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Holidays in Banjul Beach
A small seaport located on the River Gambia, Banjul has a low-key night-life but brims with energy and colour during the day. Banjul Beach has a few restaurants and various nature parks within reach, whilst the large local markets offer the chance to barter for authentic African crafts. A taste of authentic Africa, Banjul Beach is a perfect Gambian retreat where you can relax on a palm–fringed beach and soak up the sub–tropical sunshine.
Average temperature during Winter months is around pleasant 30°C. November is the hottest month to visit.
The nearest airport is Banjul International Airport (BJL), around 30km from Banjul Beach.
Book a Thomas Cook holiday to Gambia’s Banjul Beach and experience the infectious rhythms and good vibes of Africa’s heartland for yourself.
The capital of The Gambia, Banjul is a hive of activity in the day with markets packed with fresh fruit and textiles, and the bustle of fishermen passing through. A quaint seaport, Banjul is a magnet for exotic birds so it’s great for bird-watchers, whilst the Tanbi wetlands and Makasutu Culture forest provide great opportunities for nature enthusiasts of all kinds. The nightlife in Banjul Beach is laid-back and relaxed, with a lot of entertainment based in the restaurants and bars of hotels. But Banjul is definitely the place for total, secluded relaxation.
Shell-strewn beaches run the length of the Gambia’s Atlantic coast, but there are few more stunning than the beach in Banjul itself. With its palm-shaded sands, palm groves and narrow strips of sand, Banjul Beach is simply perfect for sunbathers. With a small town atmosphere, Banjul has an intimate and inviting atmosphere with the beach at its heart, with thrilling watersports available just outside of town. But even better, when you’re on Banjul’s beach, all the best places in Gambia will surround you, with Cape Point, Kotu and Kololi only 25 minutes away by road.
Named after its majestic river, a trip to Gambia isn’t complete without a boat trip down one of Africa’s most navigable waterways, the Gambia River. Boat trips are one of the most popular attractions in Banjul and a great thing for kids to do, too. On a boat trip you might catch sight of a rare species of bird and monkey or, if you’re really lucky, you may snap a picture of a dolphin, crocodile or hippo! Alternatively, cross to the north bank of the river and you can explore sparsely inhabited Niumi National Park.
Banjul Beach has a few restaurants and bars within reach of the hotels. So make sure to try local specialities like cassava chura-gertek (a sweet dish of ground nuts, rice and milk), chere (steamed millet-flour balls) and domoda, a famously delicious Gambian stew of meat in peanut sauce. And if you fancy tasting a local beer then make sure to order a Jul Brew. All the most authentic and best places in Banjul will serve Jul Brew. Mangoes, papayas, grapefruit and bananas are all grown locally so fresh fruit from a restaurant is another must-try.
Nature Lovers: Surrounded by fantastic countryside and waterways, Banjul is the ultimate place to catch sight of exotic birds.
Sun Seekers: Tropical sun and cool breezes. Banjul Beach’s sands are a must-visit for a stay in Gambia.
Bargain Hunters: Local goods can be found at Banjul’s craft market but there are many ‘bengdulalu’ (shopping areas) for handcrafted souvenirs.
Language: The languages spoken in Gambia are English, Mandinka and Wolof, amongst many others
Currency: The currency used in Gambia is Dalasi (D)
Local time: Banjul Beach has the same time as GMT/UK time
Fly to: The nearest airport is Banjul International Airport (BJL), around 30km from Banjul Beach
Flight time from UK: 6 hours
Tourist Information: Further Gambia tourist information can be found at www.visitthegambia.gm
Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/gambia for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to The Gambia.
Temperature: Low 30s (°C) all year round
Best time to visit: Winter and spring if you want to avoid the wet seasons
The weather in Gambia helps to divide the year into two seasons; rainy and dry. The rains whoosh down from around July to October, but the rest of the year heats up to 30°C. Still, make sure to bring some light layers for morning excursions or evenings out.
By bus: Buses in Banjul Beach come in all colours, shapes and sizes, and can be hired for groups and tours. They’re an excellent choice for bigger families travelling to Banjul and can be arranged from your hotel reception.
By taxi: Taxis can be found near your hotel, so look out for these green cars. They might be a little more expensive than other taxis, but they’re regulated for your safety so are well worth the extra cost. Make sure to always agree a price with the driver before you set off.
Roots Homecoming: Every other May, with the next taking place 9-16 May 2014, this biannual festival in the town of Albreda brings descendants of Gambian families from all over the world to their ancestral home to discover their roots with music, shows and a celebration of all things uniquely African.
Bob Marley Day: On 9 May 2014, Rave About Africa celebrates national Bob Marley Day with a jammin’ beach festival, but there are regular theme nights and beach parties throughout the spring, including an African King & Queen Banquet and a Masquerade Ball.