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Janjangbureh & Around/The Gambia

Introducing Janjangbureh & Around

Janjangbureh (Georgetown) is a sleepy, former colonial administrative centre. It is situated on the northern edge of MacCarthy Island in the Gambia River, and is reached via ferry links from either bank. There is little in terms of infrastructure – no banks and no hospital. And persistent young kids in Janjangbureh haggle you more than the usual amount, so it's best to avoid loitering and head straight to a lodge or hut out of the town centre.

A walk around town does reveal a few historic buildings, including the old Commissioner's Quarter, a 200-year-old wooden house once inhabited by freed slaves, and the foundations of a colonial warehouse. The main reason to come here, however, is to stay in a local lodge and take advantage of the superb birdwatching opportunities. Some 2.5km west of Janjangbureh, near a patch of woodland, Bird Safari Camp is the remotest of the accommodation available (not a problem if you come with a Hidden Gambia boat excursion), and fantastic if you're here for birdwatching. Janjangbureh Camp has quirky if dusty bungalows on a vast terrain between forest and water and is a good base for river trips.

Janjangbureh/MacCarthy Island can be reached by ferry (passenger/car D8/100) from either the southern or northern bank of the river. Most bush taxis turn off the main road between Soma and Basse Santa Su to drop off passengers at the southern ferry ramp; request this when entering the taxi.