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Holidays in Bijilo
Just 8km from the Gambian capital of Banjul, Bijilo Beach is a quiet beach resort that’s perfect for a laid-back holiday in the sun. Chill out with a cocktail and a good book on the soft almond-coloured sands, or spend your days spotting monkeys in the lush green lands of Bijilo Forest Park.
Pleasantly hot all year round. A perfect destination for Winter sun.
The nearest airport to Bijilo Beach is Banjul International Airport (BJL), approximately 30km from the resort.
Spend your days discovering lush green forests and sun-soaked beaches when you book a Thomas Cook holiday to Bijilo Beach.
Nature lovers will have plenty to do here, with parks full of wildlife and rare plants surrounding Bijilo Beach. Stop by a local café for a taste of some authentic Gambian dishes, such as yassa, a spicy stew made with chicken and vegetables, and yam dumplings. The local speciality here is a rich peanut stew known as domoda, made with meat, vegetables and served with fluffy rice. Evenings here are a laid-back affair. Kick back with a cold drink in a beach bar, and watch as the sun sets over the ocean.
Bijilo Beach has its own section of silky sand along The Gambia’s Atlantic coast. The beaches in Bijilo Beach are a great place to sunbathe or take a dip during the day. Most hotels have access to their own section of sandy beach, so pack up your beach towel and flip flops, and head straight for the sand. The beach is one of the best places to visit in Bijilo Beach during the early evening. Listen to the palm trees swaying in the evening breeze as you watch the sun set across the ocean.
Bijilo is separated from Kololi Beach by the Bijilo Forest Park, a haven for exotic wildlife and one of the best attractions in Bijilo Beach. Hire a bike or follow one of the walking trails through the lush green vegetation, rich with wild orchids and majestic silk cotton trees. You’ll see monkeys in their natural habitat, and if you’re really lucky, a doe-eyed galago, also known as a bush baby. If you want to get the most out of the park, hire a local guide who’ll take you to all the best spots.
If you’re up early in the morning, you’ll catch a glimpse of the local fishermen bringing in the day’s catch on traditional boats, known as pirogues. Find a beachside café and sit down to a lunch of barbecued fresh fish –it’s how the locals like to eat it. Most hotels will serve European-style food, but if you’re feeling adventurous, try one of the traditional Gambian dishes. Take your pick from spicy stews such as chicken yassa, or grilled meat served with rice or fufu, mashed yams. For pudding, tuck into a bowl of sweet and spicy chakery, made with vanilla yogurt, crushed pineapple and nutmeg.
Beach bums: Spend your days soaking up the African sunshine on one of the sandy beaches.
Nature lovers: The lush green lands of Bijilo Forest Park are home to monkeys, birds and bush babies.
Foodies: Tuck into local specialities such as spicy chicken yassa and fufu, fluffy mashed yams.
Language: The language spoken in Bijilo Beach is English
Currency: The currency used in Bijilo Beach is the Dalasi (D)
Local time: Bijilo Beach has the same time as GMT/UK time
Fly to: The nearest airport to Bijilo Beach is Banjul International Airport (BJL), approximately 30km from the resort
Flight time from UK: 6 hours
Tourist Information: Further Bijilo Beach 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 Bijilo Beach.
Temperature: Low-to-mid 30s (°C) all year round
Best time to visit: To avoid the wet seasons and get the best of the warm African weather, visit between winter and spring.
The weather in Bijilo Beach is just as the rest of Gambia, a mix of rainy seasons between July to October and drier days throughout the winter.
By bus: Buses can be hired for groups and tours. They’re the most convenient way to get around if you’re travelling to see the local sights with a group.
By taxi: Local taxis are painted green and will usually be found near to your hotel. Remember to agree a price with the driver before you set off.
Back to your roots: Every other May, the Roots Homecoming Festival hits the small town of Albreda to celebrate African culture with music and shows. The descendants of Gambian families travel from all over the world to more about their heritage.
Beach parties: During the spring, Rave About Africa is a season of beach festivals. You can expect everything from masquerade balls and banquets, to drumming workshops and live comedy.