July - December 2002


S T O P  P R E S S !

As of Friday December 13th we have been allowed to start our welfare programme at the SENEGAMBIA HOTEL. We are naturally very pleased and Dodou has already caught some 5 cats. We trust that the benefits to cats and visitors will persuade the management to allow us to continue. This now means we are working on some 30 sites in The Gambia.




After 4 years of dedicated service to GambiCats,  Dodou was invited to taste life in the UK this summer at the personal invitation of the Trustees. He arrived in the early hours of July 6 at Gatwick, carrying many kilos of mangoes and after a session with HM Immigration which left them knowing more about Gambian cats and dogs than they had ever expected! The first week was spent with Peter and Frances in Wales, the second in London, and the third with friends on the south coast.  Luckily the weather was mainly very warm and sunny and a key memory is of Dodou, sitting on a Welsh beach, saying 'this is almost like The Gambia'!


With Peter & Frances Miller - a rare moment relaxing
He wasn't allowed to rest too much though and many people made him welcome. He spent time with an RSPCA Inspector and Animal Collection Officer while in Wales as well as visiting the Llys Nini Animal Centre where, amazingly, the RSPCA mobile cat neutering clinic was in session! He was interviewed by the local newspaper and helped put up an animal welfare display in the local Tesco store.
With Lorna Barker at the RSPCA Llys Nini Animal Centre Off to work with Inspector Richard Abbott
On the way to London he stopped off to open the National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) annual fair at Trindledown Farm near Newbury. GambiCats had a stall there and some supporters managed to come enjoy a few hours on a glorious day at the fair. We explained that although some of the older cats have tv in their rooms at the NAWT, we don't aspire to this yet in The Gambia - although the Kombo cats can watch CNN if they feel in the mood of course... At NAWT Fair  with new catmobile!
On guard duty   With Colonel Duncan Wood at Battersea Dogs Home
The second week in London included some sight seeing and a trip on The Eye for all of us. Visits were made to the Battersea Dogs' Home, the World Society for the Protection of Animals, SPANA's Supporters' meeting, as well as the National Canine Defence League. He also met some GambiCats' supporters while in London as well as the Administrator of the PetPlan Animal Welfare Trust.
The last few days were spent visiting some of the south coast as well as choosing all those presents to take back to everyone at home - almost the most exhausting part of a visit, although a trip to the Wood Green Animal Shelter in North London and a little more sight-seeing was fitted in on the day before departure.        No problem trapping this one!
We all enjoyed seeing Dodou here and taking part in his discovery of the UK. We would like to thank all those in the UK who made the visit so rewarding and such fun, and those in The Gambia who represented GambiCats' at the hotels by regular visits during his absence.
Thanks to the thoughfulness of a Newbury vet, we collected a Little Sister II autoclave from his surgery during Dodou's visit this summer. The Bristol company, Lab 3,  generously agreed to service it at no cost, and having found it in good working order,  we shipped it by container in November.
We trust it will improve the facilities of the Department's animal clinic at Abuko where there is, at present, no permanent autoclave available.
Sadly we have to report that the Cat Cafe is no more. There are cats on site and GambiCats continues to work there. We would be interested in feed back from anyone visiting the Palma Rima concerning the cats and staff attitudes to the removal of the Cat Cafe.
As many will already know, The Gambia Experience now owns the Kombo Beach Hotel. This is good news for GambiCats as the company has always supported our work wherever they could.  After a period of uncertainty we hope that the cats now feel their future is secure..
We are very happy to welcome the African Heritage Bar and the Domino Bar & Restaurant as new members of GambiCats.
1. Make a verbal report to the person in charge in Reception and your tour representative. Make sure that you get the name(s) of those who you speak to
2. If you are not satisfied with their response try to make written report to the General Manager of the hotel, and copy it to your tour company rep. Most hotels have photocopiers, or copy shop nearby.
3. If you are still not happy, send a letter to your tour company when you get home and copy it to GambiCats
4. You could also write to the national Gambian Tourism office (see below)
While at the resort you could contact Dodou Bojang and he will do his best to help. GambiCats is always prepared to help where we can but if the management refuses to let us there is nothing we can do except give advice.
Useful addresses:
in The Gambia:
Yankuba Touray, Minister for Tourism fax 227753    tel 223186/227881
Gambian Tourism Authority fax  4462841
Director of Tourism fax  224019
The Gambia Experience office at the Kairaba: tel  4461104
in the UK:
Attache, Gambian Tourist Authority:  Ms S Drameh,  Gambian High Commission Building, 57 Kensington Court, London W8 5DG    tel: 0207 376 0093  fax: 0207 938 3644
Gambia High Commission  (same address)  tel 0207 9937 6316
in Germany:
Gambia Consulate, Kurfurstendamm 102, D-1000 Berlin, Germany     tel 030 886051
in Belgium:
Gambian Embassy   126 Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, Brussels 1050, Belgium   tel (02) 640 1019
The following are always needed and can be sent to us, or taken out if you are going to The Gambia yourselves:
antiseptic cream or powder for minor skin wounds; multi-purpose ear cleaners; suture material; Drontal worm tablets for cats and dogs; flea powder; surgical gloves.
If your local vet or hospital can help please let us know. The medicines can be a little past their 'use by' date. We can supply further information for the vet including lists of instruments which are also needed.

Dodou at SPANA's new office with CE Jeremy Hulme