Sunday, 24 May 2009


I know this blog is mainly book reviews and I don't normally post about my life but I just wanted to share my good fortune with you. Hubby and I are going on holiday to The Gambia next month! Believe it or not I was lucky enough to win this holiday through Bookarmy, a great book recommendation website.

We will be staying at The Kairaba Hotel for one week, our prize consists of return flights, airport taxes, transfers to hotel and Bed and Breakfast.

Doesn't it look lovely! I'm so looking forward to just relaxing in the sunshine and listening to audio books on my ipod - not sure which ones I'm taking yet.

I do enter lots of competitions and I've won a few items over the years, including some books, and about 10 years ago I did win a laptop, but this is by far the best thing I've ever won!

If anyone has been to The Gambia and can give me any tips on anything please do!


  1. WOW! Carole, you must be beyond thrilled about this. What a fantastic prize. If you've not read Beachcombing by then, it'd be the perfect spot for it! The shot of that beach with the straw umbrellas is positively mouth-watering.

  2. Well Congratulations! We lived in the Gambia for two years. First, don't be too disappointed to find out that Rainy Season begins about the first of June and quickly becomes the sort of rain that makes you want to build an ark. We're talking 3-4 inches a day sometimes, for weeks on end. So yes, bring lots of books/music in case you are stuck inside. The Kairaba hotel was "OK" in terms of cleanliness but the grounds were nice. There and in all places, stick to well-cooked food and bottled water and your stomach should be OK. Bring bug spray for inside the hotel room and out, if the airlines allow aerosol.

    Oh and bring a small torch. The power goes off in the city very often and I was at several receptions at the hotel banquet room where we were all left standing in the dark because their generator wouldn't start.

    Off the hotel grounds - including the beach and most other places you will be assaulted by "bumsters" who will aggressively try to be your "tour guide". Suggest you ask the hotel to arrange a guide for travels. Even if he's no better he will chase away his competitors and you'll only have one person pandering for tips and calling you "boss lady".

    Highly suggest getting out into the country if you can and going to some of the nature preserves for fantastic bird watching. The saltwater fishing off shore can be very good if you can arrange a good guide.

    Oh, and you simply MUST read Alex Haley's "Roots" before going!!! Then try to get a boat .trip up to James Island and Juffureh (Kunta Kinte's alleged village.)

  3. Thanks Maggie: Yes we are thrilled and excited about it, can't wait to go. I am hoping to have read Beachcombing before our hols, to be honest sometimes I prefer to listen to an audiobook on my ipod while I'm lazing in the sun. I just find it more comfortable than holding a book.

    But that's not to say I won't be taking a good supply of reading material as well!

  4. Anonymous: Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to give me so much information!
    I have been warned about the "bumsters" so I'll be wary of them.
    We're going on the 5th June so, hopefully, the rainy season won't have got going yet.
    The tips about the torch, food, water and travelling are great, thanks for those.
    It is so much appreciated.
    Best wishes, Carole

  5. PS. Are you on anti-malaria drugs? If not, talk to your Doctor to begin them soon. The Gambia has one of the deadliest strains of cerebral malaria around. Not a worry if you're on the drugs and use a bit of mosquito spray, though.

  6. Yes, we've got the drugs from our doctor, and we'll get mosquito spray too, thanks again.



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