fresh produce, powdered spices and fresh fish coming directly from Bakau's busy fishing beach. Close to the Katchikally cinema is a batik and tie-dye workshop which is well worth a visit and where tourists can watch artisans at work. There are plenty of unusual souvenirs available such as ritual masks and bronze pieces. If you would like to go for a day out, you can take a trip to James Island, or journey up the River Gambia where visitors can spot monkeys, crocodiles and exotic birds. There are fishing boat trips on the Atlantic and safari jeep excursions visit many of the local villages.

Kololi is the neighbouring resort in the Senegambia area in Northern Kombos. There are many restaurants serving international dishes including Gambian, Indian and European menus, as well as bars and shops. Several night clubs play West African, European and reggae music. The majority of clubs in the area open at midnight and keep going late into the night. Some visitors might enjoy a visit to the Bijilo Forest Park which is close by; it is a rainforest nature reserve with 126 acres of forest, home to Green Vervet Monkeys. There are many Rhun palms in the forest park which are also a natural habitat for over 133 species of bird, such as Grey Hornbills, Red Necked Falcon and several different types of Bee Eaters, as well as Bushbabies, Red Colobus and Patas Monkeys. There is a stunning collection of flora in Bijilo Forest Park including the Baobab tree which is commonly known as the upside down tree because of its appearance; there are also several varieties of wild orchid, thick vines and the Silk Cotton Tree. The forest is easily reached on foot by walking south from the popular tourist strip.

Abuko Nature Reserve is only a short drive from Bakau and Kololi, situated near the village of Lamin, just 8km south west of Serrekunda and is a great place to explore by foot as it is only 2sq km in size. There are over 300 varieties of bird as well as many reptiles and small mammals to be seen. Birds worth looking out for in the nature reserve include Hooded Vultures, Black Kites, Rollers and the occasional Palm Nut Vulture. Car hire is available at Banjul airport and the major resorts - hiring a bike from the hotels in the area will give you access to the paths and sandy roads that lead to the many beaches.

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