Gambia is known for relaxation. Most of the people who decide to visit Gambia choose this destination for its beach life and parties. As I already wrote in my previous post about the street art in Kubuneh, from the landscape point of view the Gambia indeed is not that interesting. I mean compared with other African countries it doesn’t have a lot to offer but it has been able to attract tourists anyway. The tourism industry in the Gambia is increasing every day and the number of tourists visiting the Gambia is always on the rise.
I visited Gambia two times and I cannot hide that there may still be so many other occasions to do so since my way of travelling has changed along the way. If once I was travelling to visit monuments and museums, now I’m more inclined to get in touch with the people and culture of the places I visit. So the Gambia remains for me as important as any other destination.
Let me take you today to one of the most interesting thing to do in the Gambia: marijuana plantation in Jinack Island.
How to reach Jinack Island
While holidaying in Senegambia Beach Hotel, one day I decided to visit the marijuana plantation in Gambia on Jinack Island (also called Coconut Island for tourists), just to do something different besides the pool, beach, food, drinks, and parties. Along with some German boys staying in the Senegambia Beach Hotel, I visited Jinack Island relying on the taxi driver. It was our first Gambian outdoor experience, so we decided to take the green taxi.
Read also: Green taxi vs Yellow taxi in the Gambia
I’m the kind of girl who likes to make all her travel plans by herself, but this time I had no idea how to reach Jinack Island otherwise. It took me a while to understand the Gambian Public transportation. Moreover while staying in the Senegambia area, they make you believe that you have no choice besides the green taxi which are only for non-Gambian visitors.
Now, I later heard that you can also reach Coconut Island by boat, so ask for details at your hotel. It could be the easiest way but it’s certainly the most expensive one.
How much you should “roughly” expect to pay for your day trip to Jinack Island
The round trip taxi ride to Coconut Island was 8000 Dalasi for small cars and 9000 Dalasi for big cars. We bartered the price with the controller and got a big one for 6000 Dalasi. (Around € 100.00). Even though the prices of the green taxis in the Gambia are fixed, you can try to lower the price. Sometimes, especially during the off season times when it is slow, you can easily get a better price.
Actually, the green taxi doesn’t take you all the way to Coconut Island. It will take you up to Banjul ferry station and from there your driver will help you to reach Coconut Island through the various stages until he takes you back safely to your hotel.
We travelled as far as Banjul with our driver. He left his car somewhere close to the ferry station and from there we caught the ferry to Barra. The ferry ticket from Banjul to Barra was 25 Dalasi. Our taxi driver helped us with queueing and ticketing. Once we reached Barra, we had to rent a land rover with a driver to get to Jinack Island for extra money. We paid 1000 Dalasi. We couldn’t avoid this expense because the area was a kind of lagoon so the normal taxi wouldn’t have been able to reach the destination.
When we arrived close to Jinack Island we had to cross the creek by canoe which finally took us to the village where the marijuana plantations were. We gave 100 Dalasi to the canoe man who also acted as a guide.
Lots of kids greeted us upon arrival to Jinack village and we gave them candies until we had no more.
Being close to the Marijuana Plantation in Jinack Island
Seeing so many marijuana plants like that was incredible. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was marijuana everywhere!!! It was so funny! Obviously we tried to smoke it (without exaggeration) and we went on laughing the whole way back!
I really don’t understand why it is allowed to grow marijuana in this part of Gambia but visiting the marijuana plantation in Gambia is worth it.
They said that marijuana plantation was legal only there and that it was not allowed to take it from Jinack Island. Are they telling me that it is for the villagers’ use only? I couldn’t believe that story!!! How could that be possible? They harvest tonnes of marijuana and even if all the people of the village smoke it from morning to night every day, they can’t finish it all!
It remains to be seen what is really happening there!
Curiosity and tips for Visiting Jinack Island in Gambia
- Take some candies or color pencils for the children of Jinack Island. They never leave the village and you definitely make them happy by giving a small gift. If you haven’t brought it from home you can buy some in Barra.
- Jinack Island is also spelt Jinak or Ginak.
- Jinack Island is not really an Island but just a long stretch of sandy beach separated from the mainland by a creek located in the North Western edge of the River Gambia.
- Plan on staying overnight. I’m sure you will enjoy it more.
- If you are visiting Jinack Island what I would suggest is that you organize the day trip to Jinack Island with other people staying at your same hotel so that you can split the cost.
- As you can imagine the journey to the marijuana plantation in Gambia is long, so start your trip early in the morning.
- Make sure you have everything you need with you because once there it is impossible to think of having to go back to buy something.
- A torch certainly helps (when staying overnight), if you do not have your own one, ask at the property upon arrivals.
Reas also: Things to do in Jinack Island
My conclusions about my visit to the Jinack Island
Now, I’m not the one who smokes ganja but it was exciting to visit the Marijuana plantation in Gambia. It is beyond the usual to walk between the ganja fields; not only for this, Jinack village is a peaceful place with peaceful people. It’s strange to see an entire village where the main aim is cultivating marijuana. So, even if the trip to Jinack Island in Gambia is quite tiring, I recommend a visit. It is definitely one of the best things to do in the Gambia.