The Gambia is one of the smallest countries in Africa, but it has a huge heart. Hospitable people and impressive nature are the trump cards of the country.
Small country, big heart
The Gambia has grown into a popular winter destination thanks to its mild weather, friendly locals and unique nature. The destination is especially suitable for those who appreciate tranquility and aim to relax on holiday.
According to countryaah, the Gambia is located on the west coast of Africa between the equator and the Kravu Turning Circle. The only border neighbor of Little Gambia is Senegal, within which the Gambia is located. Fortunately for tourists, the country also has a stretch of Atlantic coastline, where white sand and turquoise sea meet. From the coast, the Gambia continues as a narrow strip inland, following the Gambia River, which is bordered by rainforests.
Despite its modest size, there is plenty to see in the Gambia. The country is a great beach destination, and its most popular hotel areas, Kololi, Kotu and Bakau, are all located on the Atlantic coast, quite close to the capital Banjul and the country’s largest city, Serrekunda.
In addition, in the Gambia you can go shopping at markets and artisan markets, explore the nightlife and admire nature along the Kotu stream, for example.
The sand on many of Gambia’s beaches is golden yellow.
A sunny winter destination
The climate of the Gambia favors tourists in winter. Sun and heat are almost guaranteed, and the air is dry instead of sweaty moisture. Temperatures rise above 30 degrees at their highest, and fall to only 15 degrees at their lowest in January-February.
From June to October, the Gambia has a rainy season when there is enough moisture. The tourist should therefore head to the country from November to May.
Beach holiday at its most relaxed, nature tourism and shopping
The Gambia is a great destination for a relaxing beach holiday. Almost the entire 80 km long coastline of the Gambia is a sandy beach. On these so-called golden beaches of the Gambia, you can laze under the scorching sun. The most popular beach resorts include Brufut Beach in the South Gambia and Cape Point at the mouth of the Gambia River.
Beach bars and restaurants make sure you don’t suffer from dehydration or hunger. There are hardly any recreational opportunities on the beaches, so a good book is worth taking along. However, Fajara Beach, located between Kotu and Bakau, for example, offers an 18-hole golf course right next to the beach, tennis courts, squash and a swimming pool.
In addition to basking on the beach, you should also explore the magnificent nature of the Gambia. Its specialties are best explored on guided tours.
Options include a leisurely cruise on the Gambia River, a jeep safari in one of the country’s many nature parks, or a birding tour in the rainforest. The home has a bridge popular for bird watching, where you can see waders and kingfishes, among other things.
At least once on the trip, you have to experience a colorful African dance performance.
Affordable food and shopping
The price level in Gambia is affordable. For example, a cup of coffee and a pint of beer typically cost less than a euro and a three-course dinner can be obtained in a couple of tens. You can also buy souvenirs very cheaply, as long as you remember to bargain.
Bargaining is an important part of Gambian trade. In the markets, prices can bargain for about a third. Good gift shopping includes batik work, custom-made clothing, fabrics, and wooden ornaments and jewelry.
Gambian food is often heavily seasoned with fish, chicken or meat with rice. Especially on the coast, plenty of fish dishes are prepared. It is definitely worth eating outside the hotel area, as the price level of locally owned restaurants is a fraction of the price of hotel meals.
The nightlife is lively and varied. There are restaurants, bars and discos in the hotel areas where the evening is safe and entertaining. When leaving for the city, safety must be remembered, as a Western tourist always attracts attention.
Gambian culture, customs and security
Gambians speak each other in many local languages such as Mandin and Wolof. However, the Gambia gets along in English, as the country is a former British colony and its official language is English.
Short for GA by abbreviationfinder, the Gambia is a poor country, so traders and service providers often revolve around European tourists. The tourist should take care of their property as thefts have become more common.
The Gambia is rich in mosquitoes and other insects. Malaria mosquitoes are also common, so malaria medication is recommended as a precaution. From home, you should also bring sunscreens, mosquito repellents and a flashlight.
During the rainy season, flooding may also occur in the country.