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Gambia is best for...

Wildlife lovers:

Senegal & Fathala: cross the Gambia River and head to the Fathala Game Reserve where rhinos, warthogs, giraffes and monkeys await.

Adventurers:

Makasutu: a unique experience in this ecological nature reserve, which includes a journey in a 'dug-out' canoe.

Sun-worshippers:

The Gambia’s sandy beaches are a must-visit for soaking up some tropical sun, gently eased by cooling breezes.

Fast facts

Language: The language spoken in the Gambia is English, plus around 10 local languages and dialects.

Currency: The currency used in the Gambia is the Gambian Dalasi (GMD). You’ll find a few ATMs in the resorts, but it’s best to take traveller’s cheques and exchange them for cash at a bank or bureau de change.

Local time: Gambia is the same time as GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Banjul (or Yundum) International Airport, which is approximately 27km south of Cape Point, 20-25km south-east and Kotu, and 21km south-east of Kololi.

Flight time from UK: 6.5 hours

Tourist Information: Further Gambia tourist information can be found here.

Visa & Health: Before you travel, click here for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to The Gambia.

Weather & Climate

Temperature: High 30°C/low 40°C

Best time to visit Gambia: November-April when it’s all mid-20°C temperatures and an average of 8-10 hours of sunshine a day.

Gambia’s subtropical climate splits the seasons in two: rainy and dry. The rains whoosh down from July-October, and the country roasts under high 30°C/low 40°C temperatures and high humidity. It can feel rather cool at times; bring a couple of light layers for early morning excursions or evenings out.

Getting Around

By ‘bush taxi’: Flag down a bush taxi, which will be yellow with a green stripe. Popular with the locals (and cheap), they’re a great way to zip around.

By minibus: Minibuses come in all colours, and can be hired for groups and all-day tours.

By taxi: The tourist taxis can be found near your hotel; these are green, and more expensive than bush taxis, but are regulated. There should be a price board, so check the price of your journey and agree it with the driver before setting off.

Events

Gambian music: Early in February the exhilarating Kartong Festival brings the sleepy village of Kartong to life, with its celebration of Gambian music, arts and culture.

Gambian history: Every other May, the quiet fishing village of Albreda plays host to the Roots Festival. Inspired by historian Alex Haley’s book ‘Roots’, it explores Gambia’s history and its role in the transatlantic slave trade.

West African culture: Street parades and symbolic ceremonies celebrate West African culture with pomp and colour; look out for trips to historic sites such as the museum in the village of Juffure, and to the UNESCO-listed Kunte Kinteh (James) Island in the Gambia River.

Holidays in Gambia

Gambia is known as the ‘Smiling Coast of Africa’, and although it’s the smallest country in the mainland continent, it offers one of the biggest welcomes. With a warm climate, welcoming people and diverse landscapes, from long stretches of white sand beach to mangrove swamps and nature reserves, this friendly country attracts visitors seeking guaranteed winter sunshine.

Prices start from £372

A base for wealthy locals and foreign dignitaries, the village of Cape Point has a refined, laid-back feel. Enjoy your Gambia holiday at its beautiful best on when relaxing on a lovely wide sandy beach and at the bird sanctuary. Further down the coast is Kotu, with its lively bars, restaurants, clubs and a casino. For a more low-key experience, play a few rounds of golf, relax on the beach, or take in the botanical gardens. The village of Kololi is a little further south, and the popular ‘Senegambia Strip’ buzzes with restaurants, beach bars and an amusement park.

Kotu Beach

Kotu beach in GAMBIA

Just a small village, Kotu Beach resort revolves around the wide sandy beach and a single road on which hotels, bars, shops and a few craft stalls can be found. Entertainment in the area is traditional and hotel-based. A casino can be found nearby, as can the Faraja golf course.

Kololi Beach

Kololi beach in GAMBIA

A long, wide sand-and-shingle beach resort with a number of cafés and beach bars. Senegambia and the newer Village have some international restaurants, a craft market and a couple of disco bars. Away from the beach, see monkeys at the nearby Bijilo Forest Park – one of the main attractions in Kololi.

Cape Point

Cape point in GAMBIA

Dotted with low-rise hotels, Cape Point has a handful of restaurants and a small craft market. This relaxed vibe continues onto the stretch of inviting pale sandy beach, which attracts sun-seekers. Approximately 1km from Cape Point is the traditional African town of Bakau.



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