The Gambia Hotels
It may be Africa's smallest country but The Gambia punches above its weight with sun and surf, small fishing villages, vibrant resorts, nature reserves and wildlife parks. Look a crocodile in the eye at the Kachikally Crocodile Pool, one of the country's premier attractions. Some are tame enough to be touched, but get advice on that first. Take a leisurely river cruise and see how many of the 100 or so you can spot among the mangrove-lined wetlands and lush forests. Go shopping for gifts in Albert Market in Banjul. Take a bush or beach safari. Or up the pace with some windsurfing or jet-skiing.
Things to see and do
Top of any itinerary has to be exploring The Gambia's many nature reserves and wildlife parks. Kiang West is one of the biggest and most important and is home to spotted leopards, hyenas, spitting cobras, African pythons, mongooses, warthogs and sumpback dolphins. At the Abuko Nature Reserve you can see antelope, pythons, monitor lizards as well as red colobus, vervet and patas monkeys.
Visit the Wassu stone circles constructed around 1,200 years ago, possibly marking burial sites. Explore the history of the slave trade and The Gambia at the 18th-century Fort James on Kunta Kinteh Island, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of several slave trade sites in the country.
Arts and culture
Find out more about the rich history of The Gambia at the National Museum which has an archaeological section as well as musical instruments and historical and cultural artefacts. Or learn about The Gambia's art scene at the African Living Art Centre in Fajara, a sort of cross between an antiques gallery, orchid garden and a café, which hosts exhibitions and brings local artists together.
The Gambia hosts two major festivals including the Kanilai International Cultural Festival every two years and the Roots Homecoming Cultural Festival. Otherwise head to Makasutu and Kim Kombo for cultural entertainment. There are cinemas in Banjul, Mansa Konko, Georgetown and Krerewan.
Try the open-air Jokor with live Senegalese or reggae music for possibly The Gambia's best club, or Destiny's, both in Serekunda
Eating and drinking
Although there is a thriving local cuisine with lots of fresh produce, Western food is available at most tourist hotels and restaurants. Many Gambians don't drink alcohol. Try Come Inn in Serekunda for good draught beer, the Cotton Club in Kololi for The Gambian and international cuisine, or the Koko Curry Indian Restaurant in Fajara for some of the best Indian cooking in West Africa.
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