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Considered to be The Gambia's liveliest resort Kololi Beach is probably the longest established of all the resorts on The Gambia's sun-drenched Atlantic coast. Kololi itself is a resort town surrounded by the lush Bijilo Forest and is considered to be a great location for families wanting to visit The Gambia.
The town of Kololi is a particular favourite with European tourists looking for a bit of winter sun, with an area known as "The Strip" lined with an abundance of restaurants and bars and even a casino. This is a vibrant spot well suited to those who love lively nightlife.
The Gambia lies in a region that has one of the most enviable climates of any holiday destination and Kololi Beach enjoys The Gambia's year round sub-tropical, sunny climate. With the best time to visit Kololi being during the dry season from November to May. The time to avoid would be the rainy season that runs from late June to October.
Kololi Beach is one of those wonderful long white sandy beaches and it may come as a surprise to find out that it is almost entirely man made. Nevertheless it makes a perfect spot for those who love nothing more than the typical beach holiday of lazing away the hours sunbathing and swimming in the warm seas. Many of the beach hotels provide sun-loungers for their guests and there are the usual vendors wandering up and down the beach selling sunglasses, refreshments and virtually everything else you can imagine. It is vital to watch the beach flags and listen to the locals when it comes to swimming in the sea as powerful currents make these waters unpredictable.
Holidaymakers who enjoy a livelier way of life will enjoy all the activities Kololi has on offer from fishing excursions to beach volleyball. The Gambia's newest 18 hole golf course is situated near to Kololi Beach and welcomes both beginners and regular golf players to its greens.
The beach bars are probably the best place to sample local Gambian cuisine and certainly the fan of seafood and fish is well catered for. There are also plenty of touristy type restaurants that serve food from around the world from pizza to burgers to curry.
Near to Kololi Beach Club is Bijilo Forest Park, a self-sustaining wildlife reserve that was established in 1952. There is an abundance of wild and plant life to be discovered here including colobus monkeys and it makes a fantastic trip for any bird enthusiast as there is a wide array (over 500 different species) of exotic birds to be found here.
Traditional arts and crafts can be bought from one of the many tourist souvenir shops that may at first glance look a bit tacky. These shops are a great place to pick up locally made bead jewellery or clothing. An Anglo-Gambian craft cooperative make notebooks, albums and cards from recycled paper that make great gifts and the craft market in the Senegambia area is a great place to pick up batiks, wood carvings and silver work. Kololi Village also has a Village Gallery that showcases photography and art from The Gambia and other parts of West Africa.
If you are the adventurous type and prefer to travel further afield the sleepy fishing village Tanji is a great place to experience local village culture here you can watch the fishermen haul their vibrantly painted canoes onto the shore with their catch. And in nearby Kotu the palm groves and wetlands are excellent for nature lovers and bird watching in particular. There are many local tour operators offering river safaris and other day trips that you can choose to suit your particular preferences.
Most UK airports fly out to Banjul International Airport in The Gambia but it is important to do your homework as some operators do not send flights out all year round, especially during the rainy season between June and October. Once there, getting around Kololi and the surrounding area is relatively easy to do on foot but it is best to use a reliable local guide to escort you.
Taxis are a reasonably easy way to get around with most of the main hotels having ranks from which you can hire 'tourist' taxis. These generally operate on a fixed price basis and will provide a 'wait and return' service should you require it. You can also flag down local taxis that operate the same way buses do taking fixed routes and picking up passengers along the way. Local taxis will also take private bookings.