Volunteer Nigel begins to chill to Gambia time

Volunteer Nigel begins to chill to Gambia time

Safari Garden

here is the second email from Nigel

Safari Gardens hotel in the Gambia

Thursday 28th

Boy is it hot and humid; I was warned that it was the rainy season, talk about betty swollocks!

I awoke at 9.30am (since found out this is 8.30am!) after about two and a half hours sleep, had a cold shower, no electric!! And then had breakfast outside as the rain had stopped.

Made friends with the local cat, or is it the other way round? Whilst eating a breakfast of bread, fried egg, banana and melon. Different from my usual cornflakes but delicious, especially after washing it down with three cups of tea, well I am English and we have to keep up our standards you know! Did I mention I brought a travel kettle and a month’s supply of Yorkshire tea bags with me!

Whilst eating my breakfast I was fascinated with the small red finches making a racket in a huge coconut tree near my table, I know The Gambia is famed for its bird life but I didn’t expect it to be quite this close!

As I write this it is 10.50am and I am awaiting the arrival of Adama from faces and places with whom I will sort what my volunteering jobs will be and I think he will give me an idea of where everything is in The Gambia.

I have just had lunch, local fish with prawn sauce and rice absolutely delicious with a large bottle of mineral water it came to £6.50 which is reasonable but I wouldn`t spend that much each day on lunch. It just made a nice change from airline food and eating in the Safari Gardens hotel is a very special experience, surrounded by bamboo, coconut and mango trees and watching small lizards and the abundant birdlife. Just glad I wasn`t under one of the mango trees as a fruit fell out of it with an almighty thump.

I was joined after lunch by my new found friend; she was shooed away when I was eating lunch!


Adama came to see me and he said that he will give me orientation in the country, show me the banks and sort out my sim card tomorrow, of course this should have been done on Wednesday but I wasn`t  here!

I will transfer to Sandele on Saturday, 3 days later than planned, Adama said I could transfer on Saturday or Sunday and I thought Saturday was best. Nothing to do with me itching to see the place after all I have heard and read about it!

I know Sallie is jealous of the fact that I will be spending time there and I am sure that she has no influence over Air Maroc but I can`t help feeling that she has been casting some spells whilst stirring her cauldron!


After a siesta earlier I am going to have some food at the Safari Garden, to be honest I haven`t done anything today just chilled out after my recent adventures. Getting used to taking my daily malaria pill and dousing myself in anti-malaria spray and I am drinking plenty of non-alcoholic fluids. One of the staff who works here said it`s hot so if he`s feeling the heat imagine what it`s like for a pale Englishman!

Oh well after eating plenty of fresh fruit, fish and rice and with the humidity I should be a few pounds lighter when I go home!

The electricity has been off most of the day but is back on now, one of the guys who works here said the national grid is turned off during storms to protect the electricity cable from lightning strikes, there have been a few rumbles of thunder and light rain here but maybe other areas are worst affected.

Time for food and then an early night so that I can hit the ground running tomorrow.

2.45pm Friday 29th

Adama shopping

Adama picked me up this morning and took me to Serakunda and Banjul to have a look around and withdraw some money. Also went to the GIG farm project and met the guys there.

As I write this I am still damp from the pool at Safari Gardens, tough life as a volunteer but someone has to do it!

Transferring to Sandele at 5pm which I am REALLY looking forward to.

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