The Gambia is already known for its vacation-worthy coastline, but it offers more than just beaches to lounge on. Its colorful culture, verdant inland forests, and variety of wildlife make this little slice of West Africa a worthy destination.
The Gambia is traditionally very tolerant of all religious creeds and beliefs and while the country is predominantly Muslim, with up to 90% of the population practising the basic tenets of Islam, it is essentially a secular country and it prides itself on its broad-minded acceptance of all faiths. English is the official language, but the most frequently spoken languages are generally of the Atlantic branch of the Niger-Congo family.
There are two main seasons in the Gambia, and both come with their own unique benefits for travelers. The Dry Season runs from November until May and offers predictably sunny skies with little chance of rain or humidity. The Green Season, which lasts from June through October, is named for its beautifully lush landscape, and there are also fewer crowds during this time.
For a first-time visitor, one week is just enough to explore The Gambia's incredible coastal areas, where you can spend your days lounging on the sand and swimming in the Atlantic. If you're interested in a more dynamic trip, there are plenty of activities convenient to the coast.
The Gambia may be small, but you could easily spend weeks exploring its coast, national parks, and namesake river. Beachgoers can get their fill in 5 to 7 days, while those who want to travel inland should spend more time.
Whether you simply want to hang out on golden beaches or immerse yourself in the local culture, there is something for everyone in the Gambia. Cruise or paddle the Gambia River and have breakfast in neighbouring Senegal, or visit one of the many spectacular national parks and reserves to look for wildlife. Head to Banjul to see an authentic market, Kunta Kinteh island for a history lesson, or the Makasutu Nature Forest for world-class bird watching.
The Gambia has no trains and no internal flights. Most local people get around using the bush taxi, which can be a converted minibus, estate car, van or even cart in rural areas. Hiring a Land Rover or bike is a fine way of getting around in your own sweet time and allows you to get off the beaten track.
Health & Safety measures: