The Gambia: The Smiling Coast of Africa, Where River Meets the Ocean
Nestled inside the curving arms of Senegal,
the Gambia is the smallest country on mainland Africa. This tiny sliver of land traces the path of the mighty Gambia River from the Atlantic Ocean to the heart of the continent.
Known affectionately as "The Smiling Coast of Africa", the Gambia is a country that unfolds like a thrilling storybook of wildlife, history, and culture.
The first chapters of this story introduce you to the Gambia's serene sandy beaches that stretch along the Atlantic Coast. Resorts line the golden sands of Kololi and Kotu, offering tranquil retreats, lively nightlife, and an eclectic mix of local and international cuisine. As the sun sets, these beaches transform into a vibrant stage where local musicians and dancers perform to the rhythm of the African drums.
Next, the narrative flows upriver, echoing the journey of explorers, traders, and colonists who once sought fortune and glory in this land. Historic sites, such as the Kunta Kinteh Island (formerly James Island) and the 'Stone Circles' of Wassu, speak of a tumultuous past intertwined with the Atlantic slave trade and ancient civilizations.
Venture deeper inland, and the story turns to the abundant wildlife. From the bustling markets of Serrekunda to the tranquil waterways of the River Gambia National Park, you'll encounter vibrant bird species, troops of monkeys, and possibly a glimpse of the elusive hippos and crocodiles.
For a short video introduction of Gambia, click below
Citizens from Commonwealth countries, European Union, ECOWAS countries and several other countries do not require a visa to enter The Gambia for tourism. Check with your local consulate or embassy for up-to-date information.
The official currency of The Gambia is the Gambian dalasi (GMD). Credit cards are accepted in larger establishments in the capital, Banjul, but cash is needed for most transactions elsewhere.
English is the official language of The Gambia, and numerous indigenous languages are also spoken.
WiFi and SIM Cards
WiFi is available at most hotels, restaurants, and cafes in larger towns and cities. You can buy a local SIM card for wider coverage; Africell and QCell are popular choices.
Health and Safety
Malaria is a risk in The Gambia, so preventative measures are recommended. Ensure your routine vaccinations are up-to-date, and consider shots for Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Though generally safe, be wary of petty crime in tourist areas.
Last but not least
Here's another tip (or trick, you decide): The Gambia is a birdwatcher's paradise. Over 500 species of birds call this small country home. An early morning boat tour through the Tanji Bird Reserve or the Baobolong Wetland Reserve can yield sightings of everything from vibrant kingfishers to elusive herons and vultures. Don't forget your binoculars!