Gambia Travel Advice – How to Avoid ‘Bumsters’
The Gambia is an ex British colony situated on the west coast of Africa, just 6 hours flying time from London. I have dwelt in The Gambia off and on for more than years (conducting a cultural music college ) and I rate The Gambia as being one of the best travel destinations on earth.
The Gambia is this a colourful country and it is called’the smiling coast’ to those in the know. For several years, but it’s been set back by a continuous problem; that of’bumsters’. Bumsters are local folks (mostly young guys ) who prey on the ignorance and also good-naturedness of visitors to extract cash from them and it’s often fuelled by the necessity to obtain drugs or alcohol. I’ve travelled to a lot of countries on earth but I have never seen tourists hassled so much and so profoundly as I have seen in The Gambia. It is a problem with its roots buried within the societal structure of the country and it is an issue that won’t readily be removed.
That aside, but it is still a great spot to travel to and also the next suggestions should make the average tourist more resilient to the manners of their bumster.
You’re especially vulnerable to scams at the first few days of your vacation, when your skin is untanned and also the regional bumsters understand you’re new in the nation. As you create a sun tan and also an attitude and atmosphere of assurance, you’ll get less hassle from the small operators, but you’re still quite vulnerable to expensive scams and practised conmen.
Be particularly cautious over the’really nice stranger’ scam, and many will play an extremely long waiting game ( several years) to achieve your confidence before trying to make the most of your generosity.
They will use letters, send cards, make phone calls and use mails and faxes, they will use friendship, concern, sex and love and they’ll do whatever is required to maintain a connection with you with a view to withdrawing cash from you. DO NOT give out your email address if you don’t would like to get faced with several months of persistent approaches.
Sometimes a neighborhood will approach you and say”It’s me, Lamin, the gardener from your hotel” – They know that Europeans will do almost anything to risk offending somebody but you have to be savvy to this strategy. You’ll receive an extremely curious look followed with a rapid death!
It’s quite tricky to sort out the real people from those who make a living at this. Devotion to the everyday religious practices of Islam is most definitely a guaranteed symbol of honesty, however some may utilize this as a subtle way of convincing you that they are real. A number of course are real, which makes it even tougher.
The very best advice, however, is to immediately learn to say”NO”!