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Kotu
 
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The KotuKombo Beach Hotel Point resort, in Gambia, forms part of the epicentre of the country's tourism scene. On the beach and away from the coastal highway are the hotels of Kombo Beach and Bungalow Beach which are situated in Kotu Strand and Palm Beach by the Stream (Creek) where you have to cross over the small Lower Bridge. Just before you get to the bridge is the Tourist Guide's green shed on the left hand side.

There is another hidden route cut by foot from Fajara which straddles the right side of the Golf Course and down onto the sand. This location is very popular with young Gambians who come on mass in the early evenings or at weekends for picnics & football matches.

The area is part of the Kanifing Municipality in the Kombo which in Mandingo is pronounced "Kom bo" (meaning "the hatred has lifted") harking to the safe haven that they found after their 14th - 15th century trek west into The Gambia.

Palm Beach HotelMuch of the area around the stream (catchment area 65 km) is yet to be developed and is an ideal opportunity to do a spot of birdwatching or nature gazing. It is sometimes prone to flooding particularly during the rainy season because the alteration of the hydrographic network and local topography, in particular, were reported back in 1996 as the main causes of flooding. It is used occasionally by the local cattle herders for grazing & by local farmers who regularly plough their rice fields.  However, there are not many good trails and it is perhaps better just to stay with the main access roads though there is a dirt trail that leads toward Kololi that is free from traffic.

Beach Area:
The Kotu beach area is of a good size fringed by palm trees and the sand is of good quality however, the water is not crystal clear but a little sandy as you might find in other tropical resort destinations however, the area around Palm Beach does have small lagoons. Previously the beach had been retreating at a rate of 1 meter to 2 meters annually for the past twenty years as observed from the aerial photos taken between 1964-1982. In the early part of this century a scheme was executed which replaced much of the sand previously lost over the decades. Water ranges from flat calm to choppy with some delightful little waves lapping towards the shore. It's shallow enough to get a reasonable distance out from the beach (about 30 metres), but then shelves steeply so do be careful. There are waves breaking 200-300m off shore. You will find a lot chaotic Kotu from airwaves sometimes building fast and a nice flat shore break to surf.

There are fruit vendors spread out along the beach front who are closely regulated by the local tourism authority and are under strict instructions not to hassle tourists though this doesn't stop them beckoning tourists for their custom.

Eating Out:
Immediately by the local hotel resorts are several bars, night clubs and restaurants such as the Boss Lady (serving Chicken Domodah, Wollof Rice - open 3pm to 11pm), Domino's (open 24 hours during the on-season), Blue Parrot, Paradise Beach Bar, Captain's Table, and Tiger Tiger on the main access road. A little further up towards Fajara is Elite's Club (tel: 446 4560 - a deluxe restaurant and night club located right on the sands with ocean views).

Kotu Bendula Craft Market: (BB market)
The market is set in a circular shape and lies on the entrance to the Kotu Strand beach and next to Kombo Beach Hotel. It was created in 1975 and you will find all manner of tourist trinkets and souvenirs being sold such as local African drums, ladies tie-dye dresses, locally made jewellery, kaftans and more. On the left hand-side of the market you will find a number of bars & restaurants such as the Jewel of India. On the side facing the Atlantic Ocean there are women at various fruit stalls selling mangos, bananas and other tropical fruits. This is an opportunity for you to act like a responsible tourist and buy some of the above goods locally as the market helps to put your tourist money back into the local economy as opposed to tourist hotels and supermarkets where the most items are imported and profits leave the country. Tel: 9915538

Other Activities:
The locality is an ideal birdwatching spot with a varied ecology attracting many resident and migratory bird species particularly around the mangroves, Rhun palms and creeks. A few examples of local species are the Long-tailed Cormorant, Double-spurred Francolins & the Whimbrel.

Bicycles can be rented just outside most of the hotels in the Strand offering you the opportunity to discover the back-country within the vicinity of your place of stay.

Kotu Travel Information:
If while on vacation to Gambia you need to find cheaper accommodation you may need to go a little further inland (about a 150m or further ) from the eastern side of the main coastal road. Taxis run from Badala Park or Palma Rima Junction to London Corner in Serrekunda.


 




Useful Contacts:

Description Telephone numbers
Fire Station 4463470
Police 4463351


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