the ultimate Gambia Travel Guide with all you need to know
Are you looking for a destination to enjoy the wintersun where you can enjoy the warm weather all year long, has great beaches and where you’re surrounded by palmtrees? In that case Gambia; The Smiling Coast of Africais definitely a country you’ll want to visit. And the fun part is that you get the hospitality of the locals as a bonus, and get the opportunity to meet new, special cultures, traditions and eating habits. I went to Gambia to make this Gambia Travel Guide and I’ve got to say that this country stole my heart and I’m sure I’ll go back someday.
Gambia is a country that has a lot to offer. Besides the fact you can enjoy your resort the entire day with a smile on your face, there are lots of fun things to do when you’re done with lazing with a cocktail in your hand. Go on a boat ride through the mangrove forests, visit the heart of Gambia; the Tanji Fish Market en educate yourself on the slavery that played a large part in Gambia and continue with the Kunta Kinte boat trip.
Tip: If you haven’t travelled outside of Europe a lot, I would recommend you to always take a local guide with you. They know the areas like no one else and they can inform you with all sorts of inside facts about the country and the habits. Most of the excursions are easily booked via your hotel.
In this Gambia Travel Guide I’ve collected over 61 tips for everyone who’s thinking about travelling to Gambia. Enjoy!
28 X good and fun to know about gambia
Gambia is a small country with around 1,8 million inhabitants. That’s about three times as small as The Netherlands and everyone knows each other. Does you mother doesn’t know his mother? Then you can be sure that his mother knows your father or his mother knows your mother.
Malaria mosquitos are present in Gambia. But they’re mostly active in the rainy season (August, September October) and then most of the times only when the sun sets. Use anti-mosquito spray DEET preferably throughout the entire year, but especially during those months, leave the airconditioning on and wear clothes with long sleeves during the night. If you’re actually receptive of malaria also has to do with your resistance. The choice to take pills for malaria is all yours.
Don’t be scared if they’re a cow all of a sudden behind you on the beach, this is perfectly normal here!
Are you going back to The Netherlands? Make sure to shake hands with left, this means you’ll see each other again someday. Fun!
Want to know more about Gambia? Read the blog below with 28 facts in this Gambia Travel Guide!
7 X the Best hotels in Gambia
If you want to book a beach vacation to Gambia you’ll probably get dizzy from all the beach resorts that are available. Each and every one has breautiful private beaches, palm trees and a lovely pool. But what are truly the best hotels in Gambia to really unwind during your rightfully earned beach vacation? To help you a little with planning your vacation I’ve lined up nine lovely beach resorts and hotels in Gambia for you. From beach resorts with a true authentic African feel because of the interior and the curious monkeys thatjoin you for breakfast to luxurious hotels where every room is unique and is perfect to really relax because of the remote location.
Senegambia Beach Hotel: his hotel is bound to give you that true African feeling because of their tropical garden with exotic birds, lots of palm trees and monkeys that will join you during your much needed me-time. The hotel is situated in the heart of Kololi, approximately 15 km from the Banjul airport and it’s located directly at the beach. Don’t feel like lying on the beach? Cool down in one of the pools or drink a cocktail at their pool bar while enjoying the sunset. In the evening you’re on the Senegambia Strip in no time.
Ngala Lodge: his hotel is small, classy and yet again is surrounded by a tropical garden with beautiful birds. Ngala Lodge is one of my favourite hotels in Gambia! This hotel is perfect to relax in, there are no children, it has a lovely private beach and it’s situated on top of a cliff from where you can enjoy the amazing view. Feel like working out? You can head out to the golf course next to the hotel or swim laps in the pool while the sun sets. Or do you feel like exploring? You can go to Cape Point, which is around 3 km away from the hotel.
16 x fun to do in Gambia
Gambia is three times as small as The Netherlands and yet you can see, do or experience something different here every day for motnhs. I’ve lined up the best things to do in Gambia for you, even though there are many more…
Tanji Fish Market: One of my favourite things to do in Gambia is wandering around on the Tanji Fish Market. You really get to taste the authentic Gambia here. It’s the market in Gambia where it all happens. Aplenty of people, scents, colours, noises and countless other stimulations come together here. My tip: sit down somewhere for about fifteen minutes and absorb everything, look around you and observe. Let down your camera and enjoy the organized chaos here and ‘The Smiling Coast of Africa‘.
Senegambia strip: Want to dive into the nightlife of Gambia? Go to the Senegambia Strip and first eat a bite at one of the good restaurants, enjoy the live perfomances and visit a café or even a club afterwards. It’s the place where locals are more than willing to go out for a dance!
Kunta Kinteh Beach: One of the nicest spots in Gambia to have dinner, to relax and to make a walk on the beach is Kunta Kinteh Beach. A resort with a restaurant, some wonderful lounge beds and a beach with palm trees that instantly gives you that tropical feeling. Not only is the food here delicious, the vibe here is even better!
More tips? Then quickly read further below.
8 X delicious food and drinks in Gambia
Believe it or not, you can have some delicious food in Gambia! I’ve fallen in love with the Gabian cuisine by now and I would do anything to taste the domoda (rice with peanut sauce) again (on the beach that is, of course ;-)). From rice with chicken to sweet snacks like wonjo and baobab, these dishes, snacks and drinks are something you’ll definitely want to try in Gambia.
Domoda: My favourite dish from Gambia is without a doubt Domoda from the Madinka tribe. A rice dish with peanuts as the basic ingredient, tomatoes, chicken or beef. Or rice with peanut sauce as you may, but way tastier than we know it ;-). Honestly, I’ve eaten it every day and I can’t wait to order it the next time!
Pancakes: When you order coffee, that contain a fair amount of sugar cubes by the way, you’ll get pancakes. And no, those are not the pancakes that we know. They’re deep fried, crispy balls with a fluffy inside that you’ll can’t get enough of. Like a Dutch Doughnut! Made out of milk, wheat flour, coconut powder and strawberry powder that gives it a hint of strawberry taste. They’re even more delicious with honey or mango puree, to really give into that sugar rush. Ask the locals if you can taste one, these are (probably) more fresh, crispier and tastier than the ones in your hotel.
More culinary tasting in Gambia? Read the blog below with 8 dishes, snacks and drinks you don’t want to miss on your vacation.
GAMBIA TRAVEL TIPS
This is how you get there: Tui and Corendon fly every other day directly from Amsterdam, or with a short stop in Senegal, to Gambia. Did you know that the flight takes just about 6 hours and when it’s winter in our country, it’s summer over there? This really makes it the perfect destination for a sunny winter!
Have a safe trip!