Gambia is one of the smallest and safest countries in Africa. At 500 kilometres long yet only 50 kilometres wide, it does manage to squeeze in 80 kilometres of spectacular Atlantic coastline. Long stretches of unspoilt sandy beaches pull in the tourists, but there is more to a holiday in Gambia than just relaxing on a beach. The best time to book your holiday to Gambia with lastminute.com is in the dry season, which runs from November to February. It’s also cooler then, although daytime temperatures still reach a pleasant 24C.
The Gambian coast has some great beach resorts, which are mostly clustered around the northern tip of the country and the mouth of the River Gambia. Bask on wide sandy beaches in lively resorts such as Bakau, Kololi and Fajara, and hit the restaurants, bars and clubs when the sun goes down.
The main attraction to a holiday in Gambia is the river that winds its way through the country. Take a trip on a pirogue, a Gambian-style boat, and explore the waterways that separate Banjul Island from the mainland. Travel further upriver to the wetlands and discover more than 300 species of birds.
You can’t go on holiday to Gambia without visiting at least one of its many nature reserves. The Kiang West National Park is the largest and has a huge amount of wildlife to spot such as baboons, warthogs, bushbucks and bush babies to name a few. If you’re very lucky you may catch a glimpse of crocodiles and hyenas. Abuko Nature Reserve is tiny in comparison, yet it still manages to pack in over 250 species of birds and an impressive 52 species of animals from porcupines and vervet to western red colobus monkeys.
The port city of Banjul located at the start of the River Gambia is the capital. The colourful Albert Market, which sells everything from tourist souvenirs to exotic fruit, is a must-see. The city’s somewhat neglected colonial buildings only add to its quiet charm. Stop off for lunch at Ali Baba Snack Bar and try shwarmas, a pita bread stuffed with grilled meat and salad. Dinner can be anything from traditional Gambian cuisine in Banjul, to Thai or Indian in one of the beach resorts. A holiday to the Gambia is certainly one of contrasts.
Being such a small country in comparison to the rest of Africa, Gambia has so much to offer with a varied landscape encompassing sandy beaches, swamps, marshes, nature reserves, tropical forests and of course the River Gambia itself. Book your Gambian adventure with lastminute.com and an affordable holiday that the whole family will love awaits you.
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