Gambian gamble ... Polly Francis and 32-year-old Lamin Sarr
The smiling, obliging and charming Africans give them the kind of attention that some of them may not have enjoyed for years - And that, put simply, is love.
Many of these unlucky-in-love women want to return home from their two-week break with a tan, a smile — and a new lover in tow who can give them the affection they have craved for years.
The young men, some of them teenagers, target the white women…they see them as their ticket to a new life in a country with endless opportunities. In a country where half the population live below the poverty line and the average wage is £30 a week, a European girlfriend seems to make perfect sense.
But a happy ending is not guaranteed.
Solomon was one of the first wave of Gambians to marry a Brit — holidaymaker Catherine, who he met in 1992 when he worked as her tour rep.
Party town ... young tourists mix with Gambian locals in Kololi
Polly and I are real' ... Lamin Sarr embraces Polly Francis, who he calls his 'wife'
After 30 years in London, Polly Francis moved to The Gambia when she met hotel receptionist Lamin Sarr eight years ago. The retired nurse, who is in her 50s, used inheritance money to build them a home.
“He is a gentleman — quiet and strong, my best friend.”
Polly — who has just had a hip replacement — can’t afford the £800 UK visa for Lamin and they are not married because she is not yet divorced from her husband.
She said: “Our home here has no running water but I wouldn’t swap it for London. I don’t miss the rushing around. I do miss my family, though.”
She has a daughter and two sons — aged 40 and 30 — and said: “My elder son found my relationship hard to accept but my younger son has visited us. He and Lamin get on well”.
And Lamin, 33, said: “I love Polly. I call her ‘the wife’. The men who marry for the wrong reasons are trying their luck”. “I don’t blame them. But Polly and I are real. She makes me happy — she is wonderful.”