The Gambia is the smallest country on mainland Africa and if you’re after a quintessential African experience then this is a good place to start. The setting is majestic as the River Gambia cuts the country in half, enabling lots of towns and villages to thrive on the banks.
North Senegal above and South Senegal below make Gambia appear trapped on atlas; however the country still boasts an area exceeding 4,000 square miles, plenty of room for some outstanding summer and winter sun holidays. Most of the largest populated areas are near the mouth of the river where it is quite strong and wide. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in character as the unique sights, sounds and smells make Gambia one of the best winter holiday destinations.
Holidays to the Smiling Coast
Having been 'discovered' by the package tourist market, Gambia has been helped along by the bestselling book 'Roots' by Alex Hayley, which later became a television series. This has boosted people's knowledge and raised the profile of Gambia holidays into the media spotlight.
The coastline near Gambia's capital Banjul is a 25 mile stretch of spectacular white sand and that sets the perfect holiday template for the rest of the country. Look around to find the picturesque resorts of Kololi and Kotu. The biggest cities are Serrenkuda and Brikama and its here that you’ll see all the fish markets, arenas, musicians and the Government buildings.
There are many national parks that frequent Gambia and each one offers a variety of flora and fauna. As you go further up the river, the towns become less crowded as these aren’t popular tourist locations. If you are feeling adventurous, don’t be afraid to explore the rest of Gambia – the locals are some of the friendliest in the world – so much so in fact that the country has been nicknamed as the ‘Smiling Coast’ due to ever-ready grins of its people.
Winter Sun Holidays to The Gambia
The country shares latitude with Barbados, close to the equator, which results in average temperatures of 30°c during the winter months, perfect for those sun worshippers that enjoy nothing more than soaking up the rays on their tropical holidays.
For this, try Sanyang Beach on the Atlantic coast. Known locally as Paradise Beach, there aren’t any hotels on this stretch of sand to ruin your view. Kachikally Sacred Crocodile Pool in Bakau is known for its healing waters and the fact that you can pet crocodiles on the back as they are so used to human interaction. In Bijilo Forest Park, there is a lovely walk through the trees but don’t expect to be alone as you will see green vervet monkeys and red colobus monkeys looking back at you.
Food and drink in Gambia is unique to the region and many towns will try to give you a different dining experience. Ida’s Kitchen in Tanji will take you to a market, help you pick your food and then cook an authentic Gambian dish in front of your very eyes. Liv Bar inside Kombo Beach Hotel in Kotu is great for those cocktail enthusiasts. The sheer volume of choice is mind-boggling and combined with five televisions showing five different sports, you can be guaranteed a memorable night.
Our most popular winter sun holiday destination, a visit to Gambia will set you up for the perfect African experience. Call packyourbags today and we can tailor make an itinerary to suit your every need.