Tourist Guides in Gambia (OTGs) are uniformed and badged freelance,
private tour guides who have gone through a selection and training
process, and are bound to abide by a strict code of conduct. They
are also licensed by the Gambia
The OTG scheme was started in 1997 after discussions with businesses
and organisations operating in the tourism sector. It partly came
about to address the problem of 'bumsters'
(tourist hasslers). A group of bumsters were chosen to undergo
training to be OTGs, thus legitimizing the role they played already,
while removing the nuisance aspect.
aims of the OTG scheme are to enhance visitors' holiday experience,
improve the job situation of the young, reduce poverty through
improved incomes and finally to reduce the pestering of tourists
visiting The Gambia.
You can find official tourist guides outside most of the major
hotels dotted in the Tourist Development Area (TDA). Most are
located at the OTG Station on the end of the Senegambia
Strip in Kololi
(near the Senegambia and Kairaba hotels).
You can book an OTG for almost anything from a simple task like
taking you around the local shops, to something more engaging
such as going with you on an up-country trip lasting a number
of days. Their fees are fixed for a half-day or full-day; but
do remember to agree on incidental costs in advance.
They can be very useful by taking you to locations you may otherwise
not know about, revealing and explaining some local customs, and
acting as your translator.
There is also a National
Tourist Guide Association which you can contact.