It may be small, but has so much to offer travellers looking for a retreat in the sun. With breathtaking national parks, dazzling wildlife and beaches to die for, this country is ready and waiting to cast its spell. Discover a wealth of stunning natural landscapes, sample the unique flavours of the coastal cuisine, and dance the night away with the locals – with so much on offer, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!
Formerly a British colony, Gambia retains some past influences, including the national language. However, the present day identity of this incredible country is undoubtedly all its own, with the vibrancy of its golden coast, intrigue of its reserves and parks and sweeps of the majestic River Gambia that transects the land. Wherever you wander, Gambia holidays will put a smile on your face.
Settle in the city, relax by the beach
Lively, vivacious, colourful and diverse, Banjul is a fitting capital for this fascinating destination. Unsurprisingly, the majority of the country’s larger hotel complexes and beach resorts can be found within its stretches, mainly along the city’s envy-inducing coastline of white sand and azure waters.
One of the largest and most bustling cities in Gambia is Serrekunda, a colourful and vibrant location that makes a great base. With a gorgeous, rolling coast and buzzing market scene, this is Gambia at its most vibrant. Serrekunda is replete with dazzling resorts situated around its northern coastal point.
For those who are looking for a Gambia holiday to experience its heavenly beaches, there is no better location than the stunning Kotu. Offering a dazzling array of luxurious resorts as well as charming guesthouses right by the water’s edge, this is relaxation like you’ve never experienced before.
Discover natural wonders
As much as the jaw-dropping coast often steals the show on any visit, there is much to explore away from the beach. The Kiang West National Park and River Gambia National Park are both teeming with rare species, vivid flora and fauna and dramatic views from their highest points. The parks can be explored by foot, car or bike, and are the best way to get to grips with Gambia’s wild side. By far the most thrilling of experiences on offer in Gambia’s national parks is encountering its populations of baboon. One of the country’s cheekiest indigenous critters, these fascinating primates frequent the renowned Baboon Island in River Gambia National Park, and provide an incredible natural experience for travellers of all ages.
If you are looking for a bit more civilisation from your holidays to Gambia, the country’s buzzing cities provide endless days of entertainment, with museums of African history, bustling bazaars and incredible traditional restaurants. The energy of the capital Banjul is particularly infectious – discover its colonial past, taste the traditionally prepared cuisine and meet the ever-cheerful locals.
One of the best times to visit the country is during the British winter when Gambia's rainy season has faded and the sun begins to creep out. While temperatures aren't unbearable, usually peaking at around 30C, there is still enough heat for you to feel satisfied by your winter escape. January and February prove very fruitful periods to visit the country, ironically in its dry winter season. Gambia's wet season tends to run from June to October when the temperatures get hotter and the humidity levels increase further, proving a more challenging period to visit.
Out and about in Gambia
Steeped in history and showcasing a stunning coastline, Gambia offers a world of choice for your holiday. Whether you’re looking to kick back and soak up the sun or delve into the city’s historical and cultural heritage, there’s something for everyone.
Made famous by the novel "Roots", Jufureh and James Islands have slowly increased in popularity as some of Gambia’s most mesmerising cultural attractions, perfect for history lovers. Jufureh is not visually impressive, but boasts an incredible slavery museum with replica slave ship. James Island is much more picturesque, but it is the remains of Fort James, a major colonial outpost dating back to 1661 that make it worth a visit.
Those looking to discover Gambia’s hidden natural wonders should put their best hiking foot forward and head to the incredible Bijilo Forest Park. A community environment and small-scale reserve, many well-trodden paths snake their way through verdant vegetation and fascinating wildlife, with a lively population of red colobus and patas monkeys, sure to put on a show.
Those who enjoy bartering for a bargain will delight in the frenzied atmosphere of Banjul’s Albert Market. Fabrics, shoes, housewares and an endless array of local fruit, veg, herbs and spices collide in this explosion of business and trade. Get stuck in with your best haggling techniques – you never know what you might find!