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Travel Notes: Africa: The Gambia Travel Notes

The Gambia Travel Notes

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The Gambia Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


Find Gambia Travel and Tourist Information with links to official travel and tourism websites and state resources for visitors to The Gambia.

About The Gambia

The Gambia is on the western coast of Africa, surrounded by Senegal.

Background Information on The Gambia

The main ethnic groups in the area, before the arrival of the Europeans, were the Mandingo, Wolof, and Fulani peoples.

Map of The Gambia

The early states paid tribute to the Mali Empire before creating small riverine kingdoms of their own.

Portuguese explorers set up trading stations along the river around 1455.

Weather in Africa:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around Africa.

The British in Gambia

The British purchased Banjul Island from the ruler of a local kingdom in 1816. They initially resisted expansion into the upper river areas until the European race for African territory began in the 1880s.

Britain then claimed the River Gambia and established The Gambia's present boundaries in an agreement with France in 1889

The British didn't begin to develop The Gambia properly until after World war II. Administration posts were set up, and The Gambia became independent on February 18, 1965.

The official language of The Gambia is English, while Wolof and Mandinka are the main African languages spoken.


The capital of The Gambia lies on a sandy peninsula between the mouth of the River Gambia and the Atlantic Ocean.

Founded as Bathurst by the British in 1816, the port started as a base for suppressing the slave trade.

Bathurst was the capital when The Gambia gained independence in 1965, and the name was changed to Banjul in 1973.

Before the July 1994 coup an increasing number of charter flights flew in to Yundum, near Banjul, with Europeans seeking relatively exotic holidays of sun and sand when it's cold and dark at home.

The more adventurous travel upriver to Basse Santa Su, or visit the Cassamance region in neighbouring Senegal.

Getting Around Gambia

Green Tourist Taxis

If you're staying at one of the tourist hotels and want to explore on your own, you'll find these taxis ready to take you where you want.

Yellow and Green Taxis

These are the shared taxis that run on certain routes or may even be parked at the side of the road for individual hire.

Bush Taxis

The collective taxis can get pretty crowded and you'll see them running around the country.


There are a number of ferry crossings along the river ranging from the large Banjul-Barra ferry ship to smaller wooden platforms, with only enough room for a handful of cars.

River Gambia

The River Gambia rises in the Guinea highlands of the Fouta Djallon and empties into the Atlantic Ocean.

It was sighted by Portuguese sailors in 1446 and explored by the Venetian navigator Alvise da Ca Da Mosto nine years later.

Visit Gambia

Gambia Attractions

The Gambia has a wealth of natural and historical heritage to explore: forts, historic towns and villages, forests, national parks, ancient ruins, museums, historic monuments and wildlife.

Gambian Reptiles Farm:

The Gambian Reptiles Farm is located at Kartung. To get there you need to take the coast road from Serrekunda; passing Tanji, Sanyang and Gunjur. Kartung is five kilometres after Gunjur.

Makasutu Culture Forest:

Set on the banks of the idyllic Mandina Bolong (river) Makasutu Culture Forest is a 1,000-acre reserve. Encompassing many different eco systems and habitats, the area is home to hundreds of species of birds, not to mention the monkeys, baboons and monitor lizards that make the forest their home.

The Gambia Experience:
The largest specialist UK tour operator to The Gambia.

Gambia Accommodation


On the coast, 30 minutes from Banjul

Garden Guesthouse:
Located in a in a cul-de-sac, in a quiet part of Bakau, you'll live in the community and gain insights into the culture and way of life of Gambia that hotels cannot give you. Haruna will meet you at the airport. From then on his first duty is to look after you. He can even accompany you on trips to other areas and over the border to Senegal, if you wish.

Ocean Bay Hotel & Resort - Official Hotel WebsiteOcean Bay Hotel on FacebookOcean Bay Hotel Tweets
Ocean Bay Hotel & Resort:
Koffi Annan Street Cape Point PO Box 4065, Bakau, The Gambia.

The luxurious 5-star Ocean Bay Hotel Resort is an international, first class hotel in the very heart of Cape Point; Gambia's finest beach district. Simply walk out the resort's gate and find yourself on miles of pristine beach.

Join the Meta Travel Community to add your reviews Guests at the Ocean Bay Hotel & Resort loved the bar, excellent in-house restaurant, and comfortable beds.


Footsteps Eco-Lodge in The Gambia:
David White caters for individual travellers and small groups alike, offering a quiet tranquil setting for an ideal Gambia holiday.


On the coast, near Serrekunda

Ngala Lodge:
Each suite has bathrobes, slippers, a private balcony and most of them have a stunning view over the garden and sea.

Paradise Suites:
High quality accommodation in villas, maisonettes, and suites.

Kairaba Beach Hotel - Official Hotel WebsiteKaraiba Beach Hotel on Facebook
Kairaba Beach Hotel - Pmb 390, Serrekunda, The Gambia.

Set among 40 acres of mature gardens with fish ponds and over a hundred types of plants and trees. Built in a Portuguese style, the two-storey houses feature spacious balconies with views of the ocean or beautiful landscaped gardens and central pool.

Join the Meta Travel Community to add your reviews Guests at the Kairaba Beach Hotel loved the impressive vews, delicious breakfast and comfortable rooms.

Kotu Beach


Senegambia Beach Hotel:
Senegambia Beach Hotel features 328 rooms, studios and apartments situated in a two-storey main building and/or in the hotel’s extended garden.

Gambia Directories

Access Gambia:
Portal of over 120 pages of Gambia-related websites.

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Gambia Maps and Travel Guides

The Gambia (Bradt Travel Guides) Senegal & The Gambia Map - Reise Know-How Verlag

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