The Best Beaches in Gambia
In Africa, I have been on a beach holiday on the Southern Coast in South Africa, the East Coast in Kenya, as well as on the West Coast in The Gambia. And whilst it must be said that the coastline in The Gambia is probably not the best in Africa, but if you know where to look there are some excellent beaches that will help make your beach holiday in Gambia your best ever. This is my guide to the best beaches in Gambia:
Coastline of The Gambia
The coastline of The Gambia consists mainly of a long sandy beach, only interrupted in a few places by small cliffs and rock formations. The beaches in The Gambia are everything that you would expect of a tropical paradise, warm sea water, miles and miles of un-crowded sandy beaches and swaying palm trees.
Gambia Map: This map shows best beaches in Gambia, It is centered on the northern coastline as that is where the majority of the main beaches are found, if you want to see the beaches to the south, use the zoom function on the map to zoom out.
~ North Coast ~
The Beaches of Northern Kombo
Many of the beach resorts where most of the visitors to The Gambia will stay are located on the northern coastline in an area known as Kombo district which is west of Banjul and covers just over ten kilometers of the Atlantic coastline. It is easy to see why it is so popular as this is a great place to unwind with a very laid back atmosphere. The descriptions of beaches below are listed in order: from North to South.
Cape Point is a lovely quiet beach that has lovely soft white sand and many palm trees. This area is pretty unspoilt as most of the developments are placed well back off the beach. An important note is that because of cross tides, this area is unsuitable for swimming. Facilities include loungers, thatched umbrellas as well as a watersports centre at the Sun Beach Hotel which is right near the beach, where you can take part in activities like jet skiing, canoeing, windsurfing and sailing.
Bakau is mainly a working beach as you will see by the fishing boats called pirogues and the jetty that is used to haul in the catch. They mostly catch a fish called bonga here and most of it is taken to the smokehouses located on the shore. It is a pretty colourful area and great if you want to come and see the day to day lives of Gambian fishermen, just be prepaired for the smell of smoke and drying bonga! It is possible to swim at Bakau, round the point to the south, but take care!
The coastline is pretty dramatic, with red rock cliffs and small beaches and the view from the cliffs is spectacular and is definitely a place to go if you are looking for a great sunset. Care should be taken if swimming in this area as the undercurrents are very dangerous and every year the are reports of people drowning in this area.
Another wide sandy beach which and is pretty flat but the area outside the Sunset Beach Hotel can change a lot depending on the direction of the Kotu stream.
These beaches are very popular with tourists and Gambians especially on the weekends. It is also the dirtiest and most touristy of all the beaches in The Gambia. There are many restaurants and fruit stalls and you will be faced with many people trying to sell you something. There are plenty of sun loungers supplied by the hotels in the area as well as water sports equipment which can be hired.
You can get to the Kotu Strand either from Kotu's main road (Kotu Stream Road) or if you need a shortcut from Fajara, there is a path that comes from the end of the Atlantic road located in Fajara.
The Gambia, like most of West Africa has a problem with sand erosion on it's beaches, but Kololi is a large wide beach, mainly due to the excellent efforts of an engineering program to replace the sand and then keep it in place. Two large hotels, the Senegambia and Kairaba Hotels are located here so it can get quite busy (in Gambian standards!) There are also many small restaurants are in the area, so you won't go hungry.
Video Of Kololi Beach
Here is a crazy video of Kololi Beach and the sunbeds that are available from the Senegambia Hotel, but it will give you an excellent idea of what to expect.
Bijilo Beach is on the fringe of the main tourist area and as a rule of thumb, the further south you travel, the quieter the and more attractive the beaches become. You will also get less hastle from people trying to sell you things (bumsters). Bijilo was decimated by the construction industry looking for sand for their building work. I have been informed that this has recently improved. So if you are looking for a beach that you can have pretty much to your self save the odd fruit seller head south towards Bijilo and beyond!
Youtube video of a sunset at Bijilo Beach taken from The Bijilo Beach Hotel
The Gambia Experience
Away from the beaches and beach resorts of the Gambia, there is still so much for you to see and do in this wonderful African Country. Their national Parks and private reserves are well worth visiting and from personal experience, I can highly recommend a trip up the Gambia river:
|Hidden Gambia Holidays
Having been on a holiday with Hidden Gambia, I can highly recommend one of their adventure holidays.
Why not spend a few days as I did relaxing on one of Gambia's best beaches and then go off the beaten track to explore up-river Gambia by boat and road. Here you will discover the rich variety of birds, wildlife and people that live along the river banks of this peaceful West African country. More information & To Book >>
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