Marie Claire visits West Africa for a wanderlust-themed fashion shoot
We stayed at...
Ngala Lodge, an adults-only boutique hotel set on the cliffs near Bakau. It's part of the Luxury Collection offered by The Gambia Experience. A seven-night package in March costs from £799 per person, including flights, taxes, transfers and breakfast. Or try the new Coco Ocean Resort, which has a secluded beach and large spa.
While you're there...
1. Get into nature with a stay at the waterside Mandina Lodges at Makasutu, an award-winning eco-hotel situated on a tributary of the Gambia River.
2. Hit the markets to buy ethnic jewellery, CDs of West African music and wildly coloured fabrics.
3. Dine out. There's a good mix of cuisines here - we liked The Clay Oven, a popular Indian restaurant in Bakau.
4. Travel inland. For a range of guided trips, click here.
5. Visit neighbouring Senegal, where the culture has French influences. Twin-centre holidays visiting the Sine-Saloum Delta and Saly region can be arranged through The Gambia Experience.
We flew to...
Banjul, the capital of this friendly, English-speaking country. With a warm, tropical climate (the dry season runs from November to May), palm-fringed beaches and no jet lag, Gambia is a popular choice for an exotic winter break. Monarch Airlines has regular charter flights from Gatwick. Gambia & Senegal is a detailed guide, or click here for more information.