Gambia River

The Gambia River

Travel to Gambia River – The Lifeline of Gambia

The River Gambia is a major landmark and tourist attraction, and the most dominant feature running through the heart of the country. The river is also the main source of irrigation with potential for activities such as fishing, boating and sailing. Short boat trips along the river make interesting activity. The shores abound in birdlife.

The river is also closely linked with the slave trade; the remains of slave trading posts can be seen along its length and the ‘Roots’ books brought prominence to Albreda near Juffure village from where Kunte Kinte was enslaved.

River Gambia is 1,130 kilometres long, rising in the Fouta Djallon plateau in Northern Guinea, flowing generally northwest through southeast Senegal then west, dissecting the Gambia, to the Atlantic Ocean at Banjul. The river is navigable in its entire length. The river provides access to interior sections of Senegal and Guinea.

The River Gambia is a prominent geographical feature and it is at its widest at Cape St Mary. It narrows to 5 kilometres at Banjul, located on St Mary’s Island and has a deep sheltered harbour. The river ecology is divided into two different zones, estuarine and freshwater, which in turn largely determine the peripheral vegetation pattern.

Salt water sneaks in some 150 kilometres upstream, as far as Kantaur in the dry season (November to June). In the lower estuary, mangroves dominate the riverside, with extensive reed belts in the in-between zone, while where the water is fresh, the banks are lined with gallery forest. Up river, the water wildlife is more interesting where travellers can see crocodiles, dolphins and hippos.

Visitors to the Gambia River can enjoy activities like fishing, boating and sailing. Short boat trips along the river make interesting activity. The shores abound in birdlife.

  • Enjoy boat trips along the river.
  • Discover a multitude of bird species.
  • Encounter West African wildlife.

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