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  • Writer's pictureJane Smith

One Year On!!!!!!

Updated: Oct 7, 2021

Just one year ago on November 23rd 2017, I was able to share the news that as part of four year funding from the EU to The Gambia, Janjanbureh was to receive a share of it to develop as the centre for Sustainable Tourism in the country, becoming a second, alternative destination to the traditional sand sea and sun of the coast.

rapidly followed, five going on to intensive training as Trainers of Trainers (Tots) or ‘Active Youth Trainers’, along with training for raising standards in the local lodges.

Over the last year the Active Youths have been developing potential tours, activities and experiences. Whilst these are not yet finalised any visitor is welcome to use the contact details to discuss possibilities.

As Peter Richards, who, along with Potjana Suansri, provided the initial training, reported 17th November 2018:-

"Meanwhile, in The Gambia the ITC team congratulate Omar Jammeh and team on your amazing progress developing new Community Based Tourism experiences in Tabanani and Jamali communities, close to Janjanbureh, Gambia's emerging upriver hub for in-depth exploration of local cultures, nature, wildlife, and history. With just a few weeks of ITC training, and backstopping support from experienced, Gambian CBT Master Trainers the 'Active Youth Trainers' are moving ahead…”

This was in response to receiving these images from Omar Jammeh

This was a study group from Canada who were investigating the Community Based Tourism developments In the local village of Tabanani they had the opportunity to :-

Create their own traditional fans

Explore traditional cooking

Watch and participate in the local dancing

and follow the Kankanurang

The experience is typical of life in Janjanbureh!

They also had the chance for hairbraiding in Janjanbureh


Return of some visitors from earlier in the year

Just this week a group of 13 Germans, 1 French and 1 Austrian are exploring a variety of activities through NatureFriends International of whom a large group attended the Janjanbureh Kankurang Festival in January this year and some returnees are amongst this group.

So far they have visited Wassu stones circles, Jamali skill centre and womens' garden and a river trip to Baboon Island and National Park to see the chimpanzees and hippos. They are also inspecting the trees which they planted in January 2018 in Janjanbureh and local village Korup.

Ably led by led by three of the Active Youths

Jalamang Danso and Isatou Foon

and Just Act Gambia's Director Omar Jammeh

Another expereience was the Kankurang, in a different form this time, approaching them rapidly down the road.

The person filming made a hasty retreat!

and an evenings typical entertainment with mysterious janbajabally

and the opportunity to join in the dance

All these activities mean that visitors are

  • having great experiences of the real Gambian life and culture

  • whilst knowing that the local communities are benefiting from the interchange

  • with not only the income generated

  • youths being employed,

  • increased visitor numbers creating footfall and income in general to the town and villages

  • a greater empathy and understanding between culture


This has been enabled through the auspices of

  • YEP (Youth Empowerment Project) NYC (National Youth Council)

  • GTB (Gambia Tourism Board)

  • ITTOG (Institute of Travel and Tourism of The Gambia )

  • Read the full story here

We thank them all.

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