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Tumani Tenda Camp in Gambia

Das von uns besuchte Tumani Tenda Camp in Gambia wurde mit dem »To Do!-Preis für sozialverträglichen Tourismus des Studienkreises für Tourismus und Entwicklung« ausgezeichnet.  In der ZEIT vom 8.1.2004 gab es dazu einen Bericht von Günter Ermlich. Über die Internetseiten der ZEIT kann man sich den Artikel in einer Druckversion ansehen oder ihn per Email an andere weiterleiten. Ein ähnlicher Artikel von Günter Ermlich, Afrika pur in Tumani Tenda, erschien in der TAZ vom 13.3.2004.
Hier auch die Begründung für die Auszeichnung von Tumani Tenda beim To-Do Wettbewerb.

Hier folgt eine Selbstdarstellung von Tumani Tenda:


Cultural Experience. (Price negotiable) Experience one of the traditional ceremonies and watch the villagers enact a play about one of the following different traditional ceremonies that are carried out in the life of Tumani Tenda, including the Naming Ceremony, Marriage Ceremony and Initiation for boys and girls.

Local Cuisine Cooking Lesson – D25. Learn how to cook the infamous delicious dishes made from freshly grown produce of Tumani Tenda. Vegetarians are also catered for from a wide selection of locally grown organic vegetables The women will be happy to demonstrate the skills required to cook on log fires

Farming Tour – D50 per person or D200 for a group of 4 plus. This tour explains the different methods of farming used in the subsistence life of the community. Information will be given on the different crops grown and the process of preparation, planting, growing and cultivation. If you want to try some Gambian methods of farming there is an opportunity to experience some hands on work in the fields. The typical farming calendar is as follows: From October to December is preparation of the fields; January to June is Harvesting and Gardening of groundnuts and rice; July to September is Planting, Ploughing, Cleaning and preparing the fields.

Horticultural Garden Tour – D50 per person or D200 for a group of 4 plus. Visitors are invited to take a tour of the bountiful garden and discover the vast variety of vegetables, fruits and salads that are grown in the village community garden.

Experience Life in an African Family – This is an opportunity to spend the day with one of the village families at Tumani Tenda. Donations greatly received.

Canoe Trip on the Balong: D200 Maximum 5 people per canoe. Enjoy a peaceful and relaxing boat trip in the calm waters of Balong. Learn how to collect oysters from the mangroves or learn how to fish from the canoes. There is also plentiful bird

Welcome to Tumani Tenda. This brochure will give an introduction to Tumani Tenda and inform visitors, tour operators and Gambians what activities are available at Tumani Tenda Eco-tourism Camp.

Tumani Tenda is a Jolla Village with approximately 300 inhabitants living in seven extended families. It is situated 25km east of Brikama and 3 km from Kafatu, on a tributary/Bolong of the Gambia River. This small hamlet derives its name from a peanut picker, called Tumani, who lived in the area; Tenda means riverbank. The founder of the village, the late Alhaji Osman, a Koran scholar, established the community 30 years ago after immigrating from Casamance. A community evolved which is described as a religious community embracing certain values, notably a sustainable attitude to the natural environment, a socially responsible style of living, respect for the elderly, independence, self sustainability and a sense of community. Tumani Tenda owns 140 hectares of land, of which 89 hectares are sustainably cultivated, with a species rich forest that is continually upgraded with seedlings and serves as a pharmacy and natural water reservoir.

Plants and crops grow in abundance and include maize, millet, groundnuts, vegetables, herbs and spices, bananas, grapefruits, oranges, mangoes, lemons and many others.


A visit to Tumani Tenda is tourism with a soul. It brings visitors in touch with the day-to-day lives of the people, baring their history, their culture, their present realities and dreams for the future. The Tumani Tenda Community will welcome you into the community and reveal some of the routines of their village life. The villagers give visitors the opportunity to experience their special cuisine, treasured dances, and sacred rituals and invite guests into their homes. Such hospitality is inherent at Tumani Tenda where the villagers welcome visitors to witness the rich complexity, self-sufficiency and tempo of village life. Opportunities are available to visit women’s projects, the school, the health centre, the horticultural garden and community forest. Visitors are encouraged to absorb themselves in the atmosphere of the village through asking questions and participating in certain activities in order to gain understanding of life in a rural Jolla Community. In essence visitors can experience a unique blend of education, vacation, recreation, relaxation, adventure and learning.

Opportunities are available to buy products made by the people of Tumani Tenda which visitors may take home as distinctive souvenirs of their experience, such as soap, baskets, batiks and tye dye material.

Visitors to Tumani Tenda will be able to experience the special relationship that the villagers have with the natural environment and witness the many examples where the villagers conserve and preserve the environment from which their livelihoods depend on.

A Typical visit to the camp will include a visit to:
The horticultural garden where all food grown issued by the village and the ecotourism camp.
The 95 hectare community forest. This tour will explain all the uses of the forest including the different plants used for herbal medicine.
A School Visit. The school consists of a kindergarten and primary level. There will be an opportunity to meet the headmaster, teachers and children. Any donations to the school will be gratefully received.
A Canoe Trip to see the women collect oysters from the mangroves.
A visit is always characterised by the energetic and beautiful Jolla dancing and singing carried out by the women of the village.


On visiting Tumani Tenda visitors are requested to respect the local culture and it is recommended that the flowing codes area adhered to:

1/ In respect of the Muslim religion that is practised in the village please refrain from wearing short skirts and short shorts. Swimwear is also not acceptable to wear in public areas.

2/ In order to avoid the bad habit of begging visitors are requested not to give children sweets, pens and other gifts. Any gifts and donations should be passed to the village alkalo or Camp manager to be distributed appropriately through the village development fund.

3/ Keep the natural environment clean and refrain from throwing litter on the ground.

4/ Visitors are encouraged to be respectful of the traditions and hospitality offered by Tumani Tenda and feel they are part of the family community for the time they spend there.


All the money spent by visitors to Tumani Tenda goes into the Village Development Fund. This fund is used for the development of facilities, infrastructure and family needs within the village. So far money from the eco-tourism camp has helped to build the school, the health centre and support training and education for the village inhabitants.

One of the main reasons for the development of the camp was to further develop and diversify the income into the village and improve its economic stability. The money that is spent on accommodation, food and activities all help to boost village regeneration and development, via the village development fund. In this way visitors are assured that their money spent at Tumani Tenda is a positive investment in people and their natural environment, which goes directly to Tumani Tenda by supporting community development projects.


The accommodation is built in a way that is sensitive to its surrounding environment, using local resources and materials. The round houses consist of comfortable rooms, decorated and furnished to give an authentic African atmosphere. All the furniture is locally handcrafted and the tye dye material is made in the village. All rooms have mosquito nets and lighting facilities. The flush toilets and showers are situated behind the accommodation in a separate building. All water is clean, fresh and derived from one of the village wells.

Room Capacity: 13 Rooms each with double bed


Tumani Tenda offers a whole range of interesting and fascinating activities for the visitor.

History Talk – D25 per person. This is an hour-long talk about the Jolla Culture. It gives a unique description of the history of the Jolla people in the Senegal and Gambia Region. The Jolla’s date back to……and have over the centuries developed particular family structures and social community traditions.

Life along the waters edge and in the mangroves. If you are keen to know how to row the dug out canoes then ask for a demonstration.

Cow Cart Safari – D200 per cart. Explore the forest and surrounding areas in true rural style.

Tree Planting – D10. This is an opportunity to support forestry preservation and plant a tree in memory of your visit. Visitors are encouraged to return to Tumani Tenda and see how their tree has grown!

Village Tour – D200 for a group of 4 plus. This consists of a tour of the village community development projects in order to understand the structure of the village. This includes the school, the health centre and women’s project.

Community Forest Tour – D200 for a group of 4 plus. This tour consists of a walk into the forest and a talk about the history of the forest and its wealth of herbal medicines that it provides for the village. A guidebook is available (D10) for details about all the species of trees inside the forest.

Oyster Collection – D200 (maximum of 5 persons). Oysters are a staple part of the village diet as well as a versatile building material for plastering and white washing. The oysters are found on the roots of mangroves situated out on the river. So this trip encompasses a peaceful journey out into the calm waters of the balong in dugout canoes. A demonstration will be given on how to collect oysters from the mangroves.

Fishing Session – D200 per canoe. Experience net fishing on the Balong and see whether you can catch some barracuda, ladyfish or tilapia.

Birdwatching and Wildlife Trip: D50 per person or D200 for a group of 4 plus. A guidebook is available (D10) detailing all the birds and wildlife, which the visitor can expect to see at Tumani Tenda.

Salt Making Workshop – D100 per group. Experience the fascinating methods used to make salt from the river.

Soap Making Workshop – D100 per group. Experience the economical methods for making soap.

Batik/Tye and Dye Workshop – D50 per person or D200 for a group of 4 plus. Learn how to do this beautiful art which produces bright and colourful designs on fabric. If you have a piece of clothing or material you would like to dye then bring this along or you can purchase material from the village for a small charge.

Visit to The Beekeepers – D10 per person. This activity gives an opportunity to see the village beekeeping project and also purchase a variety of products made form beeswax, including candles, honeycomb and honey body cream moisturizer

Jolla dancing and singing- D500. Join in or watch the women dance and sing the amazing rhythms of Jolla music

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