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Gambia holidays

30 ℃

Enjoys a subtropical climate, with swimsuit weather all year round.

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6 hours

Banjul (or Yundum) International Airport (BJL).

Weather and climate in Gambia

Temperature: 30 (°C)

When’s the best time to go?

It might be the smallest country in West Africa, but what the Gambia lacks in size it more than makes up for in character. Expect the warmest of welcomes from the locals, golden beaches, clear waters and spectacular nature reserves. The cuisine is fresh and fantastic and there’s even the chance to visit authentic Gambian villages, such as the ones found at Cape Point. In short, the best Gambia travel advice we can give you is to book your tickets as soon as possible.

However, while the ‘Smiling Coast’ is well known for glorious weather and a sunny attitude, there are times of the year that might be preferable over others.

For a cooler climate and minimal chance of rain, book your Gambia holiday between October and June. This is the dry season, when temperatures average from around 24-28°C. If you like things hotter, the months between July and September see temperatures climb into the 30s and, occasionally, the low 40s. However, this is the rainy season so expect some hefty downpours, especially in the afternoon and evening.

Gambia Weather Overview
Jan | Feb | March | April | May | June | July | Aug | Sept | Oct | Nov | Dec

 

Gambia is best for...

Sun-worshippers: If you love the beach, Gambia holidays will be right up your street. Soak up the tropical sun and enjoy the cooling breeze as you sit back with a cocktail in hand.

Explorers: Hop across the river and head to the Fathala Game Reserve where rhinos, warthogs, giraffes and monkeys await. Or, explore the Makasutu nature reserve in a dug-out canoe.

Couples: Whether you want to relax on an idyllic beach with your loved one or get lost in the forest, holidays he are perfect for two. 

Fast facts for Gambia

Language: English is spoken here, plus local languages and dialects.

Currency: The currency used here is the Gambian Dalasi (GMD). You’ll find a few ATMs in the resort, and some cards will be accepted. However, it’s best to take some cash with you in GBP and exchange it for the local currency at either the hotel or a local bank in the resort.

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

Fly to: Banjul International Airport. Transfer time to Banjul Beach, Bijilo, Brufut Heights, Kololi Beach and Kotu Beach is about 50 minutes.

Flight time from UK: The flight time to Gambia is 6–7 hours.

Tourist information: To learn more before you go off on your Gambia holidays, it’s worth visiting www.visitthegambia.gm.

Visa / health: For visa and health advice and recommendations, head to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/the-gambia

Holiday destinations related to Gambia:

 

 

Getting around Gambia

By minibus: They come in all colours, and hiring one is a convenient way for groups to get out and about and see the sights. 

By taxi: You’re likely to find tourist taxis near your hotel; they’re green and more expensive than bush taxis, but are regulated. There should be a price board on display, so check the price and agree it with the driver before setting off.

By ‘bush taxi’: You can’t miss them, they’re yellow with a green stripe. Popular with the locals (and cheap), they’re a great way to zip around, but check the price before you get in first, so that you’re not being ‘taken for a ride’.

Events in Gambia

Kartong Festival: Early in February, this colourful celebration brings the sleepy village of Kartong to life; it’s a vibrant festival paying tribute to Gambian music, arts and culture.

Roots Festival: Every other May, this lively event comes to the quiet fishing village of Albreda. Inspired by historian Alex Haley’s book Roots, it explores the history and its role in the transatlantic slave trade.

Colourful parades: Street parades and symbolic ceremonies celebrate the rich 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 Kunta Kinteh (James) Island in the Gambia River.

Gambia safety and security

Do I need a passport?

Gambia passport requirements state that British citizens must hold a full UK passport, which is valid for at least the duration of their stay. For further information on entry requirements, visit: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/the-gambia/entry-requirements

Do I need a visa?

If you’re taking Gambia holidays for less than 28 days, you do not need a Gambia visa. On arrival, your passport will be stamped, stating the date by which you must leave. If you intend staying any longer than that, then you’ll need to apply for an extension. To read more about visas, head to: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/the-gambia

Should I get travel health insurance?

You should have comprehensive travel health insurance whenever you travel abroad. It protects you against the financial cost of unexpected events, such as illness and accidents. With a good policy behind you, the cost of things like medicines, medical treatment and even returning to the UK can be covered. However, it’s worth reading through yours to check what is and isn’t included, especially if you’re planning on doing any sports such as scuba diving.

Any other tips?

  • While the locals are very friendly, it’s always worth asking permission if you want to take a photograph of someone.
  • The markets can be overwhelming to begin with and as a tourist, you’re likely to attract some attention. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to anyone trying to sell you something you don’t want, or to the locals who might offer their services as guides. Be polite, but firm.
  • Avoid using tap water for anything other than washing. Drink bottled water, avoid salads that have been washed in tap water or fruits that have been peeled and then washed, and dodge ice cubes in your drinks at all costs.
  • Where possible, use the green tourist taxis. Do check on the price before you travel; while these taxis operate on fixed prices, it’s always better to double-check.

 

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