The capital of Gambia is Banjul.
In Gambia, peanuts, couscous, rice, chicken and fish are often used in the kitchen. Domada is a stew of meat stewed in peanut sauce. Chura Gerrte is rice with peanuts. Another popular Gambian dish is Chicken Yassa, fried chicken with onions. The Gambians themselves often eat together from a large bowl. If you are invited for this, always ensure that you eat with your (washed) right hand.
Gambia has no compulsory education. Only a quarter of the population has completed a school, a much larger percentage can read and write. Primary education is free. However, one must pay for the compulsory school uniform. Secondary education falls into three years of junior secondary school. Then one can go even further at the senior secondary school. The higher degree programs last an average of five years. Gambia has a university: The University of Gambia in Serrekunda.
The voltage in Gambia is 230 volts. You need an adapter type G (adapter United Kingdom) or a world plug.
The diversity of Gambia is enormous. Green forests in the interior, the wide Gambiariver that flows into the Atlantic, mangrove forests.
Gambia is also called The Smiling Coast of Africa. The official name is Republic of Gambia (Republic of the Gambia). The Gambia has some European values, making the country ideal for a first acquaintance with Africa. Gambia is one of the smallest countries in Africa. If you want to taste the real life of the Gambians, you should definitely take a trip to the fishing village of Tanji.
The Gambia borders Senegal and the Atlantic Ocean. The country consists of a narrow strip along the Gambia River. Gambia is about 250 kilometers long and a few dozen kilometers wide. The landscape is slightly sloping with small hills. The highest point of Gambia is about 40 meters. The Gambia River runs through the country. The delta of this river is swampy with mangrove. There are several sandy beaches along the coast. In the north there is a savannah landscape with long grasses, large shrubs and a few trees.
Gambia is a republic with a president as head of state, who is also the government leader. The Gambia is divided into 6 divisions of regions that have been divided into 37 districts.
Gambia requires a cholera label (stamp in your passport: "cholera not indicated"), further DTP, yellow fever and Hepatitis A vaccinations are recommended. Inquire well before your trip to Gambia at the GGD for the latest news. Do not swim in fresh surface water, the risk of Bilharzia is present. Gambia has dengue and malaria. Take DEET, to keep the mosquitoes away. Food by candlelight can be very romantic, but it is also possible that there is no electricity or that it has failed (and therefore the cooling is missing). Be careful with raw salads. Although the water from the tap on the coast and in the hotels is very drinkable, it is still recommended not to use it, its composition is different. So do not drink water from the tap and do not use water for ice. Healthcare in Gambia is at a low level. In the vicinity of the hotels there is some opportunity to get medical help quickly, these are mostly private clinics that are often expensive.
Gambia has a turbulent history, which has been signed by a slave trade. James Island, located in the middle of the Gambia River, is one of the most famous memorial sites of that time. On James Island you can see the remains of a fort where the slaves spent their last days on African territory.
In Gambia people speak English, Mandingo, Wolof and regional languages. There are about 15 different tribes in Gambia who speak about 30 different languages. They speak English almost everywhere.
The national currency is the Dalasi (GMD). The West African CFA franc (XOF) is often accepted. Credit cards are quite unusual in Gambia. Furthermore, there are only a few ATMs, so always take sufficient cash with you. You can exchange money at the airport, in Banjul and at some hotels. The price-quality ratio in Gambia is excellent.
Gambia is pre-eminently a paradise for nature photographers. Especially bird lovers are fully satisfied here. Always ask permission before you'll photograph people.
The majority of the inhabitants of Gambia is Muslim. In general, the Muslim Gambians strictly adhere to not drinking alcohol and not eating pork. To dispel evil spirits, various rituals are performed. For example, many people wear a cord with a kind of bag with a message from the Marabout. This Marabout is a kind of healer and clairvoyant for Gambians who visit them when they have to deal with illness or other bad things. Gambians do not believe that this superstition undermines their faith in Allah. It just goes together. The Jola and some Serer are more often Christian. In some areas animistic rituals are widespread. When a baby is born, some blood from the navel cord is spread around the mouth, this would bring happiness.
If you really want something specific from Gambia, a visit to a local market is a must. You will find a large amount of wood carvings, djembe drums, but also fruit and vegetables.
There are many taxis in Gambia. There are tourist taxis and regular taxis. The taxi costs in Gambia are low. Tourist taxis: these are the green taxis that run in the tourist area they have fixed prices. These prices can be found on the signs at the taxi stand. It is important that you set a price in advance and pay this at the end of the journey, so you will not be surprised. Regular taxis: These are the yellow taxis. These taxis are for the local population and are not allowed to enter the tourist areas without passengers. You can use these taxis outside the tourist areas. You may have to share a taxi. For these taxis too, you agree on a price in advance and pay this at the end of the journey.
The country code of Gambia is + 220. Gambia has no prefixes for places, so that the subscriber's number can be dialed immediately. In Gambia you will still see many telephone numbers consisting of five digits, the old numbers. You can use them if you add the following numbers: Banjul: 2; Serekunda 3; Bakau and Fajara 4; environment Basse 6; around Farafenni and Barra 7. All numbers starting with 90, 91, 92, and 96 are numbers from mobile phones from Gamcel, the numbers from Africel start (with the exception of the already assigned fixed numbers on the northbank) with 77. The network for mobile telephony has improved considerably in recent years.
In Gambia it is 1 hour earlier than in the Netherlands and Belgium. In our summer time, between the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October, it is 2 hours earlier. Gambia has no summer time.
Only a small part of the road network in Gambia is paved. If you rent a car in Gambia, a four-wheel drive car is definitely not a luxury. Be careful, because during the wet season the roads are often impassable. There is an absolute ban on alcohol when driving in Gambia. One drives right in Gambia. The country code of the license plate is: WAG.
The climate is subtropical with a dry and a wet season. Winter is very pleasant with daytime temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees, the nights are relatively cool. March and April are the hottest months with temperatures up to 40 degrees. The wet season runs from June to October, with August being the wettest month. Gambia is a sunny destination with more than seven to eight hours of sunshine and a wonderful temperature every day.
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