Travel information

Although Gambia is the smallest country in Africa, it is enchanted by the always shining sun, beautiful long beaches, exotic and untouched nature and is named, not without a reason, the Smiling Coast of Africa. The small country is still an insider tip among the sunshine paradises of this world. The long sandy beaches, colorful markets and the Gambia River are waiting for you.

Flying to The Gambia

Nonstop flights from Germany are operated by Corendon Airlines Europe. You can reach the dream destination three times a week from Leipzig, Munich and Dusseldorf within 7 hours.

Nonstop flights from Germany are operated by Corendon Airlines Europe. You can reach the dream destination three times a week from Leipzig, Munich and Dusseldorf within 7 hours.

Airport

Weekday

Stay

Leipzig (LEJ)

Monday

10, 17 and 24 nights

Munich (MUC)

Tuesday

7, 14, 21 and 28 nights

Dusseldorf (DUS)

Wednesday

7, 14, 21 and 28 nights

Airport

Weekday

Stay

Leipzig (LEJ)

Monday

10, 17 and 24 nights

Munich (MUC)

Tuesday

7, 14, 21 and 28 nights

Dusseldorf (DUS)

Wednesday

7, 14, 21 and 28 nights

Corendon Airlines Europe offers you 20kg luggage and 8kg carry-on-baggage included, fair prices for snacks and drinks on board, food can be ordered online in advance and seat reservations. Since there is no entertainment on the flights, we do recommend to take a book, games or music with you on the flight.

Other flights are offered by Brussels Airlines (via Brussels), Tap Air Portugal (via Lisbon), Royal Air Maroc (via Casablanca) and Turkish Airlines (via Istanbul). These flight connections do have a layover, so the travel time can vary from 9 hours to about 15 hours.

How to get around?

We recommend to book a transfer in advance or use taxis. Transfers are bookable through Meeting Point Gambia. Main streets are mostly asphalted but smaller roads can be very bumpy. We do not recommend to drive a car by yourself since the driving standards are very different to the ones in Europe. Yellow taxis are common to use, they are cheap and always found in touristic regions.

Is Gambia safe to travel?

The Gambia is also known as “The smiling coast of Africa”. Everyone is very friendly and ready to help every tourist wherever they can. Crimes against tourists are very rare. Please take care of yourself and your belongings as much as you’d do in every bigger city. Valuables and money should not be worn visible. If you would like to go out, we suggest you to visit restaurants, bars and clubs in the touristic regions. Do not walk away from the region by yourself at night.

Good to know

  • the currency is called Dalasi – 1 Euro are about 56 Dalasi
  • credit cards are accepted but we advise to always have enough cash with you
  • ATMs are working but it is not guaranteed that you’ll be receiving cash
  • during the rainy season there is the possibility that there will be problems with the power supplies – most hotels have a backup generator
  • don’t drink tap water
  • most hotels do have Wi-Fi included or against extra charge
  • hotel standards are different from European standards, although there are plenty of hotels with a very good quality
  • the time zone being used in Gambia is GMT
  • please ask the people if you want to take pictures, otherwise they might ask you for payment

Our Favorite Beaches

The Gambia is mostly known for its long and sandy beaches. The coast is about 70km long and you could basically walk the entire coast up and down. All beaches are flat falling, so perfect for everyone. The Atlantic is known to be one of the wildest oceans in the world but we can assure you, the stream is not very strong – if you can swim, you’ll be fine. The weather in The Gambia is always sunny and the average temperature is 32 degrees.

Some of our favorite beaches are:

  • Capepoint: white, tropical beach – perfect for wind surfing
  • Fajara: cliffs in the north, wide beach in the south
  • Kotu: perfect for surfing and other watersports
  • Kololi: one of the most beautiful beaches with beach bars
  • Batokunku: untouched and perfect for watching the sunset

Exploring The Gambia

The famous Gambia River, which is 1.120km long, is the lifeline of Gambia. Along the river you can find nature and wetland reserves, variations of animals and different bird breeds. Down the west you may find some hippos, closer to the coast region in the east, you’ll be able to see monkeys and birds. The Gambia River is known for its variety of fish. A fishing excursion is the best way to take in the beautiful scenery of the mangroves and the peaceful silence. If you’d like to have a little bit more action while exploring the river, you can book a kayaking tour.

If you want to explore the nature even more, the Gambia also has some national parks:

  • Kiang West National Park: founded in 1987, mangrove forests, wet savannahs, lynx, serval cat, crocodiles, mongooses, African manatees, baboons and other monkey breeds.
  • Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve: nature reserve in the wetland of Bao Bolong River, antelope, hyena, different monkey breeds and various species of fish
  • Tanji Bird Reserve: bird sanctuary, Bijol islands archipelago, rare bird breeds, monk seals, dolphins and turtles

Kachikally Crocodile pool is one of the most famous places in the country. It is a park which is the home of more than 70 crocodiles. They are getting fed by the locals since the animals are sacred for them. If you wash yourself with the crocodile pool water you’ll have a better chance to get pregnant and healthy, the legend says. You can visit the pool and see the crocodiles up close. If you are brave enough, you can pet them as well.

Culture and history are very important for the Gambians. You may have heard about the story of Kunta Kinteh and the slavery abduction in Africa. Kunta Kinteh Island, UNESCO world heritage, is only a boat ride away from the mainland. The landscape is beautiful, green and flourished.

The colorful craft markets along the streets of Gambia are perfect for everyone who wants to get in touch with the locals. You can buy a variety of food, like fish and fruits, but also hand crafted clothes with unique embroidery. If you prefer décor, you can find there as well: beautiful hand carved traditional masks, self-braided baskets, which can be used as laundry baskets for example.

If you want to discover the Gambian nightlife, you should visit one of the restaurants, bars or nightclubs located on the Senegambia Road. You can find restaurants which serve national dishes but also international ones like Lebanese or Italian food. There are also dance troupes and groups who play traditional African music. If you like to dance, we would also recommend to visit the clubs located there. Most of the clubs are offering national but also international music and good value drinks. Don’t worry – you are safe along the road.

The Food

The spicy and hearty Gambian cuisine is characterized by various African influences. These come mainly from North Africa, such as Tunisia and Morocco, but also from the Arab region. The most popular ingredients are freshly caught fish and chicken with rice, couscous, sweet potatoes and okra. The peanut traditionally plays an important role in Gambia: tasty pastes and sauces are made from it. While the Asian peanut sauce is usually made from peanut butter, the African sauce is made from the whole nut. For less adventurous guests, the hotel buffets offer international food and drinks.

If you want to experience authentic Gambian cuisine, you should book a cooking class in a typical Gambian household. You can visit traditional Gambian markets together with the other participants and then cook and eat a meal while chatting about the culture and cuisine with a local.

More questions?

Read FTI’s FAQ (in German) and learn more about visa regulations, recommended vaccinations, the best time to visit the Gambia etc. Download the FAQ (pdf)