pages of detailed information about The Gambia, West Africa.
The Gambia, in West Africa, is a slither
of a country with a total area of 11,300 sq. km (land 10,000 sq.
km, water 1,300 sq. km.) and its only land boundary is with Senegal
at 740km. The country has a population
of 2 million people (2017). It has an Atlantic Ocean facing coastline
measuring 80km which runs south from Buniada Point on Jinack
Island to the Allahein River in Kartong.
The Gambia River courses
east for approximately 487 km and roughly through the middle of
the country and finally passes over Koina village, northeast of
Gambia's capital of Banjul is
located on St. Mary's Island on the south bank of the river estuary
and is cut off from the mainland by Oyster Creek and the Daranka
Bolong. Either side of both creeks are the Tanbi
Wetlands, characterised by mangroves, mudflats and saltwater
creeks as far south as Mandinari.
is the country's biggest export which is dominated by the main
cash crop - groundnuts. Local efforts have been made to diversify
farmers' incomes by moving them onto cashew cultivation and other
more profitable cash crops.
Some of the various cooking recipes
prepared in The Gambia have been introduced by various waves of
immigrants from the Senegambia basin and other parts of West Africa
since the early 19th century. For example Jollof
Rice (Benachin) from Dakar.
The climate of The Gambia can
be divided into two general seasons of wet and dry. Monsoon rains
start from around mid-June to mid-October and the dry season from
mid-October to the first half of June. The dry season is generally
cooler and sometimes dustier.
On the defence front the army is composed of infantry battalions
in the GNG, GNA and the navy.
See economy, economic
sectors and the business guide.
The Gambia is a multi-ethnic society with a mix of peoples from
the West Africa sub-region with various cultural, religious and
linguistic differences living side by side. Ordinary citizen's
lives are marked by a number of rites of passage and traditional
rituals. There are at least 8 ethnic
groups each with its own and sometimes overlapping customs,
traditions and languages. There are over 10 languages
plus various dialects spoken, most of which are part of the Niger-Congo
At various times in its history all
or some of the country was a part of some of the great empires
of West Africa and local Senegambian kingdoms. Ancient pottery
artefacts have been unearthed which have been dated to around
5,500 bp. Rural villages with a knowledge of iron have been found
and dated to around AD 500.
The Gambia achieved internal self-government in 1963; gained independence
in 1965 and five years later became a republic with a president.
TRAVEL & TOURISM:
The cool, dry season from end October is when the travel
and tourism sector kicks into life until the end of the Easter
vacations of the following year, though some visitors continue
to arrive in smaller numbers until May. From most European airports
it takes about 6 hours flight time to arrive at Banjul
Airport. The country offers a less expensive alternative tropical
holiday destination than for example the Caribbean or South Asia.
There are various 2 to 5 star
tourist hotels in resorts
along about 12.5 km of various beaches and coastal cliffs starting
at Cape Point in Cape Saint Mary
to the west of Banjul, south past Kotu
and Kololi and down to Bijilo
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