The Gambia

by Philip Briggs

The Gambia

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  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781841625638
  • Size: 135mm x 216mm
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  • ISBN: 9781841629414
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About this book

Small in size but rich in African character, The Gambia and its resort-dotted coastline offer perhaps the closest English-speaking 'winter sun' destination from Europe. The interior, dominated by the lush jungle-fringed Gambia River, is home to plentiful birds and monkeys, time-warped traditional villages and mysterious megalithic sites. Bradt's The Gambia reveals all the background and practical information needed to explore arguably Africa's most welcoming and safest country, alongside detailed coverage of the many new eco lodges and informed advice on the country's birdwatching possibilities. The Gambia is a perfect destination for first-time visitors to the continent and remains popular with UK and European visitors - regularly attracting over 100,000 arrivals a year.

About the author

Philip Briggs has been exploring the highways, byways and backwaters of Africa since 1986, when he spent several months backpacking on a shoestring from Nairobi to Cape Town. His association with Bradt started in 1991 when he wrote the first guidebook to South Africa to be published after the release of Nelson Mandela. Over the rest of the 1990s, Philip wrote a series of pioneering Bradt Guides to destinations that were then - and in some cases still are - otherwise practically uncharted by the travel publishing industry. These included the first dedicated guidebooks to Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana and Rwanda, all of which are now in their 4th-7th edition. More recently he wrote the only guidebook to Somaliland, also published by Bradt. He first visited The Gambia in the late 1990s as part of an extended trip to West Africa and returned there twice, most recently in 2008 to research an overhauled new edition of the Insight Guide to The Gambia and Senegal. He has visited more than two dozen African countries in total and written about most of them for specialist travel and wildlife magazines including Africa Birds & Birding, Africa Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Travel Africa and Wanderlust.

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Introduction viii


Chapter 1
Background Information 3
Facts and figures 3, A historical background 5, Economy
and infrastructure 12, People and culture 14, Sports and
games 19, Language 20, Religion 21, Education 22

Chapter 2
Natural History 23
Geology and geography 23, Habitats 24, The wildlife 29

Chapter 3
Practical Information 43
When to visit 43, Tourist information 43, Tour operators
44, Red tape 44, Getting there and away 45, Safety and
hassles 46, What to take 49, Money 50, Getting around
53, Accommodation 55, Eating and drinking 56, Public
holidays 57, Media and communications 58, Interacting
with Gambians 59

Chapter 4
Health 63
Preparations 63, Common medical problems 64, Other
safety concerns 68


Greater Banjul and Kololi: An Overview 71
Highlights 72, Getting around 73, Other
practicalities 73

Chapter 5
Central Banjul 75
History 75, Getting there and away 78, Orientation 79,
Security 79, Getting around 82, Where to stay 82, Where
to eat and drink 83, Other practicalities 84, What to see
and do 85

Chapter 6
Bakau and Cape Point 88
History 88, Getting there and away 89, Where to stay 89,
Where to eat and drink 92, Entertainment and nightlife
93, Other practicalities 93, What to see and do 94

Chapter 7
Serekunda, Fajara and Kairaba Avenue 97
History 99, Orientation 99, Getting there and away 99,
Where to stay 100, Where to eat and drink 103, Other
practicalities 104, What to see and do 105

Chapter 8
Kotu and Palma Rima 109
Getting there and away 109, Where to stay 111, Where to
eat and drink 113, Entertainment and nightlife 115, Other
practicalities 115, What to see and do 116

Chapter 9
Kololi and Environs 119
Northern Kololi 119, The 'Senegambia' Strip 122, Bijilo
Forest Park 128, Bijilo and Sukuta 128


The Coastal Belt: An Overview 133
Highlights 133, Getting around 134, Other practicalities

Chapter 10
Brufut, Tanji and Surrounds 137
Brufut 137, Tanji Bird Reserve 139, Tanji 140

Chapter 11
South to Kartong 145
Sanyang 145, Gunjur and Madina Salaam 146, Kartong
and surrounds 149

Chapter 12
Inland to Brikama and Pirang 155
Abuko Livestock Market 155, Abuko Nature Reserve 155,
Lamin 158, Yundum 158, Brikama 159, Pirang and Faraba
Banta 164

Chapter 13
Niumi and the North Coast 167
Barra and surrounds 167, Albreda, Juffureh and surrounds
170, Niumi National Park 175


Upriver Gambia: An Overview 180
Highlights 181, Getting around 181, Other practicalities

Chapter 14
Inland to Soma and Farafenni 183
The road east to Kalagi 183, Tendaba, Kiang West and Bao
Bolong 189, Soma and surrounds 194, Farafenni 197

Chapter 15
Janjanbureh and Central River Division 200
The South Bank from Soma to Janjanbureh 200,
Th e North Bank from Farafenni to Janjanbureh 201, River
Gambia National Park 206, Janjanbureh and surrounds
211, Bansang 220

Chapter 16
Basse and Upper River Division 221
Getting there and away 222, Orientation 223, Where to
stay 224, Where to eat and drink 224, Other practicalities
226, Activities and excursions 226

Appendix 1 Language 228
Appendix 2 Glossary 230
Appendix 3 Further Information 232
Index 234