Gambia haze become one of the hottest new holiday tickets in recent years with increasing numbers of British and North European tourists. The Gambia may be the smallest country in Africa but it clearly offers some of the continent's largest riches. This long narrow strip of fertile land includes the vibrant and welcoming capital of Banjul as well as a host of historical, cultural and ecological attractions. The country is finally being recognised as a worthwhile alternative to Europe's popular beach and sun destinations, partly due its plentiful and reasonably priced package holiday deals.
Gambia in West Africa occupies the breathtaking Gambia River valley and surrounding hills. It has a North Atlantic Ocean coastline in the west and is surrounded by Senegal on the other three sides.
Gambia's discovery as a tourist destination was launched by the best selling book and television series 'Roots' by American author Alex Hayley. Roots followed the life of Hayley's grandfather who was transported to America from Gambia as a slave.
Sited between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator the Gambia enjoys breathtaking all year round sunshine but with a rainy season between July and October with high humidity. From November and June the country is dry and spectacularly hot. Winter evenings can be cool. The coastline offers cooler temperatures.
Gambia is only a six hours flight from London. Main airport is Banjul International which is served by regular flights to and from Western Europe and other African states. It's about 20km south west of the city centre and a similar distance south east from the resorts on the Atlantic coast. There are two main roads through the country, a tar road along the southern side and a dirt road along the northern side. Both are badly maintained. There is a choice of seven-seat bush taxis, battered minibuses, yellow town taxis and green cross country taxis to ferry you around. River cruises and car rental are also popular.
Gambia's history is one of centuries of slavery to Arab raiders, the French and British. Britain controlled Gambia without contest from the 18th Century onwards. The Gambia gained its independence from the UK in 1965 and formed a federation of Senegambia with Senegal between 1982 and 1989. A military coup occurred in 1994 but in 1996 a new constitution and presidential elections returned the country to civilian rule. The Gambia has a pro-west liberal economy based mainly around farming and tourism.
Banjul is often just a stepping stone to nearby beach resorts. Miles of palm trees and beautiful sandy beaches coastline are nearby as are excellent accommodations and a host of tourist's attractions. However its lively market and street life offer a very authentic experience of old Africa. One of the smallest capital cities in Africa, Banjul lies on an island at the mouth of the Gambia River.
Probably burial sites made about 1200 years ago. A small museum offers info about possible explanations for the society who made the circles.
Gambia's largest and liveliest town, Serekunda, is the country's bustling transport hub. It is saturated with shops and markets.
A small wildlife reserve. Hundreds of bird species and over 50 types of mammal can be seen here including porcupines and monkeys. Nile crocodiles are also in abundance.
Tiny fishing village with a colourful atmosphere. Safe swimming beaches and idyllic walking country are also at hand.
Stomach medicines and insect bites treatments should be packed as well as plasters, mosquito repellent and sun block or suncare creams. Drink only bottled water and ensure food is clean and well cooked. Travel insurance is recommended. No inoculations are compulsory but advisable vaccinations include typhoid, meningitis, hepatitis A, polio and yellow fever. Mosquitos and therefore malaria is a problem throughout the year.
Crime is rare but take sensible precautions including concealing valuables. Also reject any offers of assistance from people in the street as these can be scams.
Gambia is a Muslim country so it is advisable to cover up away from the beach and avoid drinking alcohol in public.
As rated by real users