Country Gambia – The Melting Pot of Ethnic Groups in West Africa
Officially known as the Republic of the Gambia, country Gambia has an area of 11,295 square Kilometers and population of approximately 1.33 million. Located on the mouth of River Gambia in Atlantic Ocean, it is surrounded by Senegal.
A number of different types of hotels including budget hotels, guest house, and youth hostels are all available in the cities of Gambia. In addition, there are several resorts, lodgings, hostels and bed and breakfast points in the country catering to the requirements of all types of tourists and travelers.
People and Language
Major ethnic groups in Gambia are Wollof and Mandinka. Besides, there are Sarahuleys, and Akus. Few Mauritanians, Moroccans, and Lebanese also reside in Gambia. Each group has its own language but English is commonly spoken. With inter ethnic marriage Gambia is fast becoming melting pot for the ethnic groups in West Africa. 80% of the people are Islam by religion, 11.2% are African, and 7.8% Christian.
British crown colony in 1889, Country Gambia got independence in 1965. Notable African empires have ruled the country in the past including Ghana, Songhai, Mali, and Wuli empires. After independence, till 1994, the People’s Progressive Party ruled Gambia till a military insurgence uprooted it. Despite feigning democracy, Gambia has been substantially defamed for human rights violations.
Geographical Features and Climate
With a coastline of 80 Kilometers and 1300 square kilometers of water prone areas, Country Gambia has tropical savannah climate with hot rainy season during June to November and dry cool season during November to May. Only 18% of land available is arable while 9% is kept as pastures. Forests and woodlands comprise 28% of the area while others cover remaining 45% of land.
Banjul, earlier known as Bathurst is the capital and largest city of Gambia. Kombo St. Mary is the most populated area followed by Serrekunda. Brikama that is connected to Serrecunda is now becoming more popular. Other important cities are Kerewan and Farafenni.
Country Gambia has only road connectivity inland and no railways. 950 kilometers of paved road are there. One international airport is located just outside Banjul at Yundum. A look at the travel guide can convince the visitor about the requirement of carrying necessary provisions like food, water, medical supplies, and fuel alongside during tours and travels in Gambia. Car hiring will be easy if the traveler takes care to negotiate everything beforehand. Else it could be expensive.
Buses are operated by GPTC and runs on limited routes like Banju and Soma, Basse, Bakau, Gujur, Tanji, and Serekunda as well as Georgetown via Kerewan and Farafenni. Roads are in bad shape and self drive is not recommended. One of the cheapest but not very comfortable options is the bush taxi. But they may not be available in the tourist areas. Finally there are the ferries, the least used mode of transportation.
Dalasi is the currency used in Gambia. 1 Euro and 1 USD are currently equal to 35.2492 Dalasi and 25.8000 Dalasi respectively. Visiting news on print and electronic media or logging on to the Internet could give correct ideas about the current conversion rates.
Group accommodation in Gambia | Cheap hostels & budget hotels