Gambia, hotel accommodation resorts offer a wide and varied choice of
places to stay ranging from
luxury or standard tourist
hotels to guest
self-catering apartments. As for
those looking for alternative boarding on a longer term basis there
which includes villas and bungalows with additional services such as a
cook or security provided by the property's owner. And finally there
houses for rent or even
houses for sale for
people looking for long-term stays in Banjul.
tourists who visit the Gambia have already booked their rooms in an
all-inclusive deal with one of the major European tour operators.
Rooms in the
Kololi, are frequently heavily
booked in the winter tourist season which runs from mid-October
through to April. It is strongly advised that visitors confirm
accommodation bookings before
making their outbound trip. However, it is still always possible to
find a last minute room during the busy tourist season as there are
numerous small guest
lodges near the coastal
hotels are located on or near the coastal
strip - see
(about 10 kilometres west of the capital,
Banjul) in the tourist resorts of
Apart from the beach and coastal
areas there are many rooms in purpose built complexes located
up-country in rural area locations or by the riverside which would
appeal to eco-tourists & independent travellers. For budget travellers
there are numerous guest houses &
lodges dotted around the fringes of the
main resorts as well as further up-country.
It is also possible to stay with local families if you have the right
local connections though this is not advisable on your first visit.
One of the main features of the country’s tourist industry is its
lack of high-rise hotel blocks as you may find in Spain and may
indicate sensitivity to the local environment. This may be due to the
country having learned from some of the environmental mistakes of more
well established vacation destinations. Currently the most rapid
development is taking place along the coastal region between
Kartong in South Gambia with
Brufut having seen the opening of
Sheraton 5 star resort.
The vast majority of
visitors to Banjul choose this option as they
only intend to stay for around 2 weeks and want the basics such as
swimming pool, bar & restaurant and a beach to lie on. This category
of accommodation usually has all the above. In some lower rated
establishments the use of an A/C unit comes at an additional cost.
The Gambia has in
recent years seen a rapid growth in
smaller accommodations which appeal to the independent traveller. Many
have swimming pools as well as restaurants and the atmosphere is more
personal & informal however most are not on the beach. However they
tend to offer a quiet place to stay away from the hustle & bustle of
the main tourist areas.
One way to cut
down on cost is to consider
self-catering. Many now feature a
swimming pool, A/Cs, a restaurant as well as room
cleaning and laundry services. On average such places tend to have
larger rooms when compared to the standard hotels. Be willing to
haggle over prices especially if you plan to stay 2 weeks or more. Do
check for how close shops & restaurants are to the lodgings.
are many such places dotted on the fringes of the main resorts some of
which offer a cheap alternative. You usually get simple furniture and
some come with en-suite bathrooms though hot water is usually not
supplied but you can try to negotiate for a daily bucket of warm water
Up-River & Bush
they tend to be more limited in number such places can offer an ideal
retreat for tourists who are not bothered about being near the beach,
night-clubs or a lot of noise or to birdwatchers & anglers. Some are
located on the river banks while others are in the heart rural Gambia.
Quality of such lodgings can range from luxury to standard.
This offers the
cheapest alternative particularly if you come
with your own tent as some lodges tend to hire out camping equipment &
tents. There are some dotted in the beach areas of Sanyang, Gunjur &
Kartong and others can be round further inland. There are places which
despite having rooms available are quite happy to allow you to pitch a
tent on their property for a cost. This has the added benefit of you
enjoying a shower & even possibly cooked meals on site. Whatever you
decide do not pitch a tent anywhere, always ask for advice and
permission to avoid a lot of bother.
Hotel Room Costs:
In Gambia these can start from around €15 a night
for for budget rooms. On average the cost is around €45 up to the
deluxe type which can start at around €120 per night for top quality
luxury lodgings. When booking a room in Banjul expect to pay around
£20 per night for a twin room with air-conditioning with an en-suite
bathroom / shower with WC.
Before You Sleep:
Once you have arrived at your
accommodation do check that everything you have been promised is
in place. For example mosquito netting (intact), as well as
functioning cold and hot water, TV, fan & A/C. The
air-conditioning may be billed separately from your room as they
are expensive to run. This is often done by using a special
metre. Check whether local taxes are
included and don't settle for failed promises. Be prepared to
ask for a discount if a room does not meet your expectations and
a threat to leave usually gets you what you want or if you used
a tour operator then tell your tour representative.
And finally if you are an independent tourist and are booking
privately run accommodation then try and pay for just 1
night to try out the facilities & experience the local noise