Gambia

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Why Gambia?

Although Gambia is not a typical African destination, it is becoming more and more interesting as a destination. Dreamlike sandy beaches and turquoise water invite you to a relaxing bathing holiday, beautiful national parks and nature reserves for an adventure. Historical places and holy places provide for an interesting and varied vacation. 

The popularity of Gambia has many reasons

– easy accessibility with only a small time difference (- 2 hours)
– good flight connection
– uncomplicated immigration regulations
– pleasant temperatures all year round
– not crowded by tourists

Climate
tropical warm climate, clearly separated dry and rainy seasons
Travel time recommendation
In the dry season (November to May)
Wildlife
Antelopes, Warthogs, aardvarks, leopards, various species of monkeys, hippos, crocodiles, diverse bird life
Country & People
Gambia has 1.7 million inhabitants. The largest population group is the Mandinka, followed by the Fulbe and the Wolof. A total of 20 different languages are spoken, the official and teaching language is English
.

Information, hints and tips for your trip to Gambia

 Welcome to the rough diamond of Africa!
Although it is not yet considered a typical travel destination,
Gambia still impresses with its many facets and a wide range of offers.
Whether a relaxed bathing holiday on the dreamlike sandy beach or a safari in the beautiful national parks,
Gambia will surely inspire you!

Over 30 years of experience in Africa give Severin Travel Africa the
opportunity to give you valuable tips for your trip.

Tips before your departure

Entry
German citizens do not need a visa to enter Gambia for a stay of up to 28 days (tourists) or 7 days (business travellers). The residence permit is issued free of charge upon entry. A passport with at least 6 months validity and empty pages is required, as well as a onward or return ticket.

A stay extension of up to 3 months can be applied for at the Gambian Immigration Office in Banjul (subject to a fee).

Health
No vaccinations are currently required.

In addition to sunscreens and your personal first-aid kit, we recommend a remedy for diarrhoea because of the change in climate.

A malaria risk exists all year round in the whole country. Malaria is usually transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito between dusk and dawn. Protection against mosquito bites is the most important preventive measure against malaria. An insect repellent, e.g. Nobite or Antibrumm, should not be missing in the luggage. Please consult your family doctor about taking a medical prophylaxis.

Medical care in the country is generally limited and often technically, apparatusually and/or hygienically problematic. Even in the private sector, only limited diagnostics and treatment is possible. Care is particularly limited in emergencies, e.g. after car accidents, but also in the event of a heart attack or stroke.

It is necessary to bring medication for a well-equipped medicine cabinet, especially for people who are dependent on special medication. Counterfeit medicines can occur. Travellers who come to Gambia should have sufficient health insurance coverage, also valid for foreign countries, and a reliable

repatriation insurance.

Yellow Fever Vaccination
When entering from a country declared by the WHO as a yellow fever epidemic area, proof of a valid yellow fever vaccination is required.

Infrastructure/road traffic
It is generally recommended to exercise special caution when travelling in unfamiliar surroundings after dark and/or alone, and not to drive over land in the dark as there is an increased risk of accidents. Street lighting is often lacking, and cars are often without lights on the way.
The Gambia River can only be crossed by ferry from the capital Banjul. Longer waiting times, which can hardly be estimated in advance, have to be planned.

In January 2019, the first bridge over the Gambia River was inaugurated at Farafenni/Mansa Konko (approx. 120 km as the crow flies from Banjul). The bridge is subject to tolls and currently only open for cars. Travellers must carry their passport.

Before any planned detours into the southern part of the Republic of Senegal (Casamance), it is recommended to follow the travel and safety instructions for Senegal and Guinea-Bissau.

Driving Licence
The international driving licence is required and only valid in conjunction with the national German driving licence.

Currency/credit cards
The national currency is the Dalasi (GMD), which is not convertible outside Gambia. Cash can be exchanged at banks and exchange offices. Exchange on the black market is strongly discouraged. This is illegal, is now very strongly prosecuted by the police and punished accordingly. At ATMs you can usually get money with your credit and debit card. Credit cards are more and more accepted as means of payment in larger hotels and also in larger shops. However, this is sometimes associated with high fees and poorer exchange rates.

Time Shift
There is a time difference of - 2 hours.

Climate
The climate in Gambia is tropical-warm with a distinct, clearly separated rain and dry season. It is considered one of the West African countries with the most pleasant climate. Especially on the coast it is bearable for Europeans. In the interior, however, it can become very hot in spring with temperatures up to 43°C during the day.

From November to May the average temperatures vary between 21 and 27°C. During the summer the temperatures rise to 27°C to 32°C. In addition, it is then very humid with a relative humidity of over 80%. The temperature fluctuations, which are low on the coast, increase inland and during the dry season.

The rainy season in Gambia begins in June and ends in November.

During the dry season in the winter and spring months, the sun shines every day from a cloudless sky and there is practically no rain.

From January to May, the dry and dusty Harmattan coming from the Sahara occasionally blows, which causes the humidity to drop significantly.

On the day of departure

Flight
Fly non-stop and in only 7 hours from several German airports to Gambia.

Safety instructions
Please note that you should arrive at your airline's check-in desk at least two hours before departure. We will be happy to send you information about your departure airport. In any case, make sure that your hand luggage does not contain any sharp objects such as nail scissors.

At your destination

Arrival
After your arrival at the airport in Gambia, your tour guide will warmly welcome you and accompany you to your hotel or start directly on your safari.

Population/Language
The official language in Gambia is English, and a large part of the population speaks Arabic and French. In total, 20 languages are spoken in Gambia, because each people has its own language.

The predominantly Muslim population in Gambia is generally tolerant. However, travellers should not dress more freely than the local population.

Security
Please deposit money, jewellery and your documents in the hotel safe. You should carry as little as possible with you and pay attention to your handbag and camera. After dark it is advisable not to take a walk and use taxis instead of public transport. Please note that Kigali Airport, bridges, government buildings and military facilities are not allowed to be photographed. Please also note the explanations of the Federal Foreign Office.

Power supply
In Gambia, type G sockets are used. You will need a travel plug adapter in Gambia if you live in Germany. The mains voltage is 230 V at a frequency of 50 Hz.

Diplomatic representation
Gambia 20, Avenue Pasteur, Angle Rue Mermoz, Dakar. Phone: +221 33 889 48 84

Tip
In hotels, restaurants and taxis a tip of 10% is usual.