Gambia Tourism

Gambia Tourism

Gambia Tourism is a major industry in the Gambia, a small country located in West Africa. The country has a tropical climate and offers a range of attractions such as beautiful beaches, wildlife reserves, and cultural landmarks. The Gambia Tourist Board is the government agency responsible for promoting and developing the tourism industry in the country.

Tourism in the Gambia has been steadily growing over the years, with the UK being the largest source of visitors. Other major markets include Germany, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia. The country offers a range of accommodation options, including hotels, resorts, and guesthouses, catering to a range of budgets and preferences.

The Gambia Tourist Board works closely with local tour operators, hoteliers, and other stakeholders to develop and promote sustainable tourism in the country. The agency also provides information and support to tourists, including safety and security advice, travel tips, and assistance with travel arrangements.

The Gambia is known for its friendly people and relaxed atmosphere, making it a popular destination for both budget and luxury travelers. With its year-round warm weather, beautiful beaches, and rich cultural heritage, the Gambia is an attractive destination for those seeking a unique and authentic travel experience.


The tourism industry in The Gambia began to develop in the 1960s, shortly after the country gained independence from Britain in 1965. The country’s first hotel, the Bathurst Hotel, was opened in 1962, followed by other hotels and resorts.

In the 1970s, The Gambia saw a surge in tourism as more Europeans began to discover the country’s sandy beaches, warm climate, and friendly locals. The government at the time actively promoted tourism and invested in infrastructure such as roads and airports to support the industry.

During the 1980s and 1990s, The Gambia continued to attract tourists, particularly from the UK and Scandinavia. The country’s tourism industry suffered a setback in the early 2000s due to political instability, but has since recovered and continues to grow.

Today, tourism is one of the largest contributors to The Gambia’s economy, providing employment for thousands of people and generating revenue for the government. The country’s tourism industry is primarily focused on beach resorts and eco-tourism, with visitors coming from all over the world to enjoy the country’s natural beauty and cultural attractions.

why is it called the Gambia

The country is called “The Gambia” because the Gambia River, which is the country’s dominant geographic feature, runs through it. The name “Gambia” comes from the Portuguese word “Gâmbia,” which was the name for the river.

Tourism has had a significant impact on The Gambia in various ways:

  1. Economic impact: Tourism is the country’s second-largest industry, contributing around 20% of GDP and providing employment for many Gambians. It has helped to diversify the economy, reduce poverty, and create business opportunities.
  2. Foreign exchange earnings: Tourism generates foreign exchange for the country, which is essential for importing goods and services that the country needs.
  3. Infrastructure development: Tourism has been a catalyst for the development of infrastructure such as roads, airports, and hotels, which not only benefit tourists but also improve the lives of the locals.
  4. Cultural exchange: Tourism has facilitated cultural exchange between Gambians and tourists, helping to promote the country’s unique cultural heritage.
  5. Environmental impact: The tourism industry can have a negative impact on the environment if not managed properly. The Gambia has taken measures to protect its environment, including setting up eco-tourism initiatives and national parks to promote responsible tourism.
  6. Social impact: Tourism has brought about social changes, including increased awareness of global issues, greater tolerance, and understanding of different cultures and ways of life.

Overall, the impact of tourism on The Gambia has been positive, although there are challenges that need to be addressed, such as ensuring sustainable tourism practices and reducing its impact on the environment.

Why Gambia Tourism:

  1. Beautiful beaches with golden sand
  2. The warm and sunny weather all year round
  3. A wide range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to budget guesthouses
  4. Friendly and welcoming local people
  5. Affordable prices for food, drinks, and accommodation
  6. Delicious and fresh seafood
  7. Vibrant markets selling local crafts and goods
  8. The Gambia River and its wildlife
  9. The Kachikally Crocodile Pool, home to sacred crocodiles
  10. Cultural festivals throughout the year
  11. Opportunities to visit local villages and learn about traditional Gambian culture
  12. Sunset cruises on the Gambia River
  13. Bird watching opportunities in national parks and reserves
  14. Wildlife safaris to see animals such as monkeys, baboons, and hyenas
  15. Boat trips to explore the mangroves and spot dolphins
  16. Fishing trips with local fishermen
  17. Water sports such as jet skiing, windsurfing, and kite surfing
  18. Horseback riding on the beach
  19. Yoga and meditation retreats
  20. Spa treatments and massages
  21. The Bijilo Forest Park, a peaceful nature reserve with walking trails
  22. The Tanbi Wetlands, home to a wide variety of bird species
  23. The Abuko Nature Reserve, a small but beautiful park with walking trails
  24. The Kiang West National Park, a vast protected area with diverse wildlife
  25. Opportunities to volunteer and make a positive impact in local communities
  26. The Gambia River National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  27. The River Gambia runs through the middle of the country, offering beautiful views and plenty of opportunities for exploration.
  28. The Gambian cuisine is rich in flavor and spices, with dishes such as benachin (rice and fish) and domoda (peanut stew).
  29. Opportunities to learn about and participate in traditional West African drumming and dance
  30. The Tanji Fishing Village is a bustling hub of activity and a great place to learn about local fishing culture.
  31. The Makasutu Cultural Forest is a peaceful sanctuary where visitors can learn about Gambian traditions and practices.
  32. The Jufureh Village is the birthplace of Kunta Kinte, the protagonist of Alex Haley’s book “Roots”, and is steeped in history and culture.
  33. The Brikama Craft Market is the largest market in the country and a great place to buy locally made handicrafts.
  34. The Fort Bullen Historic Site is a fascinating glimpse into the country’s colonial past.
  35. The Serekunda Market is the largest open-air market in West Africa and a lively place to shop for goods and experience local culture.
  36. The Tumani Tenda Eco Camp is a sustainable eco-lodge in the heart of a protected forest.
  37. The Gunjur Beach is a secluded and unspoiled beach popular among locals and visitors alike.
  38. The Lamin Lodge is a traditional Gambian restaurant and lodge built on stilts in the mangroves.
  39. The Katchikally Museum and Crocodile Pool is a cultural center and a popular tourist attraction.
  40. The Arch 22 monument is a symbol of Gambian independence and a great place for panoramic views of the city.
  41. The Brufut Heights Beach is a peaceful and secluded beach popular for its stunning sunset views.
  42. The Tanji Bird Reserve is a paradise for bird watchers, with over 250 species of birds to be seen.
  43. The Kachikally Museum and Crocodile Pool is a cultural center and a popular tourist attraction.
  44. The Kololi Beach

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