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The Gambia

Located midway between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator, The Gambia with a land mass of 11,295 square kilometres is one of Africa’s smallest countries and West Africa’s smallest. Many tourists from Europe love The Gambia because it enjoys virtually uninterrupted sunshine and high daytime temperatures with almost no rainfall from November to June.

The Gambia, officially named ‘The Gambia’ and not ‘Gambia’ to distinguish it from the Gambia River, is situated on either side of the Gambia River. That is the reason it is 180 miles long. but only 21 miles wide.

The population is slightly over 1,8 million with the highest population around the capital Banjul, by far the largest city, followed by die nearby districts of Serekunda and Brikama.

The Gambia is the oldest English speaking country in West Africa, gaining its independence from Britain in 1965.

Showing commitment to nature conservation, the first President of the Republic of The Gambia, Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, opened the 250 acre Abuko Nature Reserve in 1977.

There are many tribes living in The Gambia. The main ones are Mandinka, Wolof, Fula and Jola, Each has its own language and traditions.

There is no railway and the only public transport are Bush Taxis, which cover the main routes and some bush roads, but do not run to a schedule. They are cheap and very over-crowded but are a great way of absorbing the local flavour.


The Gambian Dalasi (GMD) is roughly 40 against the US dollar and 55 to Sterling.


Julbrew is the local lager brewed by Banjul Breweries Ltd., The Gambia’s only brewery. It sells four varieties of Julbrew beer, each with different alcohol content and corresponding symbols on the label.


Although inoculations are not compulsory for entry from European Union countries, certain medication, including anti-malarial tablets, Yellow Fever, hepatitis and typhoid vaccinations will be recommended (a Yellow Fever certificate is not required for entry into The Gambia but may be required to be shown when passing between The Gambia and Senegal).

We advise that you consult your doctor or a travel clinic at least a month before your travel.

More travel information to The Gambia at www.gambia.co.uk.