How to Enter Gambia, The

Do I need a passport or visa to enter?

A passport, visa, and evidence of yellow fever vaccination are required. The current fee for a five-year visa for U.S. citizens is $105; the fee for an emergency visa is $155. If you enter The Gambia without a visa, you may be allowed to enter, then given two working days in which to obtain a visa from the Department of Immigration in downtown Banjul. The Embassy strongly recommends travelers obtain visas before leaving the United States.

An “airport development” fee of 20 Euros (or its equivalent in Dollars or Dalasi) is included in ticket fees for passengers departing The Gambia.

Travelers are urged to obtain the latest information on customs and entry requirements from the Embassy of The Gambia, 2233 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Suite 240, Georgetown Plaza, Washington, DC 20007; telephone (202) 785-1399, -1379, -1425, fax (202) 785-1430; or from the Permanent Mission of The Gambia to the U.N. at 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400-F, New York, NY, 10017; telephone (212) 949-6640, fax: (212) 856-9820. Overseas inquiries should be made at the nearest Gambian embassy or consulate. Visit the Embassy of The Gambia website for current visa information.

Special Travel Circumstances in Gambia, The

In addition to being subject to all of The Gambia’s laws affecting foreigners, U.S. citizens who are also Gambian citizens may be subject to additional provisions of Gambian law while in The Gambia. Dual nationals may wish to inquire at a Gambian embassy or consulate regarding their status.

Consensual same-sex sexual relations between men are illegal in The Gambia. There is no similar law targeting women. Prison terms can range from five to 14 years, and there is strong societal discrimination against LGBT individuals. Arrest and prosecution of LGBT persons, including foreign visitors, does occur. Eighteen men were arrested and prosecuted on suspicion of same-sex sexual relations in 2012. For further information on LGBT travel, please read our Information for LGBT Travelers page.

The Gambia has strict laws on the import and export of skin-bleaching creams and some medications. Visitors who arrive with substances containing 1% or more of: hydroquinone (in any form), hydrocortisone (unless in trace amounts and for specific purposes such as anti-itch products), betamethasone, flucinonide, clobestatol, or clobestatone are subject to fines up to $2,000 and/or three years imprisonment.

Airport police and customs officials routinely inspect incoming and outgoing luggage. Airline passengers are required to put their luggage through an x-ray machine before departing the airport. Travelers in possession of prescription drugs should carry proof of their prescriptions, such as labeled containers. Police have, on occasion, arrested foreigners carrying unlabeled pills. For a list of prohibited items, travelers should contact the nearest Gambian embassy or consulate.

It is against the law for tourists to photograph or film government buildings, including airports, military installations, or embassies, due to security concerns.

The Gambia’s currency, the dalasi, is freely convertible but is not widely available outside the country. The Gambia has a cash economy and travelers should carry sufficient currency to cover all expenses for their visit. Visitors can exchange currency at banks or exchange bureaus. Changing money unofficially is prohibited and individuals who do so may face prosecution. Travelers should be aware that The Gambia has many last-minute holidays requiring banks and other businesses to close. Travelers should always have enough cash to carry them through unexpected bank closures.

Credit cards are accepted only at major hotels, some grocery stores, and a few restaurants. Local personal checks from U.S. citizens are accepted only at exchange bureaus and only from U.S. citizens who are resident in The Gambia. There are a few ATMs in the Banjul area, but they often malfunction or fail to issue receipts. ATMs only accept VISA cards for international transactions and only dispense a maximum of about $140.00 (in local currency) per transaction, with three transactions allowed per day. Money transfers are widely available at Western Union branch offices in The Gambia.


You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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