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Overview

Tourism to the Gambia is concentrated almost entirely along the coast, which is well serviced by hotels of every sort. By contrast, the interior offers much to more adventurous types wishing for a taste of real Africa away from the tourist circuits. Gambia’s serpentine shape is dictated by the eponymous river, and as a result the two main roads inland follow its northern and southern banks to within a few miles for most of their length. The most important archaeological sites are the mysterious medieval Stone Circles at Wassu and Key Batch, which are noted as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Urban centers include Janjanbureh, aka Georgetown, ...

Tourism to the Gambia is concentrated almost entirely along the coast, which is well serviced by hotels of every sort. By contrast, the interior offers much to more adventurous types wishing for a taste of real Africa away from the tourist circuits. Gambia’s serpentine shape is dictated by the eponymous river, and as a result the two main roads inland follow its northern and southern banks to within a few miles for most of their length. The most important archaeological sites are the mysterious medieval Stone Circles at Wassu and Key Batch, which are noted as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Urban centers include Janjanbureh, aka Georgetown, with its clutch of historical colonial buildings, and the remote, culturally diverse and atmospheric port of Basse Sante Su in the far east. The wildlife-viewing highlight of the interior is the River Gambia National Park, which protects a stretch of forested river reminiscent of the Congo Basin, as well as populations of chimpanzee reintroduced by the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Trust, which also operates an exclusive bush camp here. The Gambian interior is particularly popular with birdwatchers, with the likes of Kiang West National Park being excellent for woodland inhabitants and raptors, while Tandaba and Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve are wonderful for water-associated species.

Philip Briggs
About the Expert

Philip Briggs has written or contributed to 50-plus editions of Bradt, Insight, AA and Berlitz guidebooks to African destinations.

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Philip Briggs for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: West coast of Africa
  • Language: English, Mandinka, various other native languages
  • Currency: Dalasi
  • Research: Gambia River | Gambia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The ideal time to visit is November-January, while the rainy season of July-Octobver is best avoided, but you could visit at any time.