Where is Gambia, The located?

What countries border Gambia, The?

Gambia, The Weather

What is the current weather in Gambia, The?

Gambia, The Facts and Culture

What is Gambia, The famous for?

  • Cultural Attributes: Gambians are usually self-confident, proud of their heritage and curious about western civilization. More
  • Family: In rural areas people live in a series of houses around an open courtyard. The oldest man in the linage... More
  • Personal Apperance: Women wear long skirts usually of local cloth with a loose upper cloth and a head tie. Men wear second... More
  • Recreation: Soccer is the main sport with basketball becoming more popular. Checkers is played by many as well as ludo a... More
  • Food and Recipes: Rice and millet are the main food staples. Mango trees and papaya are abundant in most areas. In the dry... More

Gambia, The Facts

What is the capital of Gambia, The?

Capital Banjul
Government Type presidential republic
Currency Dalasi (GMD)
Total Area 4,361 Square Miles
11,295 Square Kilometers
Location Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and Senegal
Language English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars
GDP - real growth rate 4.7%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $1,700.00 (USD)

Gambia, The Demographics

What is the population of Gambia, The?

Ethnic Groups African 99% (Mandinka 42%, Fula 18%, Wolof 16%, Jola 10%, Serahuli 9%, other 4%), non-African 1%
Nationality Noun Gambian(s)
Population 2,173,999
Population Growth Rate 2.29%
Population in Major Urban Areas BANJUL (capital) 506,000
Urban Population 57.300000

Gambia, The Government

What type of government does Gambia, The have?

Executive Branch chief of state: President Adama BARROW (since 19 January 2022); Vice President Muhammed B.S. JALLOW (24 February 2023; note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Adama BARROW (since 19 January 2022); Vice President Muhammed B.S. JALLOW (24 February 2023)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 4 December 2021 (next to be held in 2026); vice president appointed by the president

election results:

2021: Adama BARROW reelected president; percent of vote - Adama BARROW (NPP) 53.2%, Ousainou DARBOE (UDP) 27.7%, Mamma KANDEH (GDC) 12.3%, other 6.8%

2016: Adama BARROW elected president; percent of vote - Adama BARROW (Coalition 2016) 43.3%, Yahya JAMMEH (APRC) 39.6%, Mamma KANDEH (GDC) 17.1%
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Citizenship citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent only: yes

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
National Holiday Independence Day, 18 February (1965)
Constitution history: previous 1965 (Independence Act), 1970; latest adopted 8 April 1996, approved by referendum 8 August 1996, effective 16 January 1997; note - in early 2018, the "Constitutional Review Commission," was established to draft and assist in instituting a new constitution; a second draft completed in March 2020 was rejected by the National Assembly in September; the president announced in January 2022 government plans to draft a new constitution

amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires at least three-fourths majority vote by the Assembly membership in each of several readings and approval by the president of the republic; a referendum is required for amendments affecting national sovereignty, fundamental rights and freedoms, government structures and authorities, taxation, and public funding; passage by referendum requires participation of at least 50% of eligible voters and approval by at least 75% of votes cast; amended 2001, 2004, 2018
Independence 18 February 1965 (from the UK)

Gambia, The Video

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Gambia, The Geography

What environmental issues does Gambia, The have?

Overview Situated on the western coast of Africa between the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer, the Republic of The Gambia forms a narrow strip of land on either side of the Gambia River. Except for the sea coast, the country is surrounded by the Republic of Senegal and extends inland for 200 miles (320 kilometers). The Gambia is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) wide along the coast, narrowing to 15 miles (24 kilometers) at its eastern border. From sea level, interior elevations rise to 112 feet. Its dominant feature, the Gambia River, begins in the Futa Jallon highlands in Guinea and empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The river is fringed with mangrove swamps for about 170 miles inland, followed by open savanna and, in places, by red iron-stone cliffs. The river is tidal throughout most of The Gambia, and the intrusion of salt water ranges from 90 miles upriver in the wet season to nearly 160 miles in the dry season. Ships up to 3,000 tons with a maximum draft of 17 feet are able to navigate 150 miles upriver to the trading port of Kaur. Banjul has a well-equipped port with two berths, spacious anchorages, large customs clearing warehouses, and a 25-ton capacity crane. Smaller fishing and pleasure boats are anchored in Oyster Creek, 2 miles from Banjul.

The Gambia is vulnerable to periodic drought because it is part of the arid Sahel Zone between the Sahara Desert and the coastal rain forest. Vegetation ranges from woodlands to savanna with sparse grass and shrubs. Much of the sandy soil is low in plant nutrients. Palm trees are present in coastal areas, and baobab, kapok, acacia, and mahogany trees are found throughout the country.

Climate Climate is subtropical with a distinct hot and rainy season from June to October, and a cooler dry season from November to May. The beginning and end of the rains are marked by high temperatures and high humidity, whereas the dry season is noted for the dusty and dry trade winds (harmattan) blowing in from the central Sahara. Temperatures range from a low of 48°F (9°C) in January to a high of 110°F (43°C) in October. Because of the cooling effect of the ocean, temperatures are lower along the coast than in the interior. Rainfall varies widely from year to year but ranges from an annual mean of 48 inches in the west to 34 inches upriver.

Because of the humid climate and the salt air along the coast, metal rusts rapidly in The Gambia, and houses near the sea may be affected by the corrosive salt air. Termites abound year round in soils and woodwork. During the dry season, the harmattan winds blow in a fine dust. However, the moderate temperatures during the dry season with mostly sunny days give The Gambia one of West Africa’s more pleasant climates.

Border Countries Senegal 740 km
Environment - Current Issues deforestation; desertification; water-borne diseases prevalent
Environment - International Agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Terrain flood plain of the Gambia River flanked by some low hills

Gambia, The Economy

How big is the Gambia, The economy?

Economic Overview The government has invested in the agriculture sector because three-quarters of the population depends on the sector for its livelihood and agriculture provides for about one-third of GDP, making The Gambia largely reliant on sufficient rainfall. The agricultural sector has untapped potential - less than half of arable land is cultivated and agricultural productivity is low. Small-scale manufacturing activity features the processing of cashews, groundnuts, fish, and hides. The Gambia's reexport trade accounts for almost 80% of goods exports and China has been its largest trade partner for both exports and imports for several years.

The Gambia has sparse natural resource deposits. It relies heavily on remittances from workers overseas and tourist receipts. Remittance inflows to The Gambia amount to about one-fifth of the country’s GDP. The Gambia's location on the ocean and proximity to Europe has made it one of the most frequented tourist destinations in West Africa, boosted by private sector investments in eco-tourism and facilities. Tourism normally brings in about 20% of GDP, but it suffered in 2014 from tourists’ fears of Ebola virus in neighboring West African countries. Unemployment and underemployment remain high.

Economic progress depends on sustained bilateral and multilateral aid, on responsible government economic management, and on continued technical assistance from multilateral and bilateral donors. International donors and lenders were concerned about the quality of fiscal management under the administration of former President Yahya JAMMEH, who reportedly stole hundreds of millions of dollars of the country’s funds during his 22 years in power, but anticipate significant improvements under the new administration of President Adama BARROW, who assumed power in early 2017. As of April 2017, the IMF, the World Bank, the European Union, and the African Development Bank were all negotiating with the new government of The Gambia to provide financial support in the coming months to ease the country’s financial crisis.

The country faces a limited availability of foreign exchange, weak agricultural output, a border closure with Senegal, a slowdown in tourism, high inflation, a large fiscal deficit, and a high domestic debt burden that has crowded out private sector investment and driven interest rates to new highs. The government has committed to taking steps to reduce the deficit, including through expenditure caps, debt consolidation, and reform of state-owned enterprises.
Industries processing peanuts, fish, and hides; tourism; beverages; agricultural machinery assembly, woodworking, metalworking; clothing
Currency Name and Code Dalasi (GMD)

Gambia, The News and Current Events

What current events are happening in Gambia, The?
Source: Google News

Gambia, The Travel Information

What makes Gambia, The a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

The Gambia is a developing country in western Africa. Its capital is Banjul. The official language is English, but many inhabitants speak indigenous languages such as Wolof or Mandinka. Facilities for tourism in the Banjul area and along the Atlantic coast south of the Gambia River are good; however, elsewhere, tourist facilities are limited in availability and quality.


Petty street crime is a problem in The Gambia. Travelers should be careful of pickpockets in crowded market areas and on ferries. Packages or luggage should never be left unattended, especially in taxis. U.S. citizens in The Gambia should be careful not to leave valuables or identity documents unsecured in hotel rooms or cars. Travelers should also be cautious of individuals who persistently offer unsolicited help.

Visitors and resident U.S. citizens may wish to leave their windows up and doors locked while driving due to several reported automobile burglaries, including theft from occupied cars stopped in traffic with windows open or doors unlocked. Long-term residents may wish to consider hiring security guards for their home to deter burglary and theft.

Women should avoid walking alone, especially after dark, including in beach and tourist areas. In addition, female visitors to The Gambia should be particularly cautious of men locally known as “bumsters,” who approach females wishing “just to get to know you,” or offering to be tour guides. Bumsters often use romance in hopes of gaining money and other assistance, or in the hope of departing The Gambia through marriage to a Westerner. Travelers are advised to be polite but decisive in turning down unwanted help or attempts at conversation.

Business fraud, long associated with other parts of West Africa, has also been reported in The Gambia. The U.S. embassy has received reports of several scams in which U.S. businesses sent, but did not receive, payment for shipments. U.S. citizens should be very suspicious of any unsolicited offers to participate in lucrative business opportunities, especially if they require financial disclosures, money transfers, large up-front investments, or promises of confidentiality. The best way to avoid becoming a victim of fraud is common sense – if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. You should be suspicious of any unsolicited business proposal originating in The Gambia. Carefully scrutinize all proposals before you commit any funds, provide any goods or services, or undertake any travel. For additional information, please see the Department of State’s information on International Financial Scams.

The U.S. Embassy is frequently contacted by victims of romantic Internet scams and health-related plea-for-help scams perpetrated in The Gambia. Generally, a U.S. citizen befriends someone or gets engaged to someone over the Internet. This person, who can claim to be a U.S. citizen or a Gambian citizen, eventually requests financial assistance from the U.S. citizen to help pay for urgent medical treatment, to tide him or her over after a recent robbery, or to pay some form of alleged exit tax or government fine. In the vast majority of cases, the person with whom the U.S. citizen has been corresponding is using a fake identity and is in no need of assistance. In general, U.S. citizens are advised not to send money to anyone they have not met in person. For more information on this type of scam, please refer to the State Department brochure on International Financial Scams, specifically the section on Internet Dating and Romance Scams.

Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, you may be breaking local law too.

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in The Gambia, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In some places you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. In some places, driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States; for instance, you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children, or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country, is a crime and is prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in The Gambia, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It is very important to know what is legal and what is not wherever you are traveling.

If you are arrested in The Gambia, Gambian authorities are required to notify the U.S. Embassy of your arrest. If you are concerned that the Department of State may not be aware of your situation, you should request the police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy of your arrest.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Medical facilities in The Gambia are very limited, some treatments are unavailable, and emergency services can be unpredictable and unreliable. Travelers should carry their own supplies of prescription as well as over-the-counter medicines or treatments.

You can find good information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.

Malaria is a serious risk to travelers in The Gambia. Travelers who become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in The Gambia (and for up to one year after returning home) should seek prompt medical attention and tell the physician their travel history, as well as what anti-malarial medications they have been taking.

Safety and Security

he Gambia has not experienced any recent acts of terrorism or large scale violence; however, much of its southern region borders the Casamance region of Senegal, which is home to a long-running, low-intensity conflict.

Demonstrations are rare in The Gambia.

Travelers driving a vehicle in The Gambia are obligated to stop at all roadblocks or road checkpoints in the country. Drivers should not reverse direction to avoid a road checkpoint or make any movements that security personnel may view as suspicious or provocative. Drivers who encounter a government motorcade should pull completely off the road and bring the car to a complete stop until the motorcade passes.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in The Gambia, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Travel in The Gambia can be difficult due to poor road conditions, particularly during the rainy season, which generally lasts from June through October. Although there are paved main roads in the greater Banjul area, many are poorly maintained and poorly lit. With the installation of street lights on roads in the Banjul area, some drivers no longer use their vehicle lights at night.

Most roads outside the Banjul area are still unlit and unpaved. Caution should be exercised when using taxis, particularly at night. Most taxis lack safety belts and many are not road-worthy. Livestock and pedestrians pose road hazards throughout the country, including in the greater Banjul area. Drivers and pedestrians should exercise extreme caution to prevent accidents.

Numerous accidents are caused by intoxicated drivers. Tests are rarely done to determine levels of intoxication. If you are suspected of causing an accident while intoxicated, and the case is taken to trial, you may be subject to a substantial fine or imprisonment.

The police do not consistently apply traffic laws and regulations, and sometimes compel drivers to pay fines on the spot for violations, real or contrived. Written citations/tickets are rarely given. Police periodically set up impromptu traffic stops on major streets to check for drivers’ licenses and proper insurance. Drivers should not attempt to drive around these traffic stops.

Government convoys frequently travel at high speeds and often in either or both lanes of traffic, including in the oncoming traffic lane, requiring cars to move off the road. Whenever there are police lights or sirens, drivers should move off the road immediately and completely. There are no trauma centers in The Gambia and severe accidents often require evacuation to Senegal or Europe.

Water transportation in the region is unsafe. Ferries rarely keep to their posted schedules. The ferries, which are poorly maintained and often overcrowded, usually lack sufficient numbers of life preservers for all passengers. U.S. citizens are advised to exit their cars during the crossing. The wooden dugout “pirogues” that also cross the Gambia River often leave shore overloaded and occasionally sink in the middle of the river.

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