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Bolongs in Gambia
River Gambia     
Meaning of word Bolon?
In Gambia a bolong or bolon means a creek, "movable water" or "tributary" in the Mandinka language. Many point north or south into Senegal; they supply fresh water during the rains.

The most famous is Bintang Bolong (different spelling Bitang or Vintang) the largest tributary of the Gambia River which flows south east into Senegal.  It rises in the Senegalese region of Kolda. This is part of the Casamance region, between the states of the Gambia and Guinea-Bissau. Near the mouth lies Bintang Bolong Lodge. which provides accommodation in Gambia along river.

The river's course flows over a distance of about 130 kilometres in a westerly direction and has a width of approximately 570 meters. At the geographical coordinates are 13 19 'N, 16 13' W at the mouth, at the Bintang Point, the water depth is about 5-7 metres deep, and on the banks are extensive mangrove forests growing up to 55 feet high.

Historically it marked the border between two kingdoms; the Mandinka and Foni Kiang. Foni was on the left, and Kiang on the northern side of the river. 

In the 15th century the Portuguese maintained a trading post at Bintang village located on the river bank a few km upstream. Later, this post was used by British merchants.

Further upriver is Santamba another old trading post which is now just ruins of the old commercial buildings. Likewise Foni Kansala was a historic place, and today is where Bwiam is located.




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