travel to Gambia, in West Africa, is just 6 hours flight
from most EU airports and because the country operates
on GMT tourists can avoid suffering from jetlag. The
destination offers a cheaper alternative than the Caribbean
destinations and there are 48km of unspoilt white sandy
beaches which have yet
to experience any significant tourist development.
The Gambia has been a popular holiday destination since
the mid 1960s and enjoys a sub-tropical climate
with distinct dry and rainy seasons. Most tourists come
during the winter months between October to February
with a steady tailing off of visitors from March to
May. However the cheapest time to go is during the rainy
season when many of the most popular beaches
are relatively empty however the heat & humidity
in August and September can be stifling.
are a wide choice of types of accommodation
available to travellers ranging from luxury 5
star hotels & lodges to budget accommodation whether
it be 1 to 2 star hotels or privately run guest houses
and lodges. Most of the accommodations are located on
or near the coastal resorts'
fringes in particular Kololi
The Gambia offers lots of things
to do while on holiday. There are organised excursions
to the capital of Banjul,
Camel rides at Tanji, dolphin spotting at Jinack Island,
visits to Abuko
Reserve and other nature reserves, lots of restaurants
to eat in & drink, visiting nightclubs, bird watching,
fishing, quad biking and
offers many benefits to the catering sector and other
tourism related services in the urban areas such as
small local tour
operators, beach juice sellers and the craft markets.
The average tourist stays for about 14 days and spends
an average of around US$20 on each of those days. The
stock of beds is around 6,000 and much of it leaves
a lot to be desired though the efforts have been made
to improve the situation. However, there are many descent
accommodations along the coastal strip some of which
is of a very high standard.
It is the aim of the tourism authorities to encourage
an all-year-round tourism industry in the medium term.
Over the past decade there has been an increasing concern
about tourism's less desirable effects in Gambia. As
a result new organisations & lodges have emerged
who are committed to reducing tourist impacts on the
local environment. They encouraging visitors to
be aware of their effects on local people and to act
in a more responsible
Facts & Figures:
tourists visited Gambia in 1965. This figure went up
to 2,500 visitors in the year 1970. Since then this
number has increased to over 100,000 per year.
A Little History:
The first set of 'tourists' came in the early
1960s on cruise ships which began to dock at the port
of Banjul allowing for sightseeing in the capital. A
Swede named Bertil Harding changed all that in 1965.