Mainland Africa’s smallest nation, Gambia is bordered by Senegal on all sides except the west, where the Atlantic Ocean bathes its 80km long coastline. English is Gambia’s official language and important local languages are Jola, Fula, Mandinka, Manjago, Wolof and Serer. 90% of its population holds Islamic beliefs, while Christians constitute the majority of the remainder. About two thirds of the entire population lives in rural villages and peanut production is the most plentiful. Known for excellent dance and music, Gambians are loyal to their traditions as well as indigenous dress and values.
Cheap Gambia Holidays with ZipHolidays
The African nation of Gambia is a thrilling holiday destination with various attractions and excursions, diverse wildlife and beautiful beaches. ZipHolidays.co.uk has a comprehensive line-up of Gambia holidays to suit all budgets. Our interface is facile and helps you pick the right holiday package, whether you’re looking for a luxurious stay or something cheap.
Holidays in Gambia offer visitors to this African country, a journey full of culture and music in addition to fine opportunities to observe wildlife from close quarters. Tourists love the variety of engaging trips that include boating excursions along pristine mangroves and witnessing a royal pride of lions in its habitat.
International Dialling Codes
00 is the international prefix to dial outside of U.K. 220 is the international code to dial to Gambia. Followed by the city code and number you wish to dial
On your Gambia holidays, it’s useful to know local currency conversions vis-à-vis the G.B.P.
One G.B.P. = 42.819 Gambian Dalasi (GMD) or One GMD = 0.023 G.B.P. (please check latest rates)
Important landmarks on Gambia holidays include:
War Memorial and Fountain was built in 1937 to commemorate the coronation of King George VI. King Fahad Mosque replaced the older Mosque built in 1930 and is very busy on Fridays during prayer sessions. Visitors to the Mosque on Gambia holidays must remove their shoes, while ladies must cover their heads.
Culture, Events and Festivals on Gambia holidays
On Gambia holidays, you’ll find that the country is culturally rich and its music is very vibrant. There are bands that play Ndaga music and hip hop and reggae musicians are increasingly popular. Bob Marley Day is celebrated on May 11, the day of his death with great vigour. Kartong Festival is a March-end celebration of international and local music that is very popular. The Roots International Festival is a biannual commemoration of the forced enslavement of several million Africans and includes stirring cultural performances by people from various ethnic groups. Since the country is predominantly Islamic, festivals such as Ramadan, Koriteh and Tabaski are widely celebrated.
Personal safety on your Gambia Holidays
Thugs and Pickpockets are always active so keep valuables and cash safe, never display large amounts of cash and keep small denominations handy. Travellers on Gambia holidays should ideally avoid conversations with strangers and “bumsters” who just “want to get to know you”. Bribery is also rampant and visitors on holidays to Gambia may at times have to offer officials ‘gifts’. Food and Drink – In resorts, mains water is potable, but water from all other sources should be considered potentially unsafe for consumption on Gambia holidays. Ensure that water used for drinking, making ice and even brushing your teeth has first been sterilised or boiled. Fresh milk should preferably always be boiled while tinned or powdered milk is your safest bet. Only eat properly cooked fish and meat, fruit should be peeled and vegetables adequately cooked. Risk of disease – Giardiasis and other diarrhoeal diseases are quite common as is Hepatitis E. Hepatitis B and schistosomiasis are also present. Precautions are essential to prevent diseases such as cholera. Only trust up-to date advice when you decide to get vaccinations before leaving on Gambia holidays.
Important Tips on laws and etiquette on your holidays to Gambia
The socially accepted form of greeting is a handshake and Salaam aleikum (“Peace be upon you”). The people are welcoming to visitors on Gambia holidays and generally speaking, it’s ok to accept their hospitality, though common sense is best exercised when dealing with persistent “bumsters” and helps you avoid tourist traps. It’s always a good practice to respect local religion and beliefs. Never use your left hand for receiving or giving of food or things. Beachwear is best worn by the poolside or on the beach, though comfortable casual wear is perfectly suitable on Gambia holidays. Visitors on holidays to Gambia must ask locals for permission to photograph them or their village, and should refrain from taking snaps of the Airport and military installations. Always negotiate and discuss prices, as you’ll find that for most things you only need to pay half or one-third to locals on holidays to Gambia. Debit/Credit Cards and ATMs – Local businesses only accept payment by traveller’s cheques or cash. American Express, Visa and MasterCard are accepted at some hotels provided you arrange at the start of your stay on Gambia holidays. ATMs are not frequently available, and can at times be unreliable. When on holidays to Gambia, exercise caution at all times to minimise risk of bank and card fraud. Travellers on Gambia holidays are advised to carry traveller’s cheques in G.B.P. or Euros to avoid extra exchange rate charges. Mosquitoes – Hordes of Mosquitoes are unavoidable during rainy season and it’s extremely important to be equipped with ample quantities of repellents and use them freely, especially as dusk approaches. In humid months, it’s vital to drink lots of water on holidays to Gambia. Clothing – Casual, loose fitting clothes are highly recommended. Travellers on Gambia holidays find cotton T-shirts to be most comfortable. Hats, sunglasses are effective against the bright sun. In winters, a jacket or sweater will help keep the cold at bay. Electricity - 230 volts AC and 50Hz. Plugs are either Western European-style with 3 round pins or UK-style with 3 flat pins.
A word on Gambian laws – Articles made from ivory, feathers or other parts of protected creatures and wild animal skins may not be exported from Gambia. Offenders will at the very least face severe fines. Homosexuality – It is punishable by death. Drugs – Possession and consumption of marijuana and other narcotics is illegal and attracts harsh penalties including prison terms.
British Consulate General in Gambia
Travellers on Gambia holidays can contact the British High commission in Fajara, Banjul at – Telephone: (220) 4495133 Fax: (220) 4496134 The Consular Section provides assistance and protection to British citizens who can either visit it at the High commission or contact the main High Commission number (00 220 4495133/4) or (00 220 9962131). Out of hours, a recorded message provides the Duty Officer's number. Consular Section 48-52 Atlantic Road Fajara, The Gambia Opening Hours - Monday-Friday (0800-1300)
BHCBANJUL@FCO.GOV.UK For more details, log onto –
Emergency contact numbers on Gambia Holidays
Ambulance: 116 Police Assistance: 117 Fire: 118
The Gambian Police Forces operate a 24 hr emergency helpline at (220)422-4914.
Please be advised that these numbers may or may not have operators fluent in English. Medical facilities in the country are quite limited and emergency services can be unreliable and unpredictable, especially outside Banjul.