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
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 Gambia.
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 Kololi (near the Senegambia
and Kairaba hotels).
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 National Tourist Guide Association which
you can contact.