Welcome to The Gambia
Beaches for days … that’s what brings most visitors to The Gambia. And while there are ample beach resorts lining the glorious sandy beaches, there is so much more to this Mediterranean-esque country.
Visit the Abuko Nature Reserve, rich in Gambian wildlife, from antelopes to crocodiles. Meet local residents and learn about their daily life in charming fishing villages. And birdwatchers, this is your paradise, where you might see more than 100 bird species on a single river cruise (there are close to 600 species throughout the country).
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Need To Know
- The Gambia is mainland Africa’s smallest country, less than 30 miles wide at its widest.
- While a very religiously tolerant country, The Gambian is predominantly Muslim.
- Nine tribes make their home in The Gambia. The largest are the Mandinka, the Fula and the Wolof.
- Gambians vote with marbles. In a private booth, they drop a marble in the hole representing the candidate they choose.
- The Gambia was once the center of the slave trade – Kunte Kinte Island, which was formerly known as James Island, was a waypoint in transatlantic slave trade and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Gambia’s official language is English.
When To Go
The best time to go to The Gambia is October to June.
Banjul International Airport
Passport must be valid at time of entry for duration of stay.
Visa Required By US Citizen?
The CDC recommends the following vaccine for all travelers when visiting The Gambia: Measles and routine vaccinations. Most travelers should receive the Hepatitis A, Malaria, Yellow Fever and Typhoid vaccines. Some travelers should receive the Hepatitis B, Meningitis and Rabies vaccines.
Power plugs and sockets: type G. Standard voltage: 230V. Frequency: 50Hz.
Road conditions are poor through The Gambia, particular in the rainy season from July through September. Roads in greater Banjul are paved, but are potholed and poorly lit. Roads outside the Banjul area are unlit and unpaved. Pedestrians and livestock share the roadways.
Public transportation includes taxi service, although taxis should be avoided at night. Avoid ferries, which are unsafe and unreliable.
An international driving permit is required.
US Embassy Info
U.S. Embassy Banjul
92 Kairaba Avenue, Fajara
Banjul, The Gambia
Telephone: +(220) 439-2856
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(220) 439-2856
Fax: +(220) 439-2475
Local Visitor Info
Tourist Information Board
Local Emergency Phone Numbers
Police, Ambulance: 117
Safety and Security
The crime rate is moderate in The Gambia. Petty street crime is common and includes pickpocketing, purse snatching and theft from vehicles on ferries, in market and commercial areas and hotels. Do not leave belongings unattended.
Beware of “bumsters,” local men who may approach visitors to offer help or act as a local guide. They will often demand payment for service, with no prior agreement.
Avoid walking alone, including on beaches, in tourist areas and after dark.
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