The main holiday resort areas in Gambia are on a 10.5
kilometre band of beach whose locations are along the
west coast facing the Atlantic Ocean. It manages to
accommodate almost all the package holidaymakers that
come to Gambia
each winter season and is Banjul's scenically pleasant
Cape Point promontory makes up the very start of the
northern beachfront with its fairly wide, clean, aeolian
sands. This is where the sea and river estuary meet
and is one of the most civilized retreats being a relatively
secure tourist enclave area.
above seashore marks the northern most limit of Bakau
(the Mandingo's Ba kankungo or Shore) which is
by contrast marked by cliff-top hotels overlooking precarious,
rust-coloured laterite cliffs and a narrow beach that
is visible only when the tide is out and is not recommended
for swimming. It
is the most African in nature of all the coastal resorts
and runs parallel to a heavily urbanised area. Its hotels
and guesthouses are pleasant and low-key as well as
being near to good transport connections. If you would
rather have a combination of beach, tourist development
and staying in an African community, then this is probably
your best choice.
are no formal boundaries between Bakau and the suburb
of Fajara to the south however, this resort is a quiet,
relatively well-to-do residential neighbourhood. It
is less beach-orientated than the other resort areas
but has good transport links up to the Atlantic Ocean.
Laybato, overlooking the ocean, has a great vista with
palm hung hammocks to laze in and watch the sunset.
A good number of the Gambia's finest restaurants are
to be found here, along with a respectable choice of
accommodation at good prices.
a basically 2 resorts. The first is at Palma
Rima with its huge grounds overshadowing the
area but with a relatively quiet beach scene which is
not very often crowded except for weekends. Then there
is the Senegambia thoroughfare. In the early to late
evenings this road is a hive of activity and is the
Gambia's equivalent of a Mediterranean type resort such
as Benidorm. This is the country's most hectic vacation
spot which is a ribbon development of car hire firms,
pizza parlours and small bars and restaurants. It is
here that you will find the purpose built beach hotels
of the Kairaba and Senegambia which are among the country's
most reputable accommodations.
locality is at the very hub of touristy Gambia and one
of the hotspots for 'bumsters' (hustlers). In the high
season, most aspects of Kotu feels crowded as the hotels,
supermarkets, craft markets are congested with tourists.
However, the place is friendly, entertaining and ideal
for someone with an outgoing personality. There is also
a good beach near to all the mid to large scale hotels,
such as Kombo Beach, which are either owned by the tour
operators or contracted by them to receive their package
south, just after Kololi's southern edge, is the much
more serene location of Bijilo and its adjacent inland
neighbour of Kerr Serign. Here the beaches and accommodation
are more subdued without the feeling of crampness that
is found within its northerly neighbours. The accommodation
to be found here includes the hotels such a Bijilo Beach,
Golden Beach and the Coconut Residence.
area is the latest to undergo tourist development in
recent years with the opening of the international class
Sheraton (now Coral Beach) which extends the major tourist
resort to 12.5 km. Brufut is ideal if you want to get
away from tourist overcrowding yet be within a reasonable
distance by car to some good entertainment spots. The
seaside on either side of this new development is a
quiet stretch of simple beach huts and fishing villages.
This is not a resort but a large urban conurbation with
a cacophony of people, dwellings and cars. Many websites
and tour guides refer to the town's name in relation
to certain hotels. The reason for the confusion is that
many places use this location for their PO Box number
and this may have brought about some of the misunderstanding
regarding their actual locations. More...
Southern Coastal Resorts:
are all well worth visiting as they have been less affected
by tourism. These localities are particularly handy
if you are travelling to Gambia on a shoe-string. However,
the nearest of the above is at least 25 kilometres from
the main resort locations. There are lots of simple
accommodation huts and lodges for the more resourceful
traveller. While there you might want to visit a site
are lots of other places further inland such as Makasutu
Culture Forest with its magnificent riverine
lodges and jungle rooms at Mandina Lodge.
There are also other riverside
lodges from the Banjul estuary up to Basse.
You can see reviews of other areas by going to the tourist
attractions page. For rooms to stay see the Hotels
It should be pointed out that in some accommodations
the use of a TV or air conditioner is not automatically
included in the room rates, and the use of an A/C can
cost around £6 / $9 per day.