Gambia Guide

Gambia Guide

Gambia – country information

Country name Gambia
Official name Republic of The Gambia
Capital Banjul
Continent Africa
Area 11,295 km2
Population 1,849,000 (2013)
Foundation of a state 2/18/1965
The highest mountains highest point about 50 m
Longest rivers Gambia 740 km (in country 400 km)
State system a pluralist republic with a unicameral parliament
The biggest cities Banjul (capital) 220,000 (conurbation), Serekunda 45,000, Brikama 35,000
Official language English
Ethnicity/National Composition Malinka 42%, Fulani 19.5%, Wolof 15%, Dyol 10.5%, Sonink 8%, others 5%
Religious affiliation Muslims 96%, Christians 3.5%, others 0.5%
Currency 1 dalasi (D) = 100 butut
gross domestic product (GDP) US$1,868 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 54.14 years (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture and fishing 23%, mining and industry 7.5%, construction 6.5%, services 63%

The Gambia – Neighboring States

State Capital Area Population
Senegal Dakar 196,722 km2 13,567,338

Country overview

The small West African nation of The Gambia is a narrow, more than 300 km long enclave along the banks and estuary of the Gambia River, surrounded on all sides by Senegal.

According to Abbreviationfinder, the Gambia is a small country in West Africa. Shared borders with Senegal. The capital is Banjul. The official language is English and local dialects.

The climate is subequatorial. Temperature from +20*С to +30*С. Rains – June-October, drought – November-May.

National parks – Bijilo Forest Park, Kiang West National Park, Niumi National Park, Gambia River National Park.
Museums – National Museum of the Gambia, Kerr Batch Folk Museum, Vassu Museum, Tanji Village Museum.

Interesting Facts

The Gambia was discovered in 1455 by Portuguese navigators Louis de Cadamostu and Antoniotti Usodimare.

The state has the form of a strip 400 km long, on both sides of the Gambia River, the width of the strip is 24 – 28 km.

The army of the Gambia consists of 800 people, the navy – 70 people and 3 boats.

Country data

Location: West Africa

Time zone: CET – 1 (during summer time: CET – 2)

Total area: 11,295 km²

Land area: 10,000 km²

Water area: 1,295 km²

Length of the state border: 749 km

Bordering countries: Senegal: 749 km

Coastline: 80 km

Capital: Banjul

Regions: 6
Banjul, Lower River, Central River, North Bank, Upper River, Western

Telephone code: 00 220 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: 53 m


Population: approx. 1.9 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 2.2% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 168

Life expectancy: 62 (male), 67 (female)

Official language: English


  • 90% Muslim
  • 8% Christians
  • 2% other


There is a subtropical to tropical climate with a rainy season (very high humidity) from June to October and a dry season from November to May.

During the dry season, a hot, dry wind blows from the Sahara.


Currency / finance

Currency unit: Dalasi (GMD)

Classification: 1 Dalasi = 100 Butut

ATMs: not available

International credit cards: These are sometimes accepted in larger hotels and shops (mainly VISA).

Regulations: National and foreign currencies can be imported in unlimited amounts. The national currency may be exported up to an amount of 300.00 Dalasi and foreign currencies in the amount of the declared import.

Since the Gambian currency is not changed abroad, you should only exchange as much as you actually need on site.

Many smaller banks and exchange offices often charge very high fees. Under no circumstances should you try to exchange money on the black market. There are always police checks.

It is recommended to only bring US dollars with you as a foreign currency.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 200 cigarettes or 250 g of other tobacco products
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages
  • small amounts of perfume

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

If you have prescription drugs with you, which could easily be mistaken for narcotics, an English-language certificate from the attending physician is required.

Even the possession of the smallest amounts of narcotics is punishable by heavy fines and imprisonment.

Travel advice

We warn against traveling to Gambia.

Due to the tense political situation in the country, the Federal Foreign Office points out a risk when traveling to Gambia.

Since raids on foreigners have already occurred in many places, you should never openly wear jewelry, money or other valuables.

You should never resist armed robbery, as these people are often very brutal.

Consular care for foreign citizens imprisoned in Gambian prisons is prevented by the Gambian government.

The risk of malaria in the Gambia is very high all year round.

We recommend taking out travel health insurance which includes a medically necessary rescue flight in the event of illness, as the medical care is far below European standards.

Behavioral advice

Although the tap water in the hotels is of good quality, as in all tropical countries, it should not be drunk.

Even the possession of small amounts of narcotics is punishable by prison sentences. German nationals are generally subject to Gambian criminal law.

Diplomatic aid from the Federal Republic of Germany is very difficult in most cases.


Since the Gambia is a purely agricultural country, almost all workers are active in agriculture. Peanuts, millet and rice are the main export products.

Tourism has become more and more important in recent years.

There are no natural resources that can be extracted economically.

Industries: fishing, wood processing, agriculture, textiles, tourism

Natural resources: fish

Land use:

  • Usable land: 1%
  • Grain cultivation: 0%
  • Pasture area: 9%
  • Forests: 28%
  • other: 45%


Since large parts of the country are sterile, large areas of forest have been cleared to make space for agricultural cultivation.

The forests in the north consist of baobabs, acacias and mangroves. These go inland into flooded grasslands.


The numerous animal species in the nature reserves include monkeys, antelopes, crocodiles, hippos and many different species of birds.

The guided tours offered are ideal for hiking and getting to know the flora and fauna.

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