Balafon Beach Resort is perfectly situated for guests wanting to get out and about and find out what the 'real Gambia' has to offer.
The hotel sits directly on the beach, just a 2 minute stroll down the beach to Djeliba Plaza strip where you will find a many great local beach bars and restaurants offering live music and a variety of local and international cuisines.
If you want a bigger selection of restaurants, shops and nightlife then the taxis outside the hotel are ready to take you to the bustling central hub of Senegambia, just 2km away (also known locally as 'the Strip'). In Senegambia you will also find a traditional and colourful market which is a great spot to pick up local handcrafted souvenirs and gifts to take home.
Take a leisurely afternoon stroll down the beach towards Kololi and you will find yourself drawn to the funky beachside vibe of Poco Loco, voted Gambia's No. 1 beach bar and restaurant.
Poco Loco's restaurant is renowned in the area for great tasting popular dishes and their homemade pizzas are super tasty!
This is a great place to wile away a few hours and watch the world go by. If you stay on or visit them in the evening you will see the place transform, as live bands tune up and the DJs get ready to spin tunes and entertain guests until late into the evening.
For guests who wish to venture a little further afield we highly recommend booking a our with local ground tour operator, African Adventure Tours (AAT).
AAT offer a wide range of excursions and trips to choose from and have been providing tourists with memorable holiday experiences since 2002. AAT only use vetted and established local guides and drivers, all with full insurance cover.
Below follow a few examples of some of our favourite tours ...
Gambia is a country of nature with more than 500 different bird species recorded. Even if you are just beginning or an expert in birding, you have chosen the right destination as the avian delights of the Gambia are renowned throughout the birding world.
The small creek and mangrove area within the hotel grounds provide the perfect introduction to the country’s avifauna. Here one may find various Kingfisher species, Black Heron, Black-headed Lapwing, Blue-bellied Roller, White-crowned Robin Chat, Beautiful Sunbird, Yellow-crowned Gonolek and water birds, including the chance of spotting a Greater Painted-Snipe.
AAT can organize tours to local bird parks, 10 day bird watching safaris, or can put you in touch with reputable bird watching guides.
Our tip is don’t forget to pack your binoculars!.
Take an historic trip to St James Island with this full-day excursion which is based around the famous book 'Roots’, written by the Afro-American Author, Alex Haley. This trip will enable guests to explore the River Gambia and its surrounding countryside. Departing from your hotel, you will proceed to the harbor of Banjul, where you will embark on a boat to take you to St. James Island.
St. James Island is strategically situated within the mouth of the River Gambia and was used as a base during the Atlantic Slave Trade. The island has been declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
On this excursion you will visit the ancestral home of Kunta Kinteh, the main character in the book and also meet descendants of the Kinteh family in the village of Juffureh. On the cruise back to Banjul there is a fairly good chance that you will spot river dolphins who often like to accompany the boats on the river tours.
If going on an African Safari has always been a dream of yours, then taking a trip to the Fatala Game Reserve, located 12km north of The Gambian/Senegalese border is the trip for you!
This full day trip takes you across the Gambian river at Banjul where you will travel a short way into the country of Senegal until you reach the Fatala Game Reserve. In the reserve, you can enjoy the natural environment of the bush from a 4x4 army truck and get the chance to spot animals such as zebras, rhinoceros, giraffes, monkeys and many other types of animal.
If you wish to take this trip we advise you to check the current entry requirements for visiting the country of Senegal beforehand.
This half day tour, departing after an early breakfast from your hotel, is great for guests visiting Gambia for the first time. A half day orientation tour will give you a nice introduction to what Gambia has in store for you during your holiday. You will visit local markets with a guide, visit a Batik workshop, a coastal fishing village and finally the Katchikally Crocodile Park.
If at the end of this trip you feel like lazing on a particularly idyllic beach then why not extend your tour for a full day and visit Paradise Beach for a late beachside lunch and some relaxation and swimming at one of Gambia’s most aptly named beaches!
The vivid and bright colours of a Gambian market
This is just a snapshot of the many many exciting places that Gambia has to visit. If you have in mind a particular tour or collection of things you wish to see then please contact African Adventure Tours (AAT) who will be glad to personalise a tour to suit you.