Kuntaur

Kuntaur is in the Gambia and 150 miles up the Gambia River. The Gambia is known as the smiling coast. Much of the economy is dependent on the river which transports the peanut, groundnut and rice for export. This is where you stumble into a totally different culture and it is a real experience and an education. You will find the locals are curious but very friendly and you will definitely feel as if you are a great explorer in Kuntaur, it's so different. There is a guest house in Kuntaur which is basic but clean and with decent food. There is also a lodge nearby which overlooks the river where you will see beautiful sunsets. The staff are very friendly and they will help you with any trips you want to take.

Climate

The winters are dry because of the Harmattan wind that blows from the Sahara during the winter; but the sun continues to shine throughout the year. The Gambia is subtropical and it is hot all year round, with temperatures dropping slightly in the winter season; there are definite seasons in the Gambia.

What To Do

Take a tour up the Gambia River, it's an experience that will remain with you for forever. On route you will see wildlife such as Hippopotami, Baboons and even Crocodiles. There are fishers in dugouts drifting peacefully. The river trips are especially tranquil and calming. As you are slowly carried up river, past the Mangrove swamps where the plant-life enjoy the saline nature of the soil, you will hear the birds calling and as there are over 500 species of the most colourful birds in the Gambia, this is bird watching heaven. The Gambia River continues its journey westward into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Wassu Stone Circles 2km from Kuntaur are a popular attraction. The stones are laterite, a red clay which has been formed over rocks in moist, warm conditions; both rich in iron and aluminium oxides. This stone circle is one of four groups along the Gambia River; the others are at Sine, Ngayéne, Wanar and Kerbach. The history of the stones is not certain but it is believed to be part of a sacred landscape.

Visit Wassu on a Monday because they have the weekly market (Lumo). The traders from the sub-region and surrounding villages meet there to buy and sell all kinds of goods. Wassu also has a museum and to get to Wassu from Kuntaur there is a donkey cart or you can walk.

Health

Travellers should check with their own medical centre regarding inoculations. Malaria is endemic in the region with the risk being higher between June and November. It is advised to take a few basic medical preparations such as insect repellent, plasters, sun block and something for stomach upsets; you will not find these easily in the location.

Getting There

There are flights direct from International and regional airports in the UK. to Banjul, the capital of Gambia. Flights to Banjul take approximately seven hours from London. To get to Kuntaur from Banjul there is an early bus arriving from Serre Kunda which crosses by ferry to Barra where you would find minibuses or taxis to take you to Wassu or Kuntaur; the journey is approximately 2.5 to 4 hours depending on passenger drops.

If you are driving you should be aware that waiting time for the ferry can be long, so make sure you have bottled water for the wait. Ferry times are every few hours but exact times are erratic. There are also cruises from Banjul up the Gambia River with an overnight stop in Kuntaur.

Useful Telephone Numbers

Currency

The currency is Dalasi (GMD) which is difficult to get before you reach Gambia. Change your money at the bank or hotel in Banjul before your onward journey to Kuntaur. Do not depend on the credit card, they are not widely accepted and travellers cheques are advised.

Nightlife

In Banjul there is not much nightlife but you might take a short taxi ride to Sennagambia where there are many clubs and restaurants. In Kuntaur you may have a display of traditional ceremony and dancing; a colourful event and an experience. Nightclubs in the more remote regions are scarce, but trips on the river to see the wildlife can a more lasting memory.

This location will prove to be one that you will never forget; making memories of a lifetime.


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