Arriving in Gambia

Arriving in Gambia

Quick tips

Banjul International Airport in Gambia have a range of facilities and services to assist travelers, including money changing facilities, taxis, car rental services, convenience stores, and information desks for general queries.

Visa requirements

As for visa requirements, it is recommended that visitors check their visa requirements before arriving in Gambia. While some nationalities may be eligible for a visa on arrival, others may need to apply for a visa in advance. It’s important to have the necessary documentation and visas in order to avoid any issues or delays at the airport.


The official currency of Gambia is the Gambian dalasi (GMD). The dalasi is further divided into 100 bututs. Banknotes in circulation include 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, and 200 dalasis, while coins include 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 bututs as well as 1 dalasi.

It’s important to note that the Gambian dalasi is not widely traded outside of Gambia, so it’s recommended that visitors exchange their currency into dalasis upon arrival in the country. Money changing facilities are readily available at Banjul International Airport, hotels, and banks. It’s also possible to withdraw dalasis from ATMs, although not all ATMs may accept foreign cards, so it’s recommended to check with your bank before traveling.


Gambia has a tropical climate, with hot and humid conditions throughout the year. The country has two main seasons: the dry season and the rainy season.

The dry season runs from November to May, with little to no rainfall and temperatures averaging around 30°C (86°F) during the day and 20°C (68°F) at night. This is typically the peak tourist season in Gambia, as visitors can enjoy the sunny and warm weather.

The rainy season runs from June to October, with occasional heavy downpours and thunderstorms. Temperatures during this season tend to be slightly cooler, with highs averaging around 28°C (82°F) and lows around 22°C (72°F).

Overall, Gambia has a warm and pleasant climate throughout the year, although visitors should be prepared for the occasional rain during the rainy season. It’s recommended to check the weather forecast before traveling and to pack appropriate clothing and gear for the weather conditions.

Wifi in Gambia

WiFi is available in some hotels, restaurants, and cafes in Gambia, especially in tourist areas like Banjul, Kololi, and Senegambia. However, the quality and reliability of the WiFi may vary depending on the location and provider.

Some hotels and resorts offer complimentary WiFi for their guests, while others may charge a fee for WiFi access. In addition, there are internet cafes in some areas that offer internet access for a fee.

It’s also possible to purchase a local SIM card with a data plan from one of the local mobile network providers in Gambia. This can be a good option for those who require reliable internet access during their stay, especially for those who plan to stay in Gambia for a longer period of time.

Embassies and consulates

There are several embassies and consulates located in Gambia, representing countries from around the world.

Here are some of the embassies and consulates in Gambia:

Embassy of the United States of America

Address: Kairaba Avenue, Fajara, Banjul

Phone: +220-439-2856

British High Commission

Address: 48 Atlantic Road, Fajara, Banjul

Phone: +220-449-5202

Dutch Embassy

German Embassy

  • Address: 49 Atlantic Road, Fajara, Banjul, Gambia
  • Phone: +220-449-4808
  • Email:
  • Website:

Embassy of the Republic of Senegal

Address: Marina Parade, Banjul

Phone: +220-422-7043

Embassy of the Republic of Guinea

Address: 15 Garba Jahumpa Avenue, Bakau

Phone: +220-449-4152

Embassy of the Republic of Turkey

Address: 53 Garba Jahumpa Road, Fajara, Banjul

Phone: +220-449-5800

Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

Address: 22 Kairaba Avenue, Fajara, Banjul

Phone: +220-449-4486

It’s important to note that some countries may not have an embassy or consulate in Gambia. In such cases, visitors may need to contact the nearest embassy or consulate of their home country for assistance.

Emergency numbers

Here are some important emergency numbers to keep in mind while in Gambia:

  • Police: 117
  • Fire Brigade: 118
  • Ambulance: 116
  • National Intelligence Agency: 130
  • Gambia Red Cross Society: 116

It’s a good idea to keep a list of emergency numbers handy while traveling in Gambia. In case of an emergency, it’s important to remain calm and to follow the instructions of local authorities. It’s also a good idea to register with your embassy or consulate upon arrival, so that they can provide assistance in case of an emergency.

Frequently asked questions

Are public displays of affection allowed in Gambia

Public displays of affection are not commonly seen in Gambia, especially outside of tourist areas, and it is generally considered inappropriate. It is important to respect the local culture and customs while traveling in Gambia, and to be mindful of local sensitivities. As a conservative and predominantly Muslim country, it is recommended to avoid public displays of affection and to dress modestly, especially in religious or traditional areas.

Can I drink alcohol

Yes, alcohol is legal in Gambia and is available for purchase at many restaurants, bars, and hotels, particularly in tourist areas. However, Gambia is a predominantly Muslim country, and some local communities may frown upon drinking alcohol, particularly in public or during religious events. It is important to be respectful of the local culture and customs while drinking alcohol in Gambia, and to drink responsibly.

What is the official language

The official language of Gambia is English. However, there are also several local languages spoken in the country, including Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, and Jola. English is the language of instruction in schools, and it is widely spoken in government and business settings. In tourist areas, it is also common to hear other languages such as French and German spoken by visitors from Europe.

Is there anything prohibited in Gambia

Yes, there are certain things that are prohibited in Gambia. Here are some examples:

  1. Drugs: The use, possession, or trafficking of drugs is illegal and can result in severe penalties, including imprisonment.
  2. Pornography: The production, distribution, or possession of pornographic material is illegal in Gambia.
  3. Homosexuality: Same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Gambia and can be punished with imprisonment.
  4. Offensive speech: Gambia has strict laws prohibiting speech that is deemed to be insulting or offensive to religious, ethnic, or other groups.
  5. Counterfeit goods: The production and sale of counterfeit goods, including clothing, electronics, and medications, is illegal in Gambia.

It is important to familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations in Gambia, and to respect the local culture and customs while traveling in the country.

Do I need travel insurance when coming

While travel insurance is not a legal requirement for entry into Gambia, it is highly recommended for all travelers. Medical care in Gambia may be limited, especially outside of urban areas, and can be expensive for those without insurance. In addition, travel insurance can also provide coverage for other potential issues such as trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and other unexpected emergencies.

It is important to carefully review the details of any travel insurance policy before purchasing, and to ensure that it covers your specific needs and activities while traveling in Gambia. Some policies may exclude coverage for certain activities, such as adventure sports or pre-existing medical conditions. It is also a good idea to check with your insurance provider to see if they have any specific requirements or recommendations for travel to Gambia.

What are the procedures to follow ahead of travelling

Before traveling to Gambia, there are several procedures that you should follow:

  1. Check visa requirements: Depending on your nationality, you may need to apply for a visa before traveling to Gambia. Check with the Gambian embassy or consulate in your country to see if you need a visa and what the application process entails.
  2. Get vaccinated: It is recommended to get vaccinated before traveling to Gambia to protect against diseases such as yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, and typhoid. Consult with a healthcare provider or travel clinic for advice on necessary vaccinations.
  3. Pack appropriately: Gambia is a tropical country with a hot and humid climate. Pack lightweight and breathable clothing, insect repellent, sunscreen, and a hat to protect against the sun.
  4. Purchase travel insurance: As mentioned before, it is highly recommended to purchase travel insurance before traveling to Gambia to protect against unexpected emergencies.
  5. Check travel advisories: Check your country’s travel advisories and any relevant updates on Gambia to stay informed about potential safety risks.
  6. Research local customs: Familiarize yourself with the local culture and customs of Gambia to avoid any misunderstandings or unintentional cultural faux pas.

By following these procedures, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to Gambia.

Do I need a COVID-19 test when travelling

No, you don’t need a COVID-19 test, It is important to note that the situation regarding COVID-19 can change rapidly, and travel restrictions and requirements may be updated at short notice. Therefore, it is recommended to check with the Gambian embassy or consulate in your country, as well as with your airline, for the most up-to-date information on travel requirements to Gambia.

What are the procedures when departing

When departing from Gambia, there are several procedures that you should follow:

  1. Check departure requirements: Make sure to check the departure requirements for your specific airline and destination, including any necessary visas, travel documents, and COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements.
  2. Arrive at the airport early: Allow plenty of time to arrive at the airport, check in, and clear security and immigration procedures.
  3. Pay airport tax: You will be required to pay an airport tax when departing from Gambia. This fee is typically included in the price of your airline ticket, but it is always a good idea to confirm with your airline beforehand.
  4. Check baggage allowances: Make sure to check the baggage allowances for your airline, including any restrictions on size, weight, and number of bags.
  5. Clear security and immigration: Be prepared to present your passport and any necessary travel documents, and follow all security and immigration procedures.
  6. Board your flight: Proceed to your designated boarding gate and board your flight at the appropriate time.

By following these procedures, you can help ensure a smooth and hassle-free departure from Gambia.

Getting to Gambia

There are several ways to get to Gambia, depending on your location and budget:

  1. By air: Banjul International Airport (BJL) is the main airport in Gambia and is served by several international airlines, including British Airways, Air France, Brussels Airlines, and Royal Air Maroc and via tour operators. Many flights to Gambia connect through major European cities such as London, Paris, Brussels, and Casablanca.
  2. By land: Gambia is surrounded on three sides by Senegal, and there are several border crossings between the two countries. However, overland travel to Gambia can be challenging due to poor road conditions and limited public transportation options.
  3. By sea: Gambia has a small seaport in Banjul, which is primarily used for cargo shipping. However, there are occasional passenger ferries from Dakar, Senegal, to Banjul.

When planning your trip to Gambia, consider your budget and travel preferences, as well as any visa or travel requirements that may be necessary for your specific mode of transportation.

How much does a taxi cost

The cost of a taxi in Gambia can vary depending on the distance traveled and the time of day. Generally, taxis in Gambia operate on a fixed-price basis, with rates negotiated in advance with the driver. It is always a good idea to confirm the fare with the driver before starting your journey to avoid any misunderstandings.

As an approximate guide, a taxi ride from Banjul International Airport to the center of Banjul or the popular tourist destination of Kololi Beach may cost between 300 and 500 Gambian dalasis (approximately 6 to 10 US dollars) depending on the time of day and traffic conditions. Longer journeys to other parts of the country may cost more.

It is important to note that prices can vary depending on factors such as demand, time of day, and negotiation skills. If you are unsure about the cost of a taxi ride, it is always a good idea to ask a local or seek advice from your hotel or guesthouse.

Where is Gambia Located

The Gambia is a small West African country located along the Atlantic coast, surrounded by Senegal on three sides. The country is situated on both sides of the Gambia River, which runs through the middle of the country from east to west. The Gambia has a total area of approximately 11,300 square kilometers (4,361 square miles) and a population of around 2.4 million people. The capital city is Banjul, which is located on the coast at the mouth of the Gambia River.

Where are the public beaches

The Gambia has several public beaches along its coastline, including:

  1. Kololi Beach: Located in the popular tourist destination of Kololi, this is one of the most developed and accessible beaches in Gambia, with a variety of hotels, restaurants, and beach bars.
  2. Bakau Beach: This beach is popular with locals and visitors alike, with a wide sandy beach and several restaurants and bars nearby.
  3. Cape Point Beach: Located near the mouth of the Gambia River, this beach offers beautiful views of the ocean and river, as well as opportunities for fishing and water sports.
  4. Tanji Beach: This is a quieter and more secluded beach located south of the tourist areas, popular with birdwatchers and those looking for a peaceful beach experience.
  5. Bijilo Beach: Located in the Bijilo Forest Park, this beach offers a scenic and natural setting, with opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife viewing.

It’s worth noting that some beaches in Gambia have strong currents and are not suitable for swimming. Always take caution and pay attention to any warnings or advice from local authorities.