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Cotton Trail Gambia

Cotton Trail Gambia

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The Gambia is a country which its coast is often perceived as a smiling one. This is due to its glorious sunshine and fabulous narrow beaches along the Atlantic Coastline. Because of this some travellers only come to know about the Gambia for its scenery and that it’s the smallest country within the African continent. However, there’s more to the Gambia than the picturesque destination that is portrayed. Did you know, the Gambia used to be one of the leading countries in West Africa for cultivating cotton?

 

Over thirty years ago cotton was one of the staples of the Gambia. It was harvested and sales were made based on a fixed price per ton. Throughout time the industry became very competitive and lost out to its neighbour, Senegal. There was more opportunity in Senegal to grow greater quantities at reduced prices. Due to this competition, it’s caused the cotton industry in the Gambia to decline.

 

Here at Ethical Travel Portal, we delve deeper into the routes to see the underdogs behind the country who still work with cotton today. You will learn about the history all the way to its origins, where cotton is still grown, far East of Gambia. This journey will be truly authentic as you’ll greet the farmers, learn their way of life and how they cultivate cotton.

 

Moreover, you will progress and meet the inspirational women who spin the cotton and are very enthusiastic about the environment. This journey will round-up at an eco-lodge next to the enticing Gambian coastline. Throughout your time with us, you will discover the culture, learn from the local people’s way of living and their traditions. Likewise, your knowledge will be expanded of the River Gambia. Similarly, if you’re lucky you may befriend some chimpanzees and spot some exotic wildlife on the river.

 

Trip Highlights:

  • Stroll in the sun on the enchanting beach
  • Handicraft workshop and meeting a weaver
  • Witness the sensational scenery on the way to Janjanbareh
  • Walk in the forest
  • Witness a majestic sunrise over the river
  • Visit JanJanbureh
  • Meet the cotton farmers
  • Learn about recycling and reusing art from the woman’s initiative

 

Interested? Enquire with us today. Want to know more? Click on the trip plan above for further information!

  • Destination
  • Included
    Cotton Trail Gambia
  • Not Included
    Local Guide
    Transportation
    Dinner
    Lunch
    Bed & Breakfast
1
Day 1: Arrive Gambia
Welcome to the Gambia. Today we will pick you up from Banjul International Airport. Then, you will be transferred to the eco-lodge located in the bush wilderness near the sea. An ideal off-the-grid destination surrounded by gorgeous nature.   Depending on your arrival, spend the rest of the day at your leisure.

Included: Airport pick up
2
Day 2: Meet the weaver and get hands-on
Enjoy a hearty breakfast. Today you will spend the day gaining an introduction about your upcoming trip up the river. You will meet the weaver and participate in a handicraft workshop. Here you can admire the authentic and unique ready-made products crafted by them.   Later, take a stroll on the beautiful beach or walk in the forest.  

Included:
  • Meeting with weaver and handicraft workshop.
3
Day 3: Get lost in the beautiful scenery of Georgetown
Set off this morning early before sunrise and make a stop at Bintang Bolong.   This is the largest tributary of the River Gambia. Allow your breath to be taken away by witnessing the phenomenal sunrise over the river. Whilst doing this, heighten your senses further by devouring a tasty breakfast.   Afterwards, drive 300km on the Southbank of the country to JanJanbureh formerly known as Georgetown. It is a small island (originally a sandbank) formed over hundreds of years which is 10km long and 2.5km wide. Likewise, it’s full of exotic wildlife. Here you will rest your head for the next few nights.   An hour before you reach Janjanbureh you will stop at a horse and donkey centre for a snippet into their work. Here you will have lunch with the staff.   Later, we will arrive into Janjanbureh then we shall take a rest. After some time has passed we will visit WASSU Stone Circle. Next, we will undergo a relaxing boat trip on the river to meet the hippopotamuses and chimpanzees.  

Included:
  • Visit to horse and donkey centre
  • Visit to WASSU Stone Circle
  • Boat trip on the river
4
Day 4: Visit Basse and meet the farmers
Today, you will drive around 1-1.5 hours to Base. Base is also on the Southbank of the River Gambia. It operates as a depot for the local cotton and peanut trade. Then you will cross the river with a car ferry (which can only take two cars).   After that, we will drive for 40-45 minutes to a small village on the border to Senegal. This is where our cotton farmers are situated. In this quaint village, there are four compounds all of which are farmers.   This village is very traditional, consisting of roundhouses with no power. Kebba from the agricultural development NGO- WASDA will join you. Whilst you spend time with Kebba you will learn about the history, traditions and daily life in the village today.   After meeting the farmers, you will return to WASDA’s headquarters for lunch before driving back to Janjanbureh for the evening.  

Included:
  • Meeting the farmers
  • Learning about WASDA
5
Day 5: Get to know hands-on about the woman's initiative
This morning you will depart from Janjanbureh and drive on the northbank to Njau. This is a small village where our spinners are located. At Ethical Travel Portal we work with the woman's initiative, who do outstanding work recycling, reusing waste by creating art and making it into useable artefacts. The woman's initiative was launched after seeing and realising how many of their livestock animals had plastic in their stomach. It bothered them so much they decided to do something about it.   Whilst there you will visit their projects and discover more about the work that Isatou, as well as the rest of the women do in the village.   Afterwards, you will drive to Kaur and then continue on to the coast in which you will arrive in the afternoon. Spend the rest of the afternoon at your leisure.  

Included:
  • Visit to the woman's initiative
6
Day 6 - 8: Spend the rest of the week by the coast
Enjoy the rest of the week relaxing by the ravishing coast with a greater insight and knowledge about this spectacular country than what you did at the start of this trip. If you have any questions or want to arrange any activities, let us know and we will be happy to advise.

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