The town of
Birikama (also spelt
Brikama) in Gambia, is located about 38 km south east
of the coastal resorts and south from the
airport of Yundum. It is the
capital of the Western Region is the first major
conurbation you reach when heading east towards the interior of the
country so it represents a vital stop-off for many people making a
long journey inland.
The main tourist attraction of the town is the
Brikama Craft Market and 'factory' which produces and sells hundreds of
carvings, batiks, djembe drums, masks and other souvenirs. It is located just off the main
road that leads into the centre of town on the right hand side just
before the petrol station. There is also a local
night club frequented
by the locals called
Jokor at which you can occasionally listen to the performances of the young musical
talents of the area. If you ask around you can be directed to a
several bars and restaurants in the area for some food and liquid refreshments.
Almost opposite the craft area and in the centre of town is the
general market which just after the rains is stocked full of ripe
fruits and all manner of imported goods being sold by stall holders.
Brikama is very useful as a stepping stone to some very interesting
tourist attractions that lie not far from the town such as
Forest Park, Marakissa Camp,
Tumani Tenda and
top class luxury lodge called Mandina River Lodge
located within the privately run conservation area of
Makasutu Cultural Forest
on the Mandina Bolong tributary which is an area of outstanding
natural beauty which took over a decade to develop.
town has traditionally been an agricultural trading
hub dealing in groundnuts and
palm oil. It it has an estimated
population of 84,000 and its geographical co-ordinates are 13.25°N, 16.66°W.
On the edge of town is a sacred grove site called
the Santangba at a place called Kotokali. This is were the site of the
original first settlement by the Mandinkas in the 13th century during
the era of Sunjiatta Keita. The reason it is so well preserved is
because locals say that there are 'Jin' living in the place and it is
sacrilege to cut down trees for wood or gather its fruits.
Places to Stay:
Tel: + 220 4484858
Fax: + 220 4484100 Mob: + 220 9903302