Africa’s smallest country is a 300km strip of land following the path of the Gambia River and surrounding the country of Senegal. Gambia has become a popular destination among northern Europeans thanks to its unique flowers and wildlife, welcoming locals, and uncrowded beaches along its Atlantic Ocean coastline.
Gambia’s capital, Banjul, is located where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Gambia River. Banjul’s market is its most recommended tourist attraction, and is filled with silver bangles, wood carvings and masks, traditional African clothing, and other unique souvenirs.
The Abuko Nature Reserve, located 25kms outside of Banjul, may be among Africa’s smallest protected areas, but it has plenty of room for crocodiles, monkeys, and 300 bird species. Even more crocodiles can be seen and touched at the Kachikally Crocodile Pool. Those familiar with Alex Haley’s Roots may wish to take the James Island tour along the Gambia River to the village of Juffureh and an old slave trading post.
Gambia’s accommodation ranges from luxury beachfront resorts along the Atlantic Ocean to eco lodges and camps further along the river which provide basic accommodation within natural surroundings, like Balaba Nature Camp close to Kartong.
Banjul International Airport is one of West Africa’s safest and most modern. The airport serves two weekly flights from Nigeria, weekly flights from Madrid and Barcelona as well as from a wide variety of other European destinations through tour operators. Four wheel drives are recommended for those planning to hire cars as many Gambian roads are unpaved and in bad condition. Visas are required for Canadian, American, and South African visitors to Gambia.