Ndemban; The Authentic Gambian Experience
If you have always been around Banjul whenever you visit The Gambia, it is time to explore other beautiful destinations in the peaceful country. This time, a visit to get a taste of village life is what you need, especially if you are coming from the metropolis of this world.
Ndemban is the place to be for the authentic Gambian cultural experience. The rural setting with its unspoilt landscape offers community based tourism amidst amazing welcome.
At the village famous for its communal living, discerning tourists enjoy their stay in the purpose-built accommodation that incorporates homestay (a purpose built accommodation for tourists in family homes, which proudly embodies the culture and eco-friendly ideas that are prominent with the Jola culture).
Moreover, staying at the family homes offers visitors opportunity to experience a completely different culture, while cultivating new perceptions, and at the same time, supporting the community.
During your stay in Ndemban, visitors run common village errands such as roasting cashew nuts, working with women at the garden, preparing lunch, picking fruits, helping their homestay family with daily chores, or even playing football with the local youths after a busy day.
Sometimes, the best experiences are not planned as the guide is always on hand to help visitors communicate and ask questions. After an amazing welcome, village tour is recommended to the visitors.
The tour, which falls into three categories: cultural, ecotours, and handicrafts, enables visitors to explore Ndemban village on foot or on oxcart with experienced community guides.
At the village, there is something for people of all ages and abilities. Despite having an itinerary, the beauty of the Ndemban Village tour is that many activities just happen naturally as you become part of village life. Some of the highlights of the village tour include visits to the Alkalo (village head), blacksmith, cobbler and schools. V
isitors are also urged to participate in hands-on workshops to make natural soap, Batik prints, and tie dye with the handicraft cooperative ladies in the village.
The workshops also give willing visitors the opportunity to make their own souvenir for keeps or give as a gift. Yet, a taste of authentic African menus on offer is a must for visitors tired of the junk food served in the cities. Hence, the famous Abajorr Restaurant is the meeting point for those anxious for a taste of ‘Mama Africa’s’ cook.
At the African themed restaurant, meals are always freshly prepared from local ingredients. The unique thing about Abajorr meals is that they are often recreated or reinvented, which brings to mind the casual homeliness of countryside cooking.