The Gambia (West Africa) is a small
country with an area of 4,000 square miles or 10,000 sq. km and has
its capital at
Banjul. It is surrounded on all its borders by Senegal
except on the Atlantic Ocean coast. The nation is located at the
most western edge of the continent. It is the continent's smallest
country and has a total area of 11,300 square km. At one time or
history it was a part of the great
Empires of West Africa.
Ancient pottery artifacts have been
found which have been dated to around 5,500.
Agricultural villages & towns
with a knowledge of iron have been unearthed & dated to around AD
Farming is still the most important export accounting for 32% of
the gross domestic product, providing employment & income for 80% of
the population, and accounting for 70%
of foreign exchange earnings.
coastal dry season runs from around
the middle of October to the middle of June each year. This time of
the year is characterised by a relatively cool, dry wind called the
Gambia is a multi-party democratic republic which gained its
independence in 1965. An Executive Presidency was established on the
24 April, 1970 which was later overturned following the July 22nd
coup of 1994.
With regards to
defence the army is made up of infantry
battalions in the GNG, GNA & the navy which are under the DOD.
Defence expenditure was 0.5% of GDP in 2006.
The republic is a multi-ethnic society with people from the
sub-region with different cultural,
religious and linguistic backgrounds living side by side.
People's lives are marked by a series of
rites of passage or traditional
rituals. There are at least 8 ethnic
groups living and each has its own and sometimes overlapping
customs, traditions and language. There are over 10
languages spoken by local people, the majority of which belong
to the Niger-Congo linguistic family of the Atlantic or Congo
As a guide, it takes just a 6 hour flight to reach The
from most European airports and it offers a less expensive
alternative holiday destination than the Caribbean. There is 48 km
beach reaching south from
Kartong in the south.