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Mark Moxon's Travel Writing

The Gambia: Kiang West

The River Gambia from Toubabkollon Point
Looking towards the River Gambia from the escarpment of Toubabkollon Point

One of the things that amazes me about West Africa is how difficult things are for independent travellers. I didn't expect there to be any kind of backpacker infrastructure – this is the developing world, after all – but not only is getting around a pig, exploring the destinations can be a real pain too. The tourist industry here is aimed squarely at people taking tours, where companies run air-conditioned buses from the hotels to the tourist attractions and back again, but I prefer to explore on my own itinerary, if only because tours are rarely realistic for single travellers; they're often based on having four or six people, and if you don't have that many like-minded friends, the only way to take the tour is to pay for the empty seats yourself, and that's expensive.

A termite mound in Kiang West
A termite mound