These are generally unemployed young men who hassle tourists for money, gifts or a free meal. There are generally 4 types of bumster in Gambia, most of whom operate in the Senegambia Strip area of Kololi The first type will hassle you until you get so fed up that you just relent and give him some money just to go away. Don't ever be tempted to do this.
The Gambia has one of the lowest crime rates in sub-Saharan Africa. Serious crime is even lower than most industrialized nations, and some tourists say they feel safer here than in their own countries. Physical assaults against tourists are rare, as well as muggings and bag snatchings. However, there are certain urban areas where they tend to be more common. The sort of crime you are likely to encounter, if you are not on your guard, is sneak-thieving. This might take the form of pick pocketing, stealing unattended items, cheating you of change, and other petty thievery. The one serious crime that is rampant are scams committed by conmen and bumsters. You are only likely to encounter these people if you spend much time here, and have financial and personal dealings with certain people.
TRADITIONS AND CULTURE
If you plan on going out and about, meeting and interacting with local people then there are quite a few unwritten rules of etiquette and local customs you need to brush up on. Among these are how you greet people, the local dress code, food etiquette when eating with a family, DOS and DON’T of society and the family structure. For example you need to take your shoes off when visiting someone's house, bikinis in public, away from the beach, are a no no, drinking an alcoholic beverage in a non-resort street, especially while walking, is offensive to many, as this is a Muslim country and is best avoided.
THINGS TO DO AND THINGS NOT TO DO
There are a number of pitfalls, issues and products, both cultural and travel to consider. Some of the advice relates to things to buy before your arrival to Gambia, while others are things to look out for, avoid or to carry on your person during your stay. It is easy to forget certain things, which can cause you hassle, stress and embarrassment.
It is recommended to take along two lightweight woolen jumpers, or a jacket, for the cool evenings during the months of November to March. It can bet a bit cold by the Atlantic ocean side, particularly when there's a bit of a breeze.
There are two sort of rules on how to dress. The first is within the grounds of your hotel. You can wear a bikini on the beach, maybe sunbath topless, and wear the kind of clothing you would wear on a hot summer's day in your own country. However, when outside in public there are certain types of clothing to avoid. Women should cover their legs at least down to the knees, short sleeves are fine.