Village and Sanyang
Point beach resort are located in the Kombo South District in
the West Coast Region in the southwest coastal area of The Gambia
in West Africa. The old village is located 5km from the coast
on the Kombo Coastal Road,
and 31.54 km by road from capital of Banjul,
and its estimated population of about 7,000 is comprised mostly
of Mandinka, Wolof,
Fula and Jola.
The main economic activities here are farming and artisan fishing.
There is a tarmac road that goes east from the centre of town,
through Jambanjali (Jambanjelly) and Jalabang and onwards
to the district capital of Brikama
far from the holiday beach resort and just off the 'How Ba Road'
is Kobokoto Lodge,
with 20 rooms in huts and the main building, each with ensuite
shower and WC. The Guesthouse
Gambia has 3 double rooms and shared bathing and kitchen facilities.
It has a pool, barbecue and four acres of garden. There is the
Camp which has 32 African style round huts with ensuite shower,
WC, bar and restaurant, and a big nature garden. On the beachfront
is the Rainbow Lodge,
with African style round huts, ensuite bathing, toilet and diner
4.8km wide curve of finely grained Pelican, Osprey and Paradise
Beach (jointly known as Sanyang Beach), were already drawing
tourists to the area when the adjacent settlements were still
far off the tourist trail. It is considered by many to be one
of the best beachfronts in The Gambia, and which seems to have
escaped much of the earlier coastal erosion. South of the fish
centre the seafront is at its most remote and deserted, backed
by inland lagoons fringed with mangroves.
About half a kilometre to your left is the fish landing site.
The easiest way to get to the palm tree fringed sands is by the
wide How Ba Road, which starts at the village crossroads and leads
almost directly to the shore. To get to the vibrant coastal fishing
centre you take the Sanyang Fishing Village Road which
leads you through residential areas, farmland, scrubland, wooded
areas, a mangrove fringed lagoon and onto the fish centre on the
shore. This section has a bustling fish market where you can see
small cold stores, women busy gutting and cleaning catches, crabs
and seagulls picking at scraps, fishermen mending their nets,
and dozens of colourful local and Senegalese pirogues.
During the tourist season and on Sundays throughout the year the
main 'Paradise Beach' can get a little busy, but 250 metres further
south it's a lot quieter. The strand has been described as "...a
broad smooth sweep of firm sand backed by coconut palms..."
(Rough Guide to West Africa, Trillo, 2008).
Sanyang Village you will find the alkalo's residence, and
in the centre a taxi rank lined with tired looking Gambian 'Gelle
Gelle' taxi vans, tyre repairers, street vendors, barbers, shops
and the market's vegetable stalls. Concrete block houses with
corrugated roofs dominate, and between them are sandy roads overlooked
by huge mango trees providing residents with much needed shade.
Along the high street is where
Brikama Area Council have a collection office where you can
make payments for your annual property rates. In 2006 villagers
were grateful to be finally connected to the electricity grid,
along with their own power station.
best locations for nature and beach enthusiasts is between the
main highway and the coast, in between is the sloping land area
peppered with many hectares of woodland savanna with lofty
'koni' palms, cashew, baobab trees, casuarina, and further
down are mangrove swamps, creeks, inland pools, dune swales and
One of the earliest, large property developments in the region
is the fenced, residential community at Aquasun
Gardens with twelve, 3 bedroom, 2 storey villas with shared
FOUNDING FAMILY HISTORY:
history says that Sanyang Village was founded around 1918 by the
Mandinka Bojang family, on what was mostly forested land. They
were followed by other 'founding' families called Kore, Namba,
Jabak and More Kunda who settled in nearby areas. The population
continues to grow fairly rapidly as a result of migrants from
southern Senegal, and people from the north west towns such as
Serrekunda seeking to buy land
on which to build houses.
TOURIST ATTRACTIONS & THINGS TO DO:
• Bird Watching
is abundant in migratory and Gambian bird species due to its rich
vegetation, variable habitat and wetlands. While
birdwatching within the region you might be able to spot various
raptors as well as African Paradise Flycatcher, Sanderling, Black
Shouldered Kite, Turnstone, Hueglin's Masked Weavers, Ringed Plover,
Bar Tail Godwit, African Palm Swift, Grey Plover and Whimbrel.
The lagoons and creeks are thriving with birds including, Spur
Winged Plover, Grey Headed Gull, Greenshank, Pied Kingfisher,
Black Headed Heron, Caspian Tern, Ringed Plover, Cattle Egret,
Lesser Black Back Gull, Long Tailed Cormorant and Intermediate
• Sports Fishing
best areas for angling are in the ocean and along the streams
and lagoons close to the shore. To get to the inland waters just
make your way to the fishing village on the shore; just before
the main sheds to your left, is a wetland with mangroves where
you can find Catfish. While sea fishing you can expect to catch
Bobo, Longneck and Cassava Croaker, Snapper, Mackerel, Bonga,
Sunpat Grunt, Stingray, Butterfish, Captain Fish and Guitarfish.
Going further out to sea by boat it's possible to catch Tarpon.
• Sanyang Fish Market
times a hectic spot where you will see up close vibrantly coloured
Gambian pirogues parked on the shore. The air is full of the smell
of fish and sea snails, and hoards of flies make their way from
fish pile to fish pile, while men pull the heavy wooden pirogues
onto shore. The market has three stores, as well as a special
vegetable and meat market. Smoking, chilling and salting is carried
out in the curing sheds at the rear. While there you can buy some
unfrozen, fresh fish and sometimes crabs, lobsters and 'edible'
sea snails (Cymbium).
• Nature Treks
With its well shaded footpaths and varying habitats there is plenty
of wildlife, scrub and trees in the area.
• Beach Bars & Restaurants
the winter holiday season you are likely to see a number of juice
bar stalls dotted along the sands catering mostly to tourists.
Most of the coastal bars in Sanyang were demolished in 2013 by
orders of the Gambian authorities.
Black and White
Marcus's Beer Garden
Osprey Beach Bar & Restaurant
• Sanyang International Cultural
each January, the first event was held between the 24th
to 27th January, 2013, which had amongst its performers was the
Kora player Jaliba Kuyateh.
The festival is 4 days of contemporary and traditional
world music, cultural
dance, a tourism fair, African cuisine, kid's games,
arts and crafts, visiting historic places and sacred shrines.
Some of the money generated goes to helping poor school children
and improving school facilities.
HEALTH & SAFETY:
The area is more remote than the Gambia's other resorts north
of Tanji and there is
a lot of wilderness here. Daytime is fairly safe but at night
do not go out unaccompanied. Use a vehicle in the evening if possible,
otherwise stay close to your lodgings at night. Also carry your
mobile phone and a pocket torch.
get to Sanyang Village take one of the green tourist
taxis at Banjul Airport
and head southeast towards Brusubi. At Brusubi turn left and continue
past Tanji, Batokunku, Tujering and other settlements until you
get to the village junction. The other route is from the airport
go south to Brikama, then directly west into the settlement's
centre. See if your accommodation
offers airport transfers as this is most advised.
& Lodges Map
[Geographical coordinates 13° 16' 47"
N - 16° 44' 25" W / Kombo South, Western Region (WCR)]