After Bake Off's Prue Leith called the West African country a 'Tinder dream for geriatrics,' we meet the randy grans on the pull in Gambia.
A HORNY granny grinds against her Gambian toyboy at the bar, her Zimmer frame screeching back and forth with every thrust.
Nearby, a silver-haired siren snogs her gym-honed lover while he squeezes her saggy bottom.
Gambia has become a sex paradise for retired Brits with randy grans indulging in a good time with local, young men
There may be horror stories about Gambian men who target Brit women they see as a meal ticket, but increasingly grans are turning the scam on its head
Outside, a pensioner is devouring her younger catch, the pair kiss each other greedily before she drags him back to her hotel.
Welcome to The GRANbia, the West Africa sex paradise for retired Brits who make youngsters partying in Magaluf look tame.
Bake Off judge Prue Leith wrote recently that the country is a “real-life Tinder dream for geriatrics”, after being shocked by the number of “elderly white European women happily strolling along hand in hand with beautiful young Gambian men” during a holiday with her husband.
And within hours of landing in sun-kissed Kotu, The Sun can report she wasn’t exaggerating.
“What happens in Gambia, stays in Gambia,” Barbara, an eightysomething woman from Manchester says with a wink, as her wedding band glints in the beach bar’s lights. “There’s so much candy in here it’s hard to control yourself . . . even at my age.”
Chuckling, she points into the distance and says: “They’re my sisters — looks like they’ve got lucky.”
A grey fug of smoke from cigarettes and weed wafts to the top of a palm tree with her two OAP siblings below. The pair are pushed up against the bar, giggling like naughty teenagers as their toyboys tickle and tease them.
Everywhere I look, Western women are flaunting their younger lovers like must-have accessories as reggae blasts out.
Bake Off judge Prue Leith called Gambia a 'real-life Tinder dream for geriatrics'
The Sun travelled to Africa to see what was going on first-hand
The antics of these pensioners make Magaluf look tame
There are plenty of horror stories about Gambian “bumsters” — a term used to describe unemployed Gambian men who target Western women they see as a meal ticket to the UK.
But now there are increasing numbers of British grannies who turn the scam on its head — indulging in the charms of the Gambian men but keeping their wallets tightly closed.
Savvy Jackie Simpson, 62, a kitchen porter from Cleethorpes, Lincs, tells how she’s had 15 Gambian lovers in seven years but hasn’t given them a penny.
“You’ve got to be careful,” she warns. “They’re good looking but you can’t trust them. They believe ‘old is gold’. To me it’s just a bit of fun, I don’t see them as real relationships.
"I come out twice a year with my girlfriends. English guys are a bit vulgar, but the Gambian men I’ve met have been romantic.”
Jackie tells how she is on a girls’ holiday with her sister Julie Ramsey, 60, a housekeeper, and three other British pals. "We love reggae music,” she continues, giggling. “We’ve been partying most nights until 5am!”
Julie adds: “I’ve been seeing a 36-year-old Gambian for about three years. But it’s not a proper relationship. He’s not coming to England and we are not getting married. I tell him I’ve got no savings.”
For women of a certain age, who may feel they have become invisible to men back home in Britain, Gambia really can seem like the “Tinder dream” Prue describes.
Jackie says she’s had 15 Gambian lovers in seven years but hasn’t given them a penny
Indeed, as a European tourist, it is impossible to walk on the beach without being proposed to, plied with compliments or offered “the real Gambia experience” — which means sex. While it is a fun ego boost for many, there is still a darker side to The Smiling Coast.
Last year, Gambian lawyer Lamin Ceesay, from Solie Law Chambers, was contacted by hundreds of devastated Brits seeking advice after their age-gap relationships went pear-shaped and they were left in financial ruin.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun, from his office in the capital, Banjul, he said: “The bumsters are everywhere and are causing a lot of disruption to our tourism industry. Their goal from these relationships is to get to England.
"If they find out that is not possible then their next goal is to try to get something out of her — like a car, a house or a monthly allowance.
“But in the woman’s absence they will go back to the beach every day and look for somebody new who can get them to the UK. This is why we have so many divorces, because once a boy finds somebody who can get them a visa they will seek a divorce.”
Not every scammed tourist is once bitten, twice shy. Many of the lawyer’s clients have continued to date — and marry — younger Gambian men despite their negative experiences.
“It’s not uncommon,” he reveals. “I have one older British client who has been scorned a number of times by younger lovers but admits she can’t stay away from them.”
For some women, there is clearly an addictive buzz to dating the young Gambians — despite some obvious warning signs. Back in the club, a bumster I spotted at the beach earlier with an old lady has made a beeline for me.
A Kotu local snapped embracing a British grandma
British women are now jetting off to enjoy some younger company WITHOUT opening their wallets
But others have been scorned in the past - and yet continue to seek out younger men
“Where’s your girlfriend?” I ask him, as he begins to rattle off cheesy compliments about my smile. “I saw you massaging sun tan lotion on to her earlier on the beach.” He laughs and shakes his head.
“She’s not my girlfriend,” he lies. “I was just helping her. It’s nice to be nice.” Before I can answer, the old lady hobbles over on walking sticks and ushers him away. His 21-year-old friend — another bumster — explains why they target old women.
“There’s no opportunities here,” he says. “As the eldest sons we are expected to look after our families and most of us make less than £50 a month.
“We are so desperate for a better life that many of my friends have died trying to get to Europe. Two were blown up in Libya and five more were on a boat that sunk crossing the Mediterranean to Italy. They were all 25 or younger.
“We’re not exploiting the women, it’s transactional. They are getting treated like a Queen and having good sex and we get money to survive and hopefully a visa. What’s wrong with that?”
As I look around the room and see grannies beaming from ear to ear at their toyboys, for a small moment I think he’s got a point.
But then I think of the elderly British victims — left alone and broke — and think there must be to another way to end their plight.