The Gambia is different. Ethnic diversity, colour and contrast creates a holiday destination for everyone, whether you are a seasoned traveller, an adventurer, a trekker, a shopper, a big city escapist, weary of your office, seek sunshine and smiling faces, love to photograph, paint, dance, enjoy music, or simply want to feel the warm sand on your feet and slow down to unwind, then The Gambia is the place to visit.
What To Wear in The Gambia
To sum it up - Relaxed but dress for the heat. Gambian women wear both traditional and western clothes and there are no restrictions on what can be worn. The Gambia however has a large Muslim population, so it is advisable to dress moderately when venturing away from the hotel areas. The Gambia is a tropical country with a warm/hot climate all year round. Our advice would be to pack lightweight layers in natural fabrics; linen, cotton and silk.
The temperature in The Gambia is going to be hot/warm what ever time of year you visit. It is although advisable to bring a light jumper during December/January if you are staying in hotels with close proximity to the ocean, there may be occasional cool winds.
The Gambia has all kind of markets, some are specialized (eg. selling only fresh foods and produce, others only crafts, some for clothes etc), and then there are larger, more general markets where you can find just about everything and anything. The most popular one of all is the Banjul market located in the nation's capital. There is also a popular tourist market in Bakau and the Senegambia area which offer a range of crafts and local antiques .
Sightseeing and activities
Comfortable walking shoes are a must. There is a lot to see in The Gambia. We recommend that you visit :
- The Kachikally Crocodile Pool
- The Abuko Nature Reserve
- James Island
The local Gambian currency is the Dalasi.The Gambia's currency is restricted (you cannot sell the Dalasi internationally) so you will need to convert your own currency on arrival. Cash is recommended for initial conversion at the airport, and Cash Points/ATMs are readily available at airports and throughout urban Gambian cities. All major hard currencies ( Euros, Pounds , Dollar etc) are accepted and can be converted in The Gambia.
Drivers and Vehicles
Regulations govern guides, drivers and vehicles licensed to work with tourists in The Gambia. Each driver and vehicle has to be registered and carry the associated permits. Both drivers and vehicles are checked before the touristic permit is renewed. Most hotels have tourist taxis allocated near them. These can be identified by their Green Color.
Food & Drink
Gambian cuisine is delicious and offers you traditional dishes such as Domoda , Benachin . Most hotels and restaurants serve western cuisines and offer Gambian specials on request. Alcohol is permissible and can be purchased at supermarkets, hotels , bars and restaurants however may not be available in local shops.
Most food in The Gambia is typically grown without hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and herbicides. Enjoy!. If you are invited to eat with a family, you will typically sit on the floor and eat from a communal plate, placed in the middle of a small table - eat with your right hand only. Utensils are not used although, as a visitor, you are likely to be offered a fork or spoon.
Vegetarian requests are understood and accommodated in most tourist visited areas. Most hotels and restaurants have vegetarian specials .