Official Tourist Guides in Gambia (OTGs) are uniformed and
badged freelance, private tour guides who have gone
through a selection and training process, and are bound
to abide by a strict code of conduct. They are also
licensed by the
Gambia Tourism Authority.
The OTG scheme was started in 1997 after discussions with
businesses and organisations operating in the tourism
sector. It partly came about to address the problem of 'bumsters'
(tourist hasslers). A group of bumsters were chosen to
undergo training to be OTGs, thus legitimizing the role
they played already, while removing the nuisance aspect.
The aims of the OTG scheme are to enhance visitors'
holiday experience, improve the job situation of the
young, reduce poverty through improved incomes and
finally to reduce the pestering of tourists visiting The
You can find official tourist guides outside most of the major hotels
dotted in the Tourist Development Area (TDA). Most are located at
the OTG Station on the end of the
Senegambia Strip in
(near the Senegambia and Kairaba
You can book an OTG for almost anything from a simple task
like taking you around the local shops, to something more engaging
such as going with you on an up-country trip lasting a number of
days. Their fees are fixed for a half-day or full-day; but do
remember to agree on incidental costs in advance.
They can be very useful by taking you to locations you may otherwise
not know about, revealing and explaining some local customs, and
acting as your translator.
There is also a
Tourist Guide Association which you can contact.