Gambia Travel Facts

Natural Features: Flood plain of the Gambia River flanked by some low hills.

Rainy Seasons: July and August (rainy season)

Travel Highlights: The Gambia is gaining a reputation as an ornithologist's paradise. The Abuko Nature Reserve that lies between Banjul and Yundum airport has over 200 bird species including the largest and smallest kingfishers in the world.

Accommodation: Most Gambian hotels are geared primarily to packaged tours. Accommodation is often booked up in the tourist season (November ot May). Banjul has a wide range of hotels. Some of these are Atlantic Hotel, Carlton Hotel and Sambou's Motel.

Post and Communications: International call and fax services are available at Gamtel offices.

Tipping: Taxi drivers expect to be tipped.

Getting There:

Air: The Yudum international airport is 29 km from Banjul. Sabena and Swissair airlines operate regular flights to Banjul.

Road: There are scheduled buses between Kaolack and Dakar in Senegal and Banjul.

Sea: Passenger accommodation on cargo boats sailing regularly from Liverpool, London and other European ports are available.

Travel Around:

Air: The main mode of transport is by river in a canoe or cruise boat. A ferry from Barra to Banjul runs every hour.

Road: Local buses run from Banjul to the villages. Taxis are parked near all resort hotels. Cars and bicycles can be rented from several companies.

Driving: International Driving Permit required although UK licence is valid for short visits.

Passport and Visa: required, but NOT by the following: (1) Holders of United Nations Laissez-Passer travelling on duty. (2) Holders of a valid Seaman Book travelling on duty. Passport validity: Passport must be valid 3 months from date of return.

Visas: Required, but NOT following: (1)Nationals of Gambia (2) For stays up to 3 months by: (a) British subjects being 'Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies. (b) Nationals of Australia, Belgium, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Ireland Rep, Greece, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Iceland, India, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Luxembourg, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, San Marino, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sweden, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda and Zambia. (3) Nationals of Sri lanka holding a Clearance Certificate issued by the Ministry of Interior in country of Origin. (4) Nationals of Lebanon, Liberia and Sierra Leone holding a clearance to enter or transit the Gambia issued by the by the Director of Immigration in Banjul.

Notes: (1) All visitors must hod tickets and documents for onward or return travel.

Recommended Immunisation: diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, malaria, meningitis, polio, TB, tetanus, typhoid, yellow fever. Recommended in some circumstancess seek further advice.

Compusory Vacination: Yellow fever certificate if arriving from endemic or infected areas. Exempt infants under 1 year.

Museums: Gambia National Museum, National Museum of Banjul, Wassu site Museum

Religion: Christian, Indigenous Beliefs, Muslim

Languages: En, Wo

Currency: Dalasi (D)

Credit Cards: Are handly if you'restaying in one of the main beach hotels, but the're not of much use in Banjul itself, or anywhere else in the country.

International Dialing Code: 220

International Radios: BBC Khz: (daytime) 17830, 15400, 6005, (evening) 17830, 15400, 11835

Business Hours: Business hours for government offices are from 8 am to 3 or 4 .pm Monday to Thursday, and from 8 am to 12.30 pm Friday to Saturday. Shops and Businesses are usually open from 2.30 to 5.30 pm. Monday to Thursday, and from 8 am to noon Friday and Saturday. Bank opening hours vary depending on where you are, and are listed under the individual place entries.

Weekly Days Off: December or January

Public Holidays: Independence Day (Feb 18), Christmas Day (Dec 25), New Year`s Day (Jan 1), Mohamed`s Birthday (Aug 15), Easter Monday, end of Ramadhan and Tabaski (Variables)

Electricity: 220V AC 50Hz

Emergency Services: Police: 17 Fire: 18 Ambulance: 16 or 18

Last Updated on Tuesday 1st December 2009