December – February
LCY → BJL
Up to 90 days
It is known as Africa’s “Smiling Coast” – Gambia. While Gambia may be the smallest country on the African continent, it has some of the most welcoming people. Add to this its warm climate and a surprising diversity of landscapes ranging from long white-sanded beaches on the Atlantic coast to nature reserves and mangrove swamps. Gambia holidays are particularly attractive to people who seek a winter escape to guaranteed sunshine.
The best time for holidays to Gambia is during the dry season, November to February as it is cooler than the heat of summer yet daytime temperatures still reach a balmy 24 degrees Celsius (75 Fahrenheit).
Hot and humid conditions prevail for the remainder of the year, the rainy season runs from June through to October; and can lead to temperatures that can reach as high as 43 degrees Celsius (109 Fahrenheit) but it tends to be cooler near the sea.
Average temperatures range from 23 degrees Celsius (73.4 Fahrenheit) in the winter month of January to 27 degrees Celsius (80 Fahrenheit) in June in the coast areas, and in the inland areas from 24 degrees Celsius (75 Fahrenheit) in January to 32 degrees Celsius (89 Fahrenheit) in May.
Gambia’s wealthy and foreign dignitaries all base themselves in this refined yet relaxed village. The beautiful wide white-sanded beaches are perfect for lounging on, while the bird sanctuary is a haven for some unique species. A short distance further down the coast is the lively nightlife of Kotu which is packed with bars, restaurants and clubs for amazing holidays in Gambia. For a less energetic experience, perfect your golfing skills, hit the beach, or take in the beauty of the botanical gardens. Further south in the village of Kololi a popular area known as the “Senegambia Strip” is alive with restaurants, beach-front bars and there’s also an amusement park.
In reality Kotu Beach is a small resort village centred around the beach and a single road which is home to hotels, bars, restaurants and shops. Entertainment offered in the hotels. There is also a casino and the Faraja golf course nearby.
Featuring both sand and shingle beaches this is beach resort with a large number of cafes and beach-front bars. The Senegambia Strip and the newer Village feature a few international restaurants and a couple of nightclubs. During your Gambia holidays take some time away from the beach to see one of Kololi’s main attractions – the monkeys in Bijilo Forest Park.
What is a relatively sleepy seaport on the River Gambia by night, Banjul teems with energy and colour by day. Banjul Beach is the perfect place to snap up authentic African crafts.
The Gambia natural attractions include 39 forest parks, seven national parks and reserves, a community wildlife reserve, a Ramsar-listed wetlands site, and an additional 66 forest parks where you can see monkeys, giraffes and other African animals. The dense, swampy Cape Creek sanctuary is a paradise for birdwatchers featuring about 540 exotic varieties, from babblers and finches to eagles and weavers. Bakau in the north-west is famed for its Kachikally crocodile pool and the pool is traditionally believed to have powers of healing and bringing fertility.
There’s also some interesting shopping on offer – from African drums or the traditional kora – a smaller guitar-like instrument which sounds like flamenco guitar/harp hybrid. There is the riot of colour of patterned batik fabric, as well as wood carving and masks up for grabs. Haggling over prices is essential or else you’ll pay up to three times more than you need to. For experienced hagglers, the best shopping destinations on Gambia holidays include the bustling Serekunda market, or Banjul’s Albert market.
Away from the hectic pace of the markets soak up a little Gambian culture for example at Kololi’s Gaya Art Cafe and Village Gallery. Here you’ll find original works of art, jewellery, textiles and a wide assortment of other decorative items on sale all made by local artists. Banjul’s National Museum allows you to see some of Gambia’s archeological legacy with numerous artifacts on display. Or head to Kerr Batch on the Gambia River to visit the Ethnographic Museum and see the country’s mysterious stone circles on your holidays to Gambia.