Also available in printable PDF
Note that tailor made clothing is very affordable in The Gambia, and fashions are colorful and comfortable and make for a very cool look. Shopping markets are plentiful near our home at the Friendship Hotel.
USEFUL ITEMS TO BRING!
- Address book
- Camera and film (film is available in Gambia)
- Swiss army knife or comparable tool
- Clothes that don’t wrinkle or show dirt and that dry quickly
- Comfortable shoes; flip flops for public showers (flip flops can be bought cheaply and easily in the Gambia)
- Contact lens stuff (expensive abroad) and any special disinfecting solutions. If glasses are preferable bring an extra pair.
- Credit card (banks can give cash advances, more expensive restaurants, hotels, and boutiques accept credit cards)
- Daypack for short trips (backpacks, however, can be pick pocketers’ delights)
- Dental floss, favorite toothpaste (if you’re picky)
- Favorite soap (or whatever toiletry)
- Flashlight and batteries
- Inside clothing money belt
- Insect repellent
- Pocket calculator
- Laundry detergent (every little shop sells small packages of laundry detergent, but if you have a very special detergent you like or are sensitive to soaps which are fragranced, bring from home)
- 2 Journal Notebooks
- Small gifts for local people who help you (sample sizes of beauty products – lotion, cosmetics, etc. are nice for women; any sort of T-shirt that has a college
name, sports team, something from USA seems to be appreciated; a bag of sweets and little school supplies – pens, little notebooks are nice for kids) Plan to leave most of your stuff behind as gifts
- Small battery powered alarm clock
- Sunglasses, sunblock, hat (or at least head-coverings like a bandana)
- Small travel pack of tissues – or something like little wet-wipes that are handed out on the plane and can also be bought in bulk at home are a good idea – separate sheets of moistened tissue are nice for long trips and cleaning hands easily when there’s no water on hand
- Girls – long skirts; no shorts, pants, or miniskirts (shorts are OK for sports, beach and lounging)
- Paperback books to read and leave behind
- Light water-proof jacket or rain poncho
- Traveler’s checks
- Walkman, extra batteries, tapes (if you have tapes you like but don’t mind parting with at the end, these could be another good gift – especially reggae and
rap for the younger crowd)
- Ziploc plastic bags are a good idea to keep things dry!
- Feminine hygiene products
- Deodorant (not in glass bottles)
- Toiletry sorts of stuff
- [Bring all of the above from home if you’re at all picky about these items (their quality), plus they’re usually more expensive in the Gambia]
- Have you started your shots?
- Call the St. Mary’s College Health Center.
- Do you have anti-malarial medication? – Take it!
- Put anti-diarrhea medications in your first aid kit; as well as Streptomycin, anti-bacterial cream, and band-aids.
This being said…
Try to pack as lightly as possible. Bring sandals or whatever shoes that can make the transition from casual to more formal attire. The more versatile your stuff, the less
you will have to bring.
Don’t carry your money in an obvious place – on your person, but not your back pocket. A money belt or a chained wallet… use your imagination. Money can go a long way in Gambia, depending on how many souvenirs you want to bring home!