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Sunset in the wilderness, Gambia

Compare the best Gambia holidays

Prepare to be dazzled by this friendly little country on the west coast of Africa. A tropical paradise, holidays in Gambia involve white sandy beaches, opportunities for wildlife watching, ample sunshine, and the chance to get a taste of Africa.

Why go?

Sitting on what is known as the “smiling coast of West Africa”, Gambia continues to grow in popularity as a stunning sun, sea and sand option for holidaymakers.

Flights arrive into this tiny nation at Banjul International Airport (BJL) in Yundum. From there it's a short hop to any of the resort towns along the Atlantic coast.

Imagine sipping an ice-cold drink while lazing in the shady sag of a hammock between palm trees in your hotel resort. You know you're in The Gambia now.

Bakau is one of Gambia's oldest resorts. The legend goes that the town grew around one of the three holy crocodile pools in the area. Visitors can visit the sacred site, where dozens of crocodiles still roam freely.

The beaches of nearby Cape Point are ideal, with palm trees, clean waters and miles of sand to lounge on. The beach resorts of Kotu, Kololi and Bijilo are also popular.

Gambia holidays present many chances to see West Africa at its best: the market town of Serrekunda competes with Banjul Market to generate the sights, sounds and smells of a typically West African market, where batik and wood carvings are worthwhile purchases, while 'soft adventure' breaks into the bush allows tourists to go wild with little risk and with no experience required.

Or, learn about the history of the slave trade on a visit to Fort James on Kuna Kinteh Island. These trips are often referred to as “Roots” tours after the book by Alex Haley.

The nation is also known as an ornithologist's dream - Gambia's famously diverse bird population gets many a binocular lens steamed up.

The thin strip of The Gambia is encircled by Senegal and trips to the neighbouring nation are cheap and endlessly fascinating.

If all this sounds a little exhausting, then you should know that there are many all-inclusive hotels in Gambia from which you do not have to leave to be well catered for. If you do choose to venture out, transport is cheap, as is eating out at a local restaurant where you will be warmly welcomed and rewarded for being adventurous.

Intrigued by the idea of a holiday in Gambia? Use TravelSupermarket's holiday finder now to book at trip to discover Gambia.

When to go?

Find out the ideal time to travel to get the best weather in Gambia on your holiday and avoid the rainy season...

The daily temperature average rarely veers out of the very pleasant 24-28°C range, whether it's January or July. What will change are the chances of rainfall and the daily sunshine hours. You might find that winter and spring holidays in Gambia are best, as rain is unlikely to fall and you get a whopping average of 11 hours of sunshine a day.

Visit in August, the rainiest month, and expect to get wet. You will also only benefit from seven hours of sun.

What's on?

Get a taste for local life by visiting a parade, festival or event. There is plenty to get involved in - find out what's on when...

Banjul Demba Cultural Festival; January: A parade around the capital kicks off the events of this festival, which celebrates the culture and heritage of Banjul and Gambia.

International Roots Homecoming Festival; May: The bi-annual event is one of the most popular on Gambia's events calendar and combines traditional arts, music and dance.

Dakar Rally; December: Formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, this “off-road” race has been running since 1978, though its route has changed a few times. Finishing in Dakar in neighbouring Senegal, Gambians get to enjoy the final stages of the rally.

What to do?

There will be plenty to keep you busy on your African adventure, whether it's visiting deserted islands, exploring vibrant towns, or simply relaxing on stunning sands...

Relaxing: A holiday in Cape Point is the perfect option for those after relaxation. Lounge on the resort's miles of golden sand soaking up the sun and take the occasional break for a drink or a bite to eat in the nearby cafes and bars.

Escape to your own tropical paradise on a trip to stunning Jinack Island. The peace and tranquillity of the deserted beaches, warm lapping waters and rich variety of wildlife make this the ultimate romantic getaway.

Grown-up families: For a taste of real Africa, take a trip to vibrant Bakau. Visit the sacred crocodile pool before experiencing traditional Gambian food at a local restaurant.