Listen to the man! He has it right on! And the fellow who said your biggest danger is your bike is also right on!
I LIVE in The Gambia and you won't find a safer place, especially compared to the US! You'll encounter customs guys and border officials and cops on the take. You'll run into pickpockets and petty thieves.
You'll also meet some of the sweetest, most helpful, decent people you will encounter in a lifetime.
I'll second the recommendation to go to Mali. Definitely more to see there. Mention Mali to the Africans here and the comment is invariably "A lot of culture there!"
If you head down you're welcome here. Feel free to write for recommendations. firstname.lastname@example.org
doc country code +220 tel: 7447549