Gambia Travel Guide

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Fishing Scene

Fishing Scene

Jose Canedo

Gambia is the smallest mainland country in West Africa. On three sides it is surrounded by Senegal - the western border is the Atlantic Ocean. North to south it is about 50K by 500K long, east to west, upthe river. It is surrounded by a bunch of French speaking countries, but Gambia is very British influenced.

Gambia is pretty popular with package holidays. There is also a thriving independant traveller trade too. On the coast there are quite a few holiday villages where white Europeans are flown in by the package every week and red Europeans are flown out one or two weeks later. The Atlantic Coast resorts of Bakau, Fajara, Kotu and Kololi make up the heart of The Gambia's tourist industry. But there is a lot more than just golden beaches...

There is more to holidaying in the Gambia than the usual lobster on the beach brigade There are many local owned B&B's that are eco friendly destinations and are well away from the crass nonsense on the tourist strip of coast.

Banjul is the small capital and a lively city. Good nightlife, markets and a very pleasant atmosphere make it a top attraction. Serekunda is the major conurbation however. It is the primary transport hub and activity centre of the country. It's a crowded place, bustling and 100% African.

Bakau was the main centre for servicing the tourist industry. It's importance for this has declined rapidly due to the expansion of the Fajara/Kololi strip of beach also know as the 'Senegambia area'. Where there is nothing but hotels along the coast for miles. A typical developement based on tourists as cattle; local people as virtual slaves and foreign ownership, meaning most of the profits go out of the country.

Most locals, unless working for the tourist industry here, are not allowed to enter the area. It has become a virtual seperate enclave and no longer has much to do with the reality of this beautiful country and its wonderful people!

Bakau has some good, local owned, small hotels and many B&B's. It's a small country and as the saying goes 'small is beautifull', so check out the B&B's rather than the rip off hotels in 'Senegambia land'.


Juffre It is a small village on the northern bank of the River Gambia about 25km (15mi) upstream from Banjul. It became world famous in the 1970s following the publication of "Roots", in which African-American author Alex Haley describes how Kunta Kinte, his ancestor, was captured here and taken as a slave to America some 200 years ago.

When Nature touch the Sea is Abuko is a great place to go to see wild life. The park is fenced, well-managed and very easy to reach from Banjul.

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