African Update – Spring 2018

Mikael has recently finished training to become an Official Tourist Guide in Gambia (OTG).  He is now a official uniformed and badged freelance, private tour guide and is bound by a strict code of conduct and are licensed by the Gambian Tourism Authority.

The OTG scheme is there to enhance visitors’ holiday experience, and at the same time improve the job situation of the young, reduce poverty through improved incomes and to reduce the harassment of tourists visiting The Gambia.

An OTG can be booked for almost anything from a simple task like taking you around the local shops, to something more engaging such as going with you on an up-country trip lasting a number of days.  They can be very useful by taking you to locations you may otherwise not know about, revealing and explaining some local customs, and acting as your translator.

Recently Mikael took a family of Dutch tourists to t he Kachikally Crocodile Pool , in Bakau. The Pool is known by local Gambians for its healing powers and as a place where people come to pray for blessings.  Many Gambians  with long-term ailments or misfortune go to the pool for luck and offer kola nuts, cloth and other offerings to the Bojang family and the crocs in return. Sacred rituals are still occasionally held here; often accompanied by dancing and drumming, most of the time, however, the only visitors are tourists

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