Travelling With Children
Child friendly hotels
on holiday to The Gambia with small children and babies can be
difficult at the best of times. There are issues involving air
travel, hotel accommodation and that you should consider prior
to your departure, while en-route and during your stay.
Flying with children to Gambia who are under 2 can be really tough
going on any parent, despite their reduced air fares, especially
when you consider that it's about six hours of flight time from
the UK, when they are liable to throw a tantrum.
On & Pre-Flight Suggestions
• If you are travelling with a baby, arrange a bassinette or hanging
• Ask for seats near an exit or bulkhead seats, to provide your
child a safe space to play on the floor.
• Arrange in advance for kid's meals.
• If you are a lone travelling parent, ask the airline if they
can arrange airline assistance for boarding and un-boarding at
various stops, and at Banjul Airport.
• Do pack their their small toys, computer games, books etc. in
your hand luggage.
• After boarding the aircraft encourage your child to drink lots
of fluids to reduce the risk of dehydration.
• Put brightly coloured clothes on you kids so they can easily
be seen in a crowded airport.
• Your child's ears might hurt due to cabin pressure changes during
take-off and landing, so get them to drink or eat something during
those times. Failing that give them a candy.
• Finally do ask your travel agent or friends for advice on the
most child-friendly airlines flying to The Gambia.
friendly hotels are in the majority of establishments in Kololi,
Cape Point, and the other
beach hotels along the coastal
strip. They very often have kids' section swimming pools, playgrounds
and a few have babysitters. Quite often you can simply ask for
a small bed to be placed in one of the bedrooms or the living
room without extra charge.
Do keep a compact LED lamp near you, so if the electricity cuts
out, you can rapidly get light, so the sudden darkness doesn't
frighten them. A pram is useless here unless you are staying within
the vicinity of your hotel. Try a baby sling or a baby backpack
CHILDREN'S TRAVEL HEALTH:
you are staying for two weeks in one of the coastal resorts and
don't intend to venture out far, then except for malaria,
you can allay your worries about your children contracting tropical
diseases in The Gambia. Some people do suggest yellow fever vaccination
for kids, though this is optional. It is however advisable to
take your child for an early medical check-up and to follow your
doctors advice and instructions regarding any medications, including
anti-malaria drugs. Also make sure that your child is up-to-date
on all routine childhood vaccinations and boosters such as the
If however you choose not to give them prophylactic medications
then remember that you are less likely to contract malaria in
the coastal areas than further inland.
do be vigilant and remember to spray or rub them with mosquito
repellent in the early evenings, or if they are about to venture
into bush area. Also ensure that their bed comes with a mosquito
net - the best way of avoiding the disease. If they are staying
here long-term, then consult your GP in the UK or physician in
has an incubation period from a few days to several weeks, so
as a precaution be vigilant and be alert for signs of lethargy,
high temperature, headaches, flue-like symptoms etc. exhibited
by your child. Take them straight to your doctor if you notice
Mosquito Nets etc.
Check that your accommodation provides mosquito nets over beds
or insect screens on windows. If in doubt then pack at least one
portable net. Also consider plug-in mosquito repellent sprays
Heat & Sun
When going sightseeing or lazing about by the beach or pool, when
the sun is hot, then it's a good idea to get your child to wear
a hat of some sort, as well as maybe UV sunglasses. Keep them
hydrated by keeping cool bottles of water nearby. In order to
reduce the chances of getting sunburn you should rub their skin
with a good sunblock cream.
Along the coastal resorts, between December through to February,
it can get quite cold in the early mornings and evenings,
therefore you should consider packing a couple of medium thickness
jumpers or a jacket for your children, as well as body moisturiser.
Excursion by Canoe
Most pirogue rides don't come with a lifejacket so it's important
that if they are non-swimmers you should not allow them into any
Always get the advice of your doctor before deciding to take or
not to take any medications or precautions for yourself or any
member of your family or friends.