Spend your days discovering lush green forests and sun-soaked beaches when you book a Thomas Cook holiday to Bijilo Beach.
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If you want to sample a slice of paradise, Bijilo holidays will be right up your street; this resort is a haven hidden away from Gambia’s busier tourist areas, so it’s not as crowded. If you’re looking for a beach holiday, then it’s a great destination with stunning shorelines brushing up against the vast Atlantic Ocean. It’s easy to laze away a day on the beach, soaking up the sunshine. If you’re feeling more energetic, you can dive deep into nature in Bijilo National Park, which is brimming with beautiful wildlife and rare plants. When you’ve finished exploring, you’ll be ready for a hearty dinner at a local restaurant. Try a delicious local speciality, like spicy chicken yassa and fufu. Evenings here are as laid-back as they come. It’s all about kicking back with a cold drink in a beach bar as you watch the sun set over the ocean.
The silky-soft beaches in Bijilo Gambia are superb for sunbathing and swimming. With green forests serving as a stunning backdrop, you’ll feel like you’re miles from anywhere. Many hotels have access to their own private beaches, so pack up your beach towel and flip flops, so you can spend the day on the sand. You’ll also want to make your way to the beach in the evening; just sit and listen to the palm trees rustling in the evening breeze and watch the dramatic sunset over the Atlantic Ocean with a cocktail in hand, of course.
Bijilo Forest Park separates Bijilo from the nearby resort of Kololi, and it’s one of the best attractions here. This is a haven for exotic plants and wildlife; you could spend hours wondering along the walking trails or cycling through the lush green vegetation, rich with wild orchids and majestic silk cotton trees. Look out for the native vervet monkeys in their natural habitat. If you’re really lucky, you’ll get to see a doe-eyed galago also known as a bush baby. If you want to get the most out of this beautiful park, it’s worth hiring a local guide, who’ll take you to all the best spots.
If you’re an early riser on your Bijilo holidays, you’ll get the opportunity to see the local fishermen bringing in the catch of the day on traditional boats, known as pirogues. Later, you’ll find the beachside cafés serving superb barbecued fish, it’s how the locals like to eat it. Look out for traditional Gambian dishes on menus around town. Take your pick from tasty stews and for pudding, there’s the sweet but sour treat called chakery; it’s made with vanilla yogurt, crushed pineapple, and nutmeg.
Beach lovers: You’ll be free to spend your days soaking up the glorious African sunshine on one of the unspoilt sandy beaches. It’s impossible not to feel relaxed here.
Nature lovers: Discover exotic plants, birds, and wildlife in the verdant Bijilo Forest Park. If you’re lucky, you might spot a native vervet monkey swinging in the trees.
Couples: Whether you want a romantic getaway or an idyllic honeymoon destination, the pristine beaches and lush green scenery are just the ticket.
Language: English is spoken around the main tourist resorts, although if you head further afield you’re more likely to hear local dialects or French more widely spoken. Pack a phrasebook or download our handy language app.
Currency: The currency needed for your holiday is the Dalasi (D).
Local time: Bijilo is the same time as GMT/UK time.
Fly to: Banjul International Airport. Transfer time to the resort of Bijilo is about 50 minutes.
Flight time from UK: The flight time to Bijilo is 6–7 hours.
Tourist information: It’s worth reading more information before your Bijilo holidays over at www.visitthegambia.gm.
Visa & health: For visas and health recommendations for Bijilo holidays, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/gambia.
Temperature: Low-to-mid-30s (°C) all year round.
Best time to visit: If you want to avoid the wet seasons, to make the most of the warm African weather, you’ll want to book Bijilo holidays between winter and spring.
Just like everywhere in Gambia, this destination experiences rainy seasons between July to October, but it’s much drier in winter through to spring. Temperatures remain in the 30s (°C) throughout the year, making Gambia a great destination for a splash of winter sunshine.
By bus: You can hire a bus for groups and tours. It’s the most convenient way see the sights if a group of you want to explore local attractions.
By taxi: You can’t miss them as they’re painted green, plus you’re likely to find one near to your hotel. It’s always a good idea to agree a price with the driver before you hop on board.
Roots Homecoming Festival: Every other May, the small town of Albreda gets together to celebrate African culture with a wealth of vibrant shows and music. Descendants of Gambian families travel from all over the world to learn more about their heritage. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the history and culture of this part of Africa, and have a good party at the same time!
Rave About Africa: In spring, this spectacular season of beach festivals takes place, featuring everything from masquerade balls and banquets, and drumming workshops to live comedy.