Are you looking for a different type of holiday? While millions flock to the sunny islands in the Mediterranean, you could consider visiting western Africa’s sun-splashed coast. But those who are concerned about the security situation or the language barrier will find paradise in the tiny country of Gambia. Let’s take a closer look at why you should make Africa’s smallest country your next holiday getaway!
Where Exactly Is Gambia?
Sometimes referred to as “the Gambia,” this country consists of two narrow strips of land along the Gambia River and is surrounded completely by Senegal, but for a strip of beach on the Atlantic Ocean. It is the smallest country in continental Africa and offers easy access to Senegal, as well as the Cape Verde Islands, Morocco, and the Canary Islands. The official language is English.
Beaches in Gambia: Soak Up the Sun
Western Gambia, also known as the Kombos, has some of the best beaches in all of West Africa. Picture bright yellow sand and glittering tropical waters, with a backdrop of verdant palm trees waving against the brilliant blue sky. The best-known location for the luxurious beach resorts is Fajara, which offers every amenity you could want and is the prime destination for many Gambia holidays.
However, if you’re looking for something more low-key, you can also check out the sleepy fishing village of Kartong, which maintains a traditional coastal lifestyle. You can even take a bird-watching trip in a handmade dugout canoe.
Banjul: The Coastal Capital
Gambia’s capital is full of colonial architecture, swank beach resorts, open-air markets and nifty museums like the African Heritage Museum. It is also home to Arch 22, built to commemorate the 1994 coup. If you climb to the highest balcony, you can get a superb view of the city.
Delicious Cuisine (with a Side of Rice!)
Gambian cuisine features lots of mellow, slow-cooked stews with tasty seasoning, as well as plenty of fresh, local seafood. Dishes like domoda, a meat stew with peanut sauce, and chicken yassa, with plenty of onions and black pepper, are definitely worth trying. But like in many parts of the world, be prepared to have your food with rice – lots of it! And don’t forget to wash it down with a glass of local palm wine.
When you get tired of the beach and start to want an adventure, head upriver to see some truly unique landscapes and isolated jungle. You can find mangrove swamps, bright green jungle, and remote villages, as well as plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting.
Ready to go yet? There are plenty of Gambia holidays on offer (see icelolly.com for more details), ranging from private tours to all-inclusive beach resorts. Book now and get ready to experience this little gem on Africa’s western coast.