Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 6:12am
Introduction to THE GAMBIA
Date travelled: 21st January to 4th February 1999
Tour Operator: Not available
The Wassu Stone Circles are believed to be burial mounds of kings and chiefs in ancient times over 1,200 years old. The large concentration of circles have puzzled many a traveller over the centuries.
The stones were cut out of laterite that occurs in large outcrops in this region. A museum situated at the "Stone Circles" in Wassu Central River Division was opened in 2000. Hundreds of stone circles can be found in The Gambia.
Fort James is located on St James Island, a small island in the middle of the River Gambia. Built by Baltic Germans in 1651, it was captured by the British who built a fort in 1661. The British re-named it James Island after the heir to the British throne who became King James III. Fort James lost its strategic position with the building of new forts at Barra Point and Bathurst (now Banjul) at the entrance to the Gambia River, which were better located to control shipping movement. Fort James continued to serve as a slave collection point until the trade was abolished.
Juffureh is a small village on the northern bank of the River Gambia about 25km (15m) upstream from Banjul. It became world famous in the 1970s following the publication of Roots, in which African-American author Alex Haley describes how Kunta Kinte, his ancestor, was captured here and taken as a slave to America some 200 years ago. Jufureh is still a tourist trap today as it's easily reached from Banjul.
Miles and miles of white sandy beach stretching all the way to Senegal. Paradise Inn Lodge in Tanji is a favourite with the travelling birdwatcher. It is tucked-away on a small creek, 30 minute drive further down the coast from the main resorts. The accommodation is made up of 20 individual round huts. There is no swimming pool, though the peaceful natural surroundings more than make up for it.
** Information on the travel pages was correct at the time of publishing. Passport & Visa information applies to UK citizens.