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Gambia Information and Links


 

The Gambia is stable democratic country with predominantly Muslim population. Several languages are spoken, like Mandinka, Woolof and Fula, but English is used as a common language and is spoken by most people. A large proportion of the population lives in fairly simple houses or cottages made by brick or straw without electricity and running water. The people are friendly and smiling, but because of high unemployment rate you will observe that many Gambians will try to sell you something you will observer beggars.

As a visitor you are expected to use a local guide when going outside your hotel area. You will find the official guides close to your hotel waiting for new clients; please look for guides with official badges with the name of the hotel. Hiring a guide is fairly priced, and they provide information and knowledge which is of great value for the visitor. By hiring one of the official guides you will avoid the hassle by others trying to become your guide.

Please ensure that you bring malaria tablets and insect repellant. The mosquitos are most active after 5 pm and perhaps until 9 am. If you visit a forest you may also see tzetze flies. To protect yourself against them simply use long pants and shirts with long sleeves.

See also some more general information presented on our index page.

Money Issues

The Gambia has a national currency called Dalasi in contrast to the neighboring countries which are using the West African Franc. You can exchange foreign currency at banks, exchange offices and in hotels. There are also some ATMs in The Gambia, but you should not solely rely upon them. Our experience was that most of the ATMs we tried did not accept our foreign Visa cards, and the banks did not accept Visa cards for withdrawing cash at the counter. Some exchange offices will accept Visa cards if you bring your passport as ID. We therefore recommend that you bring sufficient travel checks or cash (many currencies are accepted, but if you bring Euros, British pounds or US dollars you are sure that these can be exchanged everywhere). Hotels and some restaurants will accept Visa or Master Card, perhaps also other credit cards.

Recommended Books

Lonely Planet the Gambia & Senegal: Lush tropical forests, arid desert lands and the calm sway of charming fishing villages, The Gambia and Senegal will seduce you with a stunning array of sights, sounds and flavours. Whether you're headed for golden sand strands for beach bliss or want to get up close and personal with over 600 bird species, this guide gives you the inside information on the region's richest experiences. The book has chapets on music, bird watching, tours, language, and detailed transport information with over 60 user-friendly maps.

The Rough Guide to Gambia: Perhaps the most comprehensive guide to Africa’s most accessible country. This second edition, the result of detailed on-the-ground research, reports on exciting new developments including beautiful eco-retreats and imaginative wildlife conservation projects where visitors can see birds, monkeys and chimps at close range. Detailed maps and plans are complemented by expert and upbeat guidance on the beaches, villages and music, the mangrove creeks and the River Gambia itself. There are first-hand reviews of all the best accommodation, restaurant and bar options in the country, both on and off the beaten track, for everyone from shoestring travellers to luxury tourists. The guide is also full of trademark candid insights into Gambian history, politics, music, language and culture.

Recommended Websites

Visit The Gambia (Gambia Tourism Authority): A comprehensive website presenting information from the official tourism authority: information on food, restaurants and drinking water, getting around, local customs, dress code, crime, hospitals and health centers (with telephone numbers), entry requirements, health requirements, visas & passports, airlines. Also information on accomodation with contact information to a number of hotels and rural camps, excursions & tours, events, daily activities, culture, roots, nature & ecotourism, bird watching, fishing. Addresses to Gambia Tourism Authority offices in Europe and the USA are presented.

Gambia Travel Information (Lonely Planet): Provides information about weather, health & safety, crossing borders, getting around, government, people & society, culture & history. Gives recommendations on what to see, and tips from travellers.

CIA factbook - The Gambia: Facts about the geography, people (including health issues, literacy, religions, languages etc.), government, economy, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues.

Travel Guide to The Gambia (The Africa Guide): Presents general visitor information on climate, visas & immigration, money, public holidays, getting around, general travel advice. There are also links to companies providing tours, books and maps.

Gambia Holiday Reviews (MyHolidayReport): Feedback and tips from holiday makers who have recently visited The Gambia.

Gambia Travel Guide (WorldTravels): Basic information like language, health, safety, tipping, customs, duty free, healt and disease, addresses to embassies abroad, climate, currency, visa & passport, some photos.