11 June 2012 - The Gambia Experience - Press Office
Independent tour operator, The Gambia Experience launches its November 2012 – October 2013 brochure this month. The brochure again incorporates sister company The Senegal Experience due to increasing interest in multi-centre holidays.
This is the 25th Year Anniversary for The Gambia Experience, which has been providing holidays to The Gambia since 1987 and remains the country specialist. The Gambia Experience charters year-round flights from London Gatwick - Banjul with Monarch and offers the widest choice of accommodation, plus tours and cruises – many of which are exclusive to its programme.
Within its new brochure, The Gambia Experience announces how the Mandina Lodges at Makasutu – part of its Unique Collection – have been presented with The National Order of The Gambia, recognising their outstanding services to the country. The tour operator is also keen to add that since the brochure went to press, Ngala Lodge – as featured within its Luxury Collection – has received the Trip Advisor Award for Excellence.
Additional highlights of the new brochure include:
Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project
The Gambia Experience is pleased to welcome back the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project into its Unique Collection as from Winter 2012/13. Established in 1979, this is Africa’s longest running project of this kind. Almost 100 chimpanzees are to be found on Baboon Islands, a group of three islets set within the River Gambia National Park, located approximately 270km inland from the coastal resorts.
Accommodation at the Project takes the form of four twin-bedded, eco-friendly safari tents set on elevated platforms high above the riverbank, offering captivating views across Baboon Islands.
As a working project with conservation as a first priority, the camp offers boat trips with expert guides as a way to view the chimpanzees in their natural habitat (as opposed to accessing the islands on foot).
Other wildlife may also be spotted such as Red Colobus and Green Vervet monkeys, Western baboons, hippos, crocodiles, as well as a vast array of birds. The Gambia Experience suggests combining a two or three night stay upriver at the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project with another property within its Unique Collection.
Since being introduced in recent years, all-inclusive holidays in The Gambia have been well received, as demonstrated by the 4* Sheraton Gambia Hotel. As a result, The Gambia Experience has chosen to price two more of its hotels - the 4* Laico Atlantic Beach Hotel and 2* Palma Rima Hotel - on an all-inclusive basis within its new brochure (although B&B and HB options are still available at these two hotels). In addition to usual board choices a selection of hotels in The Gambia also offer a variety of ‘dining packages’. The all-inclusive hotel option in Senegal is the 4* Royal Decameron Baobab Resort, perfectly positioned between a white sand beach and the lagoon of La Somone.
Senegal Tours from The Gambia
New for this winter is the chance to add a three, five or seven night private tour to Senegal to any hotel stay in The Gambia. There is a choice of tours taking in various sights including the Lompoul desert, the colonial city of Saint-Louis, the Pink Lake at Kayar, Bandia Nature Reserve, Dindéfélo waterfall, Dakar and Gorée Island.
Chris Packham Birdwatching Tours
BBC Springwatch presenter Chris Packham will once again lead his annual birdwatching tours for The Gambia Experience in February 2013. With a maximum of 17 places on the trips, there is ample opportunity to learn from Chris’ extensive knowledge of wildlife, as well as photography. The tours break down into two three-day itineraries (coastal / Makasutu Forest), available to book separately or together, with the supplement starting from £425 per person. Additional birdwatching tours, from £195 per person, can be booked throughout the winter with Gambian guide Malick Suso – Chris Packham’s ‘local’ guide of choice.
Sport Fishing in The Gambia
This winter new sport fishing boats will be based in The Gambia at Sitanunku Lodge - as featured in The Gambia Experience Unique Collection - on the North Bank of the River Gambia.
The new boats will open up new offshore fishing opportunities, as well as river and coastal fishing with marlin, shark, sailfish, dorado, tuna and tarpon being just a few of the species available in the waters surrounding Dog Island. The Gambia Experience holidaymakers staying at other coastal hotels can also arrange day trips aboard the boats.
Lamantin Beach Hotel, Saly
Offering a private white sand beach, marina, spa, and renowned for its gourmet cuisine, the 5* Lamantin Beach Hotel in Senegal has long been considered the most luxurious hotel in Saly.
Closed for major refurbishment last year, the hotel re-opened at the end of 2011 with a new Beach Club complete with à la carte restaurant, fitness centre, and floodlit tennis courts.
The Gambia Experience maintains its 5 star AITO Sustainable Tourism status and in the coming twelve months aims to raise £10,000 for its School Development Fund (in the last year it has raised over £8,000). During 2011, The Gambia Experience – in conjunction with sustainable tourism advisor and friend of The Gambia, Dick Sisman - introduced its Carbon Offset Stove Scheme, whereby for the cost of £20 a new environmentally-friendly stove can be donated to a Gambian family. The Gambia Experience is currently exploring new initiatives within resort to mark its 25th Year Anniversary.
Early Booking Offers
This winter (2012/13) 7 night holidays to The Gambia start from £549 per person; to Senegal from £918pp, both including flights (with inflight meals & 20kg and 46kg luggage allowance respectively) and transfers. The tour operator is offering a selection of Early Booking Offers for travel this winter, valid if booked by 31 July 2012. These include savings of up to £150pp in The Gambia and up to £200pp in Senegal. As part of its 25 years celebration, The Gambia Experience is also running a prize draw, whereby if a customer’s holiday is booked by 31 July, they are then entered into a draw to win their holiday for free.
For more information on holidays to The Gambia and Senegal, visit The Gambia Experience at www.gambia.co.uk or The Senegal Experience at www.senegal.co.uk Or call The Gambia Experience Reservations Department on 0845 330 2087 or The Senegal Experience Reservations Department on 0845 338 8706.