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Beach Holidays in Gambia

Home > Guide to Cheap Beach Holidays in Gambia

The Gambia has been a popular winter sun holiday destination for a while, this is mainly because of it's fantastic picture perfect beaches, the weather in the Gambia is excellent all year round with it's moderate tropical climate, the people of the Gambia are warm and friendly, The Gambia is easily accessible, with plenty of last minute cheap flights to Gambia and bargain all inclusive beach holidays offered by many of the large tour operators.

In this article I will try and highlight the best of what The Gambia has to offer in terms of beach holidays, but it is important to remember that the Gambia has much more to offer the traveler than just stunning beaches and winter sun, wherever you go, you will not be far from the river Gambia and there are plenty of excursions should you get tired of lazing on the beach.

The Best Reasons to go on your next Beach Holiday in Gambia:


> Cheap Flights to Gambia: Plenty of last minute flight deals to Gambia.
> Accommodation in Gambia: From Beach Resorts, Self Catering to Camping.
> The Gambia Experience: Explore the real Gambia up river by boat - Highly Recommended.
> Weather in Gambia: The Gambia's pleasant tropical climate.
> Facts on The Gambia: The Gambia is a peaceful and stable country in Africa
> Beach Guide to Gambia: Our guide to the best beaches in Gambia

Cheap Flights to Gambia

At less than six hours flight from London Gatwick and most other European capitals, there is also no jet lag as The Gambia is in a similar time zone. The Gambia has become one of the most popular beach holiday destinations in Africa, the cost of flights to Gambia has dropped significantly over the past few years and with a bit of research there are plenty of Gambia flight deals to be had.

During the main tourist season to The Gambia, there are now plenty of charter flights available and the cheapest flights to the Gambia can usually be found through bargain holiday packages from the main tour operators. Sometimes you can even find a holiday package deal cheaper than the cost of simply buying the flights to Gambia. (if you are flexible with the dates you want to travel)

Flights rom the UK to Gambia
There are regular flights from London Gatwick, Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham from October to May to Banjul international airport in The Gambia. Prices you should expect to pay are between £150 and £500 for a return ticket. It is therefore really advisable to shop around to get the best deal.

Accommodation in The Gambia

Gambia's Main Beach Resorts:
Most people who visit The Gambia tend to stay at the Gambia's beach resorts mostly located in the resort area in Kombo district west of Banjul. These hotels cater for people who are looking for a week or two to relax and enjoy the sun and fantastic beaches that The Gambia has to offer and therefore most have a fun and relaxed feel to them. Some of these hotels get block-booked by tour operators and therefore you often get a better deal by choosing an all inclusive holiday to the Gambia.

Smaller Independent Hotels in Gambia
If you are not booking a holiday package with a tour operator but traveling more independently, it will probably work out much cheaper for you if you seek out the hotels that the large tour operators ignore. There are some excellent smaller independent hotels in Gambia, in Bakau, Fajara, Kotu and Kololi.

Self Catering Accommodation in Gambia
The amount of self-catering accommodation in The Gambia is increasing and there are some excellent places that have a pool, restaurant and bar. The self catering apartments tend to be larger than hotel rooms and therefore can be good options if you are traveling with the whole family.

Camping in Gambia
If you have your own transport and travel away from the larger tourist resort areas in Gambia, you can find secluded spots and pitch a tent without a problem. In more populated areas as well as farming areas it is probably best to ask before assuming you can just camp.

The Gambia Experience

Away from the beaches and beach resorts of the Gambia, there is also plenty for you to see and do in this wonderful West African Country. Whilst The Gambia is not a safari holiday destination in the same league as Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe or Botswana for example. It does have many areas of unspoiled wilderness, either in national Parks or private reserves that are well worth visiting in order to get the complete Gambia Experience.

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 >>
Abuko Nature Reserve in The Gambia
Abuko Nature Reserve
Abuko was The Gambia's first protected area, which is conveniently located close to the tourist resorts. It is only two square kilometers in size and can easily be explored on foot and is well worth a day trip away from the beach. You will find a dense evergreen forest populated with a wide variety of Gambia's birds monkeys and reptiles.
Abuko Nature Reserve in The Gambia
River Gambia National Park
Originally called the Baboon Islands National park, it is actually a group of five islands on the River Gambia. It is also home to the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project which has a visitors safari camp called Badi Mayo, a stay at the cam is highly recommended and costs around £100 per night where you will see the Chimps, baboons, monkeys, hippos crocodiles as well as a huge variety of the stunning birds in The Gambia.
Chimpanzee in the River Gambia National Park

 

Gambia Accommodation Price Guide:

  • Top End Hotels in Gambia cost around £50 per night
  • More modest hotels with good facilities including air conditioning are around £20 to £30 per night.
  • Simple accommodation, with hot showers, air conditioning cost around D750 to D1000 (£15 - £20) per night.
  • You can expect to pay around D500 (£10) for a clean but basic place without air con or hot water.

Bungalow Beach Hotel
The Bungalow Beach Hotel, is a self-catered tourist hotel and as the name suggests sits right on the beach. There are 110 apartments with kitchenettes. 12 of which are luxury apartments with TV and air conditioning.

Outside the hotel is surrounded by a beautiful tropical garden and there is a swimming pool, sun terrace, children's pool and playground.

The Bungalow Beach Hotel also has a restaurant, hair salon and Internet cafe.

The Rates are about 1425 dalaris for a single room, 1900 dalaris for a double, with the deluxe single about D2225 and the double deluxe about 2750 dalaris

Contact Details
P.O. Box 2637, Serrekunda, The Gambia.
Tel: +220 4465288 / 4465623 / 4460316
Email: info [at] bbhotel.gm
Accommodation in Gambia, Bungalow Beach Hotel

The beach outside the Bungalow Beach Hotel

Gambia Beaches

Take a look at the Beach Holiday Guide to the Beaches in Gambia that also includes a map of Gambia.

Gambia Weather

The best time to visit The Gambia is in November and December where it is not unusual to have weeks of clear blue skies, making the Gambia a perfect winter sun holiday destination. The daytime temperatures at the beach resorts in The Gambia stay pretty constant all year round almost never falling below 30°C but the humidity change dramatically when it is very humid and sticky at night from June to September and some of the tourist hotels will be closed from May to October, which also means that there are far fewer choices of charter flights. From June to October is also when the gambia receives most of it's rainfall with August by far the wettest month with an average of 500mm. During the rainy season the risk of malaria is higher but it is also at this time when the birds and flowers are at their most spectacular and the sea is at it's warmest.

The Gambia Climate average temperature in °C

  Banjul Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Temp (day) 31 32 34 33 32 32 30 29 31 32 32 31
  Rain (mm) 3 3 0 0 10 58 282 500 310 109 18 3
  Sun (hours) 9 10 10 10 10 9 6 6 6 8 8 9

 

Facts: The Gambia

The Gambia was once a British colony, which gained it's independence in 1965 and is a multiparty democracy. The Gambia was initially just called "Gambia" but this was changed to "The Gambia" to avoid the confusion with Kambia in Zambia and also in Sierra Leone.

The smallest country in Africa
The Gambia is only just over 11 thousand square kilometers in size which is about the same as the area of Yorkshire. There are a number of ethnic groups which include Mandinka, Fula, Wolof, Jola, Serahule and small minorities of Serer, Aku, Lebanese and Europeans.

Money in The Gambia
The local currency is called the dalasi, which at the moment is pretty stable. It is important to not that many banks and businesses don't accept credit cards in the Gambia, so it is best to visit with some cash and travelers' cheques which you can exchange for dalasis.

The dalasi comes in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 100 notes as well as 1 dalasi coins. This is due to change in 2009 when the Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Guinea will form a new monetary union known as the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) all with a common currency.

As of December 2007, the bank rate for the dalasi to the pound is:
1 Gambian Dalasi = 0.02418 British Pounds
1 British Pound (GBP) = 41.36031 Gambian Dalasi (GMD)

Tipping in The Gambia
I always find when traveling that knowing if you are firstly expected to tip and if so how much? In the tourist resorts in Gambia, you will mostly be expected to tip, most staff probably only get paid around £1.50 a day so for a tip, I usually go with between 5% and 10% of the cost of the meal or drinks. The taxi drivers in Gambia do not expect to receive tips and tipping in the local restaurants is not that common, so should you wish to thank them for their work, they will probably be very grateful. Should you go on a guided tour, the guides should be tipped, probably around £1 each.


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