This breathtakingly beautiful country is situated in Africa, surrounded by the Senegal Coast and the Atlantic Ocean. It lies either side of The Gambia River, its namesake, a wondrous place for a day trip. Lodging here is very affordable; there are many hotels and resorts to choose from, all unique. Gambia's capital, Banjul, is home to the River Island National Park, a place fantastic for watching birds and wildlife. And with the rest of the country boasting golden sandy beaches, beautiful green spaces and fierce blue skies, it's not hard to see why people adore this destination.
Flights to Gambia from the UK take between 10 and 33 hours, with one or two stops in places such as Brussels and Dakar. As Gambia is in the same time zone as the UK, you can be in the sea or relaxing by the pool on the same day as your flight, with no jet-lag.
The Gambia shares its historical roots, like many other West African nations, in the slave trade. This was the key factor in the colony being built around the Gambia River, now transformed into a booming tourist attraction. Of course, there is daily sunshine, typical of the weather in this area of the world. Formerly a British colony, many of the locals speak English, making communication a breeze.
The capital, Banjul, is bursting with tourist attractions. Traditional dancing, drumming and music, all linked to Senegal, are very popular here. Visit the River Island National Park and enjoy the native animals in their natural habitat.
Take a trip to Kotu, and experience the spectacular beaches on offer. There are reasonably priced bars and restaurants are scattered throughout, and a market to browse. A beautifully peaceful place to enjoy a walk and some relaxing time.
For a little excitement, walk among the crocodiles in Bakau. This town is host to a crocodile park named Katchikally Crocodile Pool. A guide can take you around so you can get close (safely) and stroke these amazing creatures. A great half-day trip at a very reasonable price.
Traditional foods centre on fish, meat and rice with peanuts and chilli peppers. Oysters are also readily available, harvested from the river. Banjul has many coastal restaurants, ranging from traditional to Italian cuisine. Many of Gambia's cities provide European cuisine, as well as sumptuous African dishes. Everyone will be well catered for, wherever you go, with the locals always willing to provide and please.
Nightlife in Gambia is good, but fairly quiet. You won't find clubs and DJs, instead the spontaneous dancing of the locals fills the streets. None of the late-night bars available are situated close to hotels. This ensures your sleep isn't disturbed, but also means you have to venture further if this is what you're looking for. There are however, many places to enjoy a late meal, al fresco, one of the joys of holidaying in this climate.
|Food and drinks||Prices average|
|Beer (0.5 litre)||£1.00|
|Meal at McDonald's||£2.00|
|Water (0.33 litre)||£0.00|
|One way tube ticket||£0.00|
|Taxi starting price (normal tariff)||£1.00|
|1 summer dress in a chain store (Zara, H&M,...)||£5.00|
|1 pair of jeans (Levi's 501 or similar)||£8.00|
|Average monthly disposable salary (net)||£43.00|