Gambia, Africa - Wontra

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Welcome to Gambia

Gambia

Gambia

Capital: Banjul

Population: 1.882 million

Official Language: English

Timezone: GMT

Currency: Dalasi (GMD)

Calling Code: +220

 

Gambia is relatively small, but makes it up with rich and abundant wildlife and amazing culture. Much of the country is boardered by Senegal while on its coastline is the Atlantic ocean. The country is home to quite a number of beautiful beaches, lush tropical forests and a great place for birdwatching.

You cant visit this tiny nation without checking its parks. Visit Kiang West National Park and River Gambia National Park, where you’ll see all kinds of wildlife, like monkeys, crocodiles, a small population of hippos and well over 500 bird species.

If you want to experience great West African music and rich culture, then you will enjoy your visit to Gambia. Head off to the beaten track and up-country to simple, traditional villages - there are always vibrant festivals, events full of traditional drumming, energetic dancing as well as customary wrestling matches, going on.

Information & Facts

Attraction Overview

Gamibia's Beaches

Explore Kartong and Gunjur beaches. They are Gambia’s most pristine beaches and home to a number of excellent eco-retreats. Alternatively visit Kotu, the best beach along Gambia’s main resort strip. Becareful, though: the seas sometimes experience high tide.

Abuko Nature Reserve

The best time to explore this natural reserve is in the morning. The reserve is home to crocodiles, monkeys, forest antelope, reptiles and over 300 bird species. Walk through the tropical forest of the Abuko Nature Reserve, which is within easy reach of the main resort areas

Albreda and Jufureh

These twin villages were made popular by Alex Haley's novel Roots. Here you can explore Gambia's colonial history and slave trade.

 

Business

The Gambia's economy is basically agricultural, with groundnuts (nuts, oil and cattle cake) accounting for 50% of total exports. Tourism is fast becoming a significant generator of foreign exchange. Forestry and fishing are also important and banking is a new growth area.

Businessmen wear jackets and ties for business meetings. A personal approach is important in Gambian business circles. It is advisable to take business cards; their use is appreciated though not universal.

Climate

Gambia has a tropical climate. A hot and rainy season normally lasts from June until November, but from then until May, cooler temperatures predominate.

Required clothing

Lightweight or tropical for most of the year, with rainwear for the rainy season.

 

Communications

Mobile phone

Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good around Banjul and most other towns, but patchy in remote rural areas.

Internet

There are internet cafes in the majot towns. They can be slow but reliable.

 

Customs

Gambians are naturally friendly and welcoming, so don't be afraid to accept their hospitality.

Salaam aleikum (Peace be upon you) is the traditional greeting. Nanga def (Wolof for: How are you?) is widely used on the coast; around the inland, Kaira be (Mandinka for: I wish you peace) is popularly used.

Duty Free

The following goods may be imported into The Gambia by travellers over 18 without incurring customs duty:

• 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 1 litre of wine or beer.
• Goods up to a value of D1, 000.

 

Electricity

230 volts AC, 50Hz. British-style plugs with three square pins are most commonly used.

Getting Around

Taxis (shared cars, minibuses or vans) and private taxis are the only form of public transport in Gambian towns. Resorts supply cars for hire, you can hire a car and a driver for long distant trips.

Health

Yellow fever vaccinations are required for all travellers. They are also advised to bring sunscreen, insect repellent and indigestion/diarrhoea medicines; all of these can prove expensive in The Gambia.

Language

The official language is English while the most widely spoken local languages are Fula, Jola, Mandinka, Manjago, Serahule, Serer and Wolof.

Money

The currency for financial transaction is the Gambian Dalasi. ATM machines are available in major cities.

Some major hotels accept credit cards- Mastercard and Visa.

Passport Visa

Passports

A passport valid for the duration of stay is required by all nationals

Passport note

Visitors to The Gambia must hold return or onward tickets, all documents for their next destination and sufficient funds for their stay.

Visa

Nationals are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements for The Gambia or visit www.accessgambia.com/information/immigration-department.html

 

Time

GMT

Tipping

Tipping is acceptable and a show of gratitude

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