Gambia

Gambia travel information, Gambia travel guide and need to know information including flight Information, when to go, visa requirements, health advice, government travel advice, travel news, recommended books and maps, money matters, getting around and other essential travel information for Gambia.

Map of the Gambia

Culture And Traditions In The Gambia

It is recommended to greet a person before starting a conversation. A handshake is widely used together with the words ‘Assalamu Aleikum’ meaning Peace Be Upon You. The majority of Gambians are Muslims and their religious belief should be respected by visitors. The right hand should always be used to give or receive things. Gambians are a very friendly people and visitors should not be afraid to accept their hospitality.

Plugs And Electric In The Gambia

Electricity

Voltage

230 V

Frequency

50 Hz

Plug

Three pin rectangular plug.

Flights In The Gambia

There are no domestic flights within the Gambia.

 

Flights from UK To The Gambia

All international flights operate to Gambia’s only airport in Banjul. There are a number of tour operator chartered flights to The Gambia. Most of these operate only in the winter months of November to April. Some charters do operate throughout the year as do scheduled airlines serving Banjul International Airport.

Thomas Cook flights from United Kingdom to Gambia

www.thomascook.com

Thomas Cook operate regular flight services to Banjul from London Gatwick with a fligh time of approximately 6 hours 20 minutes.

SN Brussels Airlines flights from United Kingdom to Gambia

www.brusselsairlines.com

Brussels airlines operate two flights a week from London Gatwick, with a connection in Brussels, to Banjul on Thursdays and Sundays.

Lufthansa flights from United Kingdom to Gambia

www.lufthansa.com

Lufthansa fly four times a week,  with connections in Brussels, Frankfurt or Munich to Banjul.

Air Europa flights from United Kingdom to Gambia

www.aireuopa.com

The Spanish airline – Air Europa operate flights via Madrid to Banjul from London Gatwick, flying time is dependent on Madrid connections.

Charter Flights

Charter flights operate from Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham to Banjul.

Weather in The Gambia

Located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator, The Gambia has a pleasant sub-tropical climate with two distinct seasons. The dry season falls in winter months between November and June resulting from dry savannah winds. During this period there is virtually no rainfall, though evenings can be cool.

The summer months between July and October see the rains, when short dramatic rainstorms characterise the evenings, and humidity is high. Temperatures remain reasonably constant throughout the year with an average mid-day temperature of about 27 degrees C (80F). Night time temperatures drop to between 10-16 degrees C (50-60F).

Seasonality

Enjoying almost constant sunshine, The Gambia can be enjoyed at any time of year as temperatures remain reasonably constant. If you want to see lush green vegetation and tropical flowers in full bloom, then visit during the more humid summer months. For a winter sun destination not far from Europe, then winter months are attractive. As with many other more mainstream beach holiday destinations avoid Christmas, Easter and other popular holiday periods if you want to miss the crowds.

Best Time To Visit The Gambia

To get the most out of your next adventure it makes sense to consider some of the very local factors that combine to make up what you feel is the best time to travel to a destination. Many of these factors are very personal – some people prefer to travel when the weather is not too hot, or sites too crowded – others prefer to travel when a traditional local event is taking place. Taking into account the dates of public holidays can also make sense as these may have an impact on opening times of attractions, shops and restaurants, or might affect public transport or other services. Conversely public holidays can be a time of great local festivities and celebrations providing a feast of local expressionism and culture.

Money Advice for The Gambia

Local Currency

Dalasi (GMD)

General Advice

The Gambian Dalasi (GMD – symbol D) = 100 Bututs. Notes come in denominations of D100, 50, 25, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of D1, and 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 Bututs.

Money Exchange

Money can be exchanged in banks which can be found in most major towns.  Bureau de change can be found in most of the tourist areas and some of the larger hotels will also change money.

Banks in Banjul are open from 8:00am to 1:30pm from Monday to Thursday and from 8:00am to 11:00am on Fridays. They are closed on Saturdays and Public holidays. Outside of Banjul branches of banks are typically open from 8:00-12.00 and 16:00-18:00 Monday to Friday, and 08:00-13:00 Saturday.

ATM Availability

ATM’s can be found in major towns but should not be solely relied upon for drawing local currency. For more information check the Visa ATM locator, theMasterCard ATM locator or the American Express ATM locator for the addresses of ATMs around the world.

Credit Cards

Most hotels and many of the restaurants in The Gambia accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express cards but ptravellers are advised to confirm with management before making a transaction.

Visa And Passport Requirements For The Gambia

Entry Warning

The documentation and fee required for obtaining visas varies according to both your nationality and where you are applying from. It is the sole right of each country to determine who is allowed to enter.

Passport

All passports must be valid for six months and have two clear pages free.

Taxes

Some countries may charge an arrival or departure tax which may or may not be included in the price of an airline ticket, or may need to be paid in cash on arrival or departure.

Visa Requirements

Travelling from Requirements
Australia A visa is not required for stays of up to 3 months.
Canada A visa is required and is available from any of the Gambian embassies and consulates: London, Paris, Washington DC, Brussels, Taipei, Rabat, Jeddah, Havana, Dakar, Lagos, Freetown and Guinea Bissau.
Denmark A visa is not required for stays of up to 3 months.
Ireland A visa is not required for stays of up to 3 months.
Netherlands A visa is not required for stays of up to 3 months.
New Zealand A visa is not required for stays of up to 3 months.
United States A visa is required and is available from any of the Gambian embassies and consulates: London, Paris, Washington DC, Brussels, Taipei, Rabat, Jeddah, Havana, Dakar, Lagos, Freetown and Guinea Bissau.
United Kingdom A visa is not required for stays of up to 3 months.

Other Nationalities

Other nationalities should either contact Travcour UK (see below) or their nearest embassy for up-to-date information prior to departure.

Passport & Visa Service

For assistance with obtaining passports and visas UK-based ‘Travcour’ have been offering travellers a comprehensive and reliable travel document service since 1985. www.travour.com

Transport In The Gambia

Buses

The most common way of travelling in The Gambia for locals is by collective taxis otherwise called “Bush” taxis. These are mainly 7-passenger cars, vans, minibuses and busses. They do not have a single colour and they operate a shared service between both short and long distances. They have a set fare. You should ask for the fare before you board the vehicle. They make several stops on the way to allow passengers to board or disembark.

Taxis

For those wishing to adventure out on their own or in small groups, there are three different taxi services in The Gambia.

Tourist Taxis 
These are mostly painted green and have a “tourist taxi” sign on their cars. These taxis are licensed by the Gambia Tourism Authority and are dedicated to serve tourists and other visitors. They are normally parked outside the hotels in the resort areas. They operate on a queue system and have a published tariff for all distances within The Gambia and outside. However, it is recommend you check the tariff with the driver before departure. It is normal to tip these drivers.

Yellow and Green Taxis 
These are mainly 4-passenger saloon cars painted in these colours, which run a shared taxi service between short distances or parked at the roadside for individual hire (also called a “town trip”).

Collective (Bush) Taxis 
The most common way of travelling in The Gambia for locals is by collective taxis otherwise called “Bush” taxis. These are mainly 7-passenger cars, vans, minibuses and busses. They do not have a single colour and they operate a shared service between both short and long distances. They have a set fare. You should ask for the fare before you board the vehicle. They make several stops on the way to allow passengers to board or disembark.

Car Hire

There are several car rental companies in The Gambia. Check with your hotel receptionist, local operator, or at the airport for details. Visitors wishing to rent a self-drive should possess either an International Driving Permit, which is accepted for a period of three months or a UK driving license, which can be used for a short visit.

Driving

Driving in on the right hand side.  Roads within the capital are mainly tarred, outside roads can be very bumpy and potholed – thus driving should only be undertaken with great care.

Trains

There are no trains in the Gambia.

Boats

Ferries cross the River Gambia at several points through the country.  The most popular route is between Banjul and Barra (on the north bank of the River).  Ferries on this route take vehicles and passengers and operate hourly throughout the day.  An excellent way to discover the country, Gambia River cruises can be taken along the river, either on short half day trips or longer.

Other

Consider hiring a bicycle and exploring on two-wheels, the are few hills in The Gambia!

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