get to know before you travel
Frequently asked questions
Health and Safety
Is Gambia a safe place to travel?
Indeed, The Gambia is a well known tourist destination, which welcomes holiday makers from all over the world. All of our professional guides are familiar with the local cultural customs and wildlife and employed directly by Project Wild Gambia. Our staff conduct thorough risk assessments and safety checks for each individual trip and will provide you with 24/7 in country support from the moment you step off the plane. On arrival you will undergo a comprehensive health and safety briefing of what to expect, followed by day to day safety briefings to reflect the activities in which you will be doing.
Do I need any vaccinations and/or anti malarial medication?
Project Wild Gambia highly recommends that you visit a travel doctor or your local GP doctor for advice on whether vaccinations and/or anti malarial medication are required for your trip. When making an appointment, explain the type of trip you are participating in and the country in which you are travelling to (The Gambia, West Africa).
Are health services available if needed?
Help is never far away and all of our destinations, no matter how remote, are only a short drive from local and/or private medical clinics or hospitals.
Will I be on my own at any point?
No, our work and leisure activities are conducted within your group, although sometimes you may experience being in a smaller group (e.g.: you choose to research an area that only few are interested in). Nevertheless, you will always be accompanied by one of our Project Wild Gambia staff members.
For many of our participants, this is their first time overseas and it can feel daunting. However, our trips are a fantastic opportunity for first time travellers to experience new cultures and explore the unique wildlife that Gambia has to offer amongst a like-minded team.
Is working with wild animals dangerous?
Working with wild animals can always pose a level of danger and it is important to understand this before participating in our trips. You will be accompanied by highly expereinced and qualified UK zoologists at all times to minimise all possible risks.
Are there any chances of war or political unrest?
We keep in regular contact with relevant embassies and foreign offices to ensure we give you the most up-to-date information and travel advice regarding our locations.
Should any unforeseen situation arise which warrants your removal from a country or specific region for safety reasons, we’ll do so immediately.
Accommodation and Transport
Where is the project located in The Gambia?
We have multiple project locations (depending on the target species) but we are based at the coast at the Baobab Holiday Resort (don't be put off by the name, it is basically a small hotel with a pool!) where we have stayed over 40 times and are wonderfully supported by our friends, the staff. We will use this base for trips in the coastal area and then (when people have acclimatised) move up-country to Janjangbureh (formerly Georgetown) for our inland/river studies.
What type of accommodation will I be staying in?
The accommodation varies throughout the trip, from hotels with pools and en-suite rooms (see example accomodation) to more basic lodge style during research trips up river. We class all of our accommodation as comfortable but basic. During our telephone consultation, we will provide you with more information and can send photographs of the various accommodations you will be staying in during your trip.
Will I have WIFI?
While most of the accommodation you will be staying in will have free WIFI. In some remote areas the internet is not available - but don't be disappointed as this is an incredible chance to disconnect from the social media world and admire Africa's wildlife in all it glory. You will cherish this moment forever.
Do I need to bring a plug adapter?
Our main accomodation uses the 3-pin UK style plugs but other accomodation (e.g. for trips inland) may need 2-pin to 3-pin adaptors.
Are rooms shared or single?
We usually provide rooms shared between 2 individuals but this is flexible with rooms for 1 or 3 available.
What are the transport arrangements?
We can arrange group transport in the UK to the airport for trips with participants from similar areas. This allows us to provide cheaper prices and ease of travel however this is not included in the price.
Tours and Expeditions
How large is the reserve/national park/area you work in?
We work at a number of locations, including some of the country's largest protected areas e.g. Pirang Forest and River Gambia National Park, but will likely spend most of our time surveying the coast, River Gambia and other wild or community-reserve areas (even including areas never surveyed before!)
What are the day to day activities that I will carry out as a research assistant during the trip?
Activities include a week of introducing the main habitats/species/issues and collecting some data while people get used to the heat. In the second week, we perform focused data collection which is likely to include boat-based surveys in central river district and elsewhere, forest surveys, assessment of catch and bycatch at fisheries, trailcam surveys, torchlight surveys and road transects.
Have you acquired the necessary research permits to perform these activities?
Yes, we have run many trips and expeditions in The Gambia before and have a good working relationship with the regulatory bodies. The cost of the trip includes all necessary permits needed for research from the Department of Parks and Wildlife Management.
Do I need any qualifications or training to partake in project work?
No. All you need is sheer passion for wildlife and willingness to learn how to best protect the species we work with.
Is food included in the price?
The price of all trips includes Bed and Breakfast with a great, freshly prepared breakfast buffet ensuring you are fueled and ready to go for the incredible day ahead. Lunch and evening meals are not included, but can range from 2GBP-15GBP per day (our advice is to fill up at breakfast).
I am vegan/vegetarian/pescetarian and/or have food allergies or intolerances; can this be catered for?
All of our accommodation and local restaurants offer a great selection of traditional Gambian and European dishes to meet all dietary requirements and allergies or intolerances.
The Gambia is a very flexible country that will accommodate any preferences with “no problem in The Gambia” being a common phrase! This blog gives an example of a fraction of the vegan food available.
How long are the tours and expeditions?
Our wildlife tours are generally 7-10 days long, where as our conservation expeditions/field courses are generally 2 weeks long. We intend to add more dates later in the season and offer extended visits for people wishing to be more involved in the long-term research such as students on placement opportunties.
Is there a minimum age to participate?
Project Wild Gambia is designed to create wildlife experiences for people of all ages. One of our main aims is to inspire and teach the next generation of wildlife biologists, who will lead the way in wildlife conservation. Please see below the suitable age categories for each type of trip we offer:
Wildlife Tours - suitable for families and couples (under 16's must be accompanied by an adult).
Conservation Expeditions - we can cater for a broad range of age groups, please contact us for further information.
Placements - Participants must be 18+ years old.
Do I need a visa?
Visas are only required for stays longer than 28 days.
What are the dates of the tours and expeditions?
New tour dates and expedition dates will be added as additional trips are scheduled.
What are the costs of the tours and expeditions?
The price of our wildlife tours range from £750 (7 days) to £850 (10 days) and our conservation expeditions are £950 (£475/week) (14 days).
Are the itineraries fixed?
No, Project Wild Gambia offer these example itineraries which are similar to previous tours and expeditions in order to give you an idea of what to expect. However, they aren't set as The Gambia is such an exciting place where new opportunities can arise every single day!
How should I organise myself before the trip?
We do the organising for you, we will create a Facebook group to keep everyone up-to-date and send out a travel information pack including what to bring for your trip, a money and currency guide, flight information, reminders for passports, emergency contact numbers and meeting point details. All you have to do is pack your case!
What is the difference between the wildlife tours and conservation expeditions?
Firstly, our wildlife tours are 7 or 10 days whereas our expeditions are 14 days long. Both our tours and expeditions follow a similar first week, exploring the most exciting habitats in The Gambia to search for a range of unique species. The additional 3 days of the 10-day wildlife tour will then be spent upriver (see tour itinerary).
Can I join a Project Wild Gambia trip if I have a phobia?
Any phobias are always accounted for and our team know how to avoid troublesome species if need be. In fact, the head of research at Project Wild Gambia has arachnophobia and has been visiting The Gambia for the last 20 years! Please speak to our team about any worries you may have and we can make ammendments for individuals to make your trip as comfortable and enjoyable as possible!