The tiny country of The Gambia is the smallest in Africa, three sides enclosed by Senegal and its borders defined by the banks of the river that runs through its centre. Its geography is exotic and unique: at its largest, the country is just 30 miles wide and 11 per cent of its surface area is water of the River Gambia.
On the western side, The Gambia has a coastline on the North Atlantic Ocean and the beaches here are a big draw for sun-lovers. White sands, palm trees, blue seas and large amounts of sunshine combine for the classic beach holiday, though some holidaymakers are troubled by the large numbers of “bumsters” (hagglers and hawkers) encountered on the beach.
Banjul, the capital, is on the Southern side of the river mouth. All flights to The Gambia arrive here and many travellers only use it as a gateway to the rest of the country, but the city is worth visiting in its own right. The country’s main port and its fishing hub, Banjul is often described as being “traditionally African”. Visit the harbour to watch the catch being pulled on, or explore its myriad markets for some local handicrafts.
From Banjul, follow the spectacular river inland to see an array of wildlife, as well as forests, mangrove creeks, mud hut villages and marshes.
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