On the back of its new-found popularity in Europe, the Gambia’s tourism industry has managed to thrive despite the ongoing unrest.
With the country still recovering from the 2010 coup, many locals are still looking for a bit of stability, but there’s one major exception to the rule: the Gambian government.
“I’ve never been to the Gambias beaches, but I love the beaches,” said local resident Ali Mwakhe.
“I’m not going to travel to the U.S. but Gambia is a beautiful country.”
For travelers like Ali, Gambia remains a beautiful place to visit.
He has visited the islands numerous times, but his latest visit was the first time he ventured to the country’s beaches.
He said he likes the way the island’s natural beauty is reflected in the countrys natural beauty.
“Gambia is like the United States of Africa.
It has a lot of amazing beaches,” Ali said.
“But I’ve never seen the Gambians beaches.
It’s really cool.”
The Gambia was declared a failed state by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in December 2016 after a controversial election in May.
The country’s interim president, Emmanuel Mamata, has vowed to put an end to the violence, which he says has left some 3,000 people dead.
“The election was a terrible, horrible, corrupt and unjust outcome,” Mamata said in June.
“Now I am looking forward to implementing the constitution and changing the constitution.”
For locals like Ali Mwanala, Gambians beach stays and holidays are a highlight of their holiday.
“If you go to the beach, you feel safe.
I love it,” Mwanali said.
But for the islanders, it’s not the beaches that bring them out of their comfort zones, it is the hospitality.
“There are a lot more tourists here than the people here,” Mwaflei said.
For locals, Gambias hospitality has become a part of their everyday lives.
“When I’m with my family, it makes me feel like I’m home,” Mwangi said of her time on the island.
“We stay at home all the time.
We go to cafes and restaurants.
There are so many restaurants.”
For local resident Anakkwa, Gambian hospitality is also a key to her job.
“The Gambias is a very good place to work,” Anakkan said.
Anakkuna is a freelance journalist who covers the region for the New York Times.