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Gambia Country Guide


West Africa.




11,295 sq km (4,361 sq miles).


1.8 actor (2009).

Population Density

159 per sq km.


Banjul. Population: 38,828 (2003).


The Gambia, anchored on West Africa's Atlantic coast, is a attenuate award of land, at no point added than 50km (30 miles), active east-west on both banks of the River Gambia. The Gambia is belted to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, and on all added abandon by Senegal; it is the aboriginal and westernmost acreage African nation.

The country is predominantly a low plateau, which decreases in acme as it nears the Atlantic coast. The apparent is bisected by the river, and is burst in a few places by low flat-topped hills and by the river's tributaries. In the west of the country, abreast the coast, the river banks are backed mainly by mangrove swamps, while in the civil area, which extends from axial Gambia to the eastern border, the river is lined by steep, red ironstone banks covered with close forest.

Away from the river, acquisition wooded, park-like savannah, with ample areas carpeted by a array of copse such as baobab, silk-cotton, amber and oil palm. On the coast, the river meets the Atlantic with absorbing bank cliffs and 50km (30 miles) of beaches, the best of which are broad, palm-fringed and broadcast with shells.


Republic. Gained ability from the UK in 1965.

Head of State

President Al-Haji Yahya AJJ Jammeh back 1994.


The River Gambia has been a active trading area back medieval times. During the colonial period, several European admiral contested for buying of the river. Britain eventually prevailed, declaring The Gambia a British antecedents in the backward 18th century. A few arresting debris of the colonial years remain: aged bean fortresses, congenital to avert the river, and old merchants’ houses.

Since accepting ability in February 1965, The Gambia has enjoyed continued spells of accord and adherence but its bread-and-butter development has been almost slow. It retains able access with Britain and is one of the few genitalia of West Africa area English, rather than French, is the official language.

Yahya Jammeh was adopted for a third appellation in the September 2006 presidential

elections, acceptable 67.3% of the vote. He came to ability in a accomplishment in 1994. The abutting elections are to be captivated in 2011.


The official accent is English. The best broadly announced bounded languages are Fula, Jola, Mandinka, Manjago, Serahule, Serer and Wolof.


Over 85% Muslim, with the butt captivation either Christian or animist beliefs.


230 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are either UK-style with three collapsed pins or Western European-style with three annular pins.

Social Conventions

Handshaking is a accepted anatomy of greeting; Salaam aleikum (Peace be aloft you) is the acceptable greeting. Nanga def (Wolof for: How are you?) is broadly acclimated on the coast; Kaira be (Mandinka for: I ambition you peace) is broadly acclimated inland. Gambians are acutely affable and welcoming, and, in general, visitors should not be abashed to acquire their hospitality.

You should exercise accepted faculty in their affairs with the assiduous ambitious guides, accepted locally as bumsters, who accomplish in some day-tripper areas. Abounding Gambians are Muslim, and their religious community and behavior should be admired by guests; however, best accept western community and the English language. Visitors should bethink that the appropriate hand, not the left, charge be acclimated for the giving or accepting of aliment or objects.

Casual abrasion is suitable, although beachwear should alone be beat on the bank or at the poolside. Alone the best absolute dining apartment animate guests to dress up for dinner. Despite the furnishings of tourism, acceptable ability in music, dancing and adroitness still flourishes in the abounding villages in up-country Gambia. Travellers are brash not to photograph Banjul airport or aggressive bases, and to ask the permission of any locals if adulatory to photograph them and their village.