Getting there: Esther Oxford paid £489 for a fortnight's holiday, including flights from Gatwick and B&B hotel accommodation, through the Gambia Experience (01703 730888). Its lowest price at present is £289 for a seven-night holiday. Numerous other operators include the Gambia in their summer brochures.

It's best to avoid a visit in the rainy season, April-October, when the average temperature is 33C and the mosquitos are out in force.

Getting around: The three main forms of transport in the Gambia are dug-out canoes, bush taxis and tourist taxis; the latter are by far the most expensive.

Recommended reading: Discover the Gambia by Terry Palmer (Heritage House, £7.99) is the most up-to-date guide available. The Gambia Experience provides clients with a brief guide.

Further information: Gambia Tourist Office, 57 Kensington Court, London W8 5DG (0171-376 0093).