Cape Point (Beach
& Town, Gambia)
Cape Point beach resort makes up the north-eastern part
of the town of Bakau,
in the Kombo St Mary District, in the West Coast Region
of The Gambia, and is 12km to the west of Banjul
capital. The district is a promontory and its beach
area is where the River
Gambia and the Atlantic Ocean merge at the estuary.
To Cape Point's eastern coastline is a wide seafront
of fine, golden sand, while much of its north-western
coastline starts at sea level, then, as you head south
west it rises up to over 15 metres, and is mostly characterised
by laterite cliffs dotted with palms along a narrow
strand. Further to its southeast are the brackish mangrove
swamps of Cape Creek, frequented by wetland birds.
The tourist enclave is in a very quiet part of town
and close to a scenic seafront, which is fringed by
palm trees, bushes, and up-market private residences.
There are a number of smaller hotels and guesthouses
accommodation such as the Cape Point Hotel. The
main tourist-class hotels here are the Ocean
Bay Hotel & Resort and the Sunbeach Hotel &
Resort. If you prefer self-catering in deluxe
surroundings with a small shared pool, then try one
of the 12 luxury holiday apartments of the Cape Residence.
Point beach and its adjacent area is one of The Gambia's
most family-friendly holiday resorts,
and here the wide, beautiful strip of sand is lined
with mature palm trees, grasses and thatched sunshades.
You might also see some basalt boulders strategically
place along part of the shoreline to counteract erosion
of the sands. Although erratic currents make it
unsuitable for swimming,
it's perfect for sunbathing, volleyball, strolling,
picnics, and making sandcastles, and there's a broad
choice of restaurants
bars close by.
In the country as a whole there are often sightings
of roaming livestock, so don't be surprised if you see
the odd goat or cow trudging along the sand roaming
and looking for anything edible to eat. There are also
juice stands near the southern part of the main strand
selling various juices such as mango, melon, coconut,
baobab, orange and grapefruit.
Sundays is the main day when local Gambians come to
the strand to relax with their families or play a bit
of football or volleyball.
only is the district's shore area a tourist magnet it
is also an exclusive residential location which has
a large number of people from the diplomatic community,
such as Britain's diplomatic residence, 'Admiralty House',
well-to-do businessmen, politicians and some well established
The vast majority of these homes are within the triangle
formed by the Kofi Annan Street, the Old Cape Road and
At the tourist centre is the tourist craft
market, several bureau de change, mini-markets,
some bars and restaurants
and green tourist taxis;
all accompanied by a high level of security provided
by security guards and official paramilitary police.
This makes the general locality the safest place to
live or go on holiday. Furthermore, the water and electricity
supplies are more stable here and you are less likely
to experience power outages.
A Little History:
promontory was 'discovered' by Portuguese navigators
of this part of West Africa in the 15th century, and
they named it 'Cabo de Santa Maria' (Cape of Saint Mary).
The name overflowed to the nearby island when the British
established the capital Bathurst (now Banjul).
It was part of 'British Kombo' in the mid 1800s.
Tourist Attractions & Things
most fruitful areas for birdwatching
are around Cape Creek, which is traversed by the Old
Cape Road southeast of Bakau,
and Sting Corner, at the intersection of Sait Matty
Road and the Serrekunda to Banjul Highway. The road
that cuts through the creek is a pleasurable stroll
at any time of day during the winter season, going past
a thinly wooded area of baobab
trees, oil palm trees, tamarisk, tall grasses and
rhun palms. The Creek is surrounded by swamp mangroves
and brackish mudflats; this sector produces sightings
of many bird species such as parakeets, marsh harriers,
blue-bellied rollers and starlings; while the mudflats
are frequented by birds such as the Senegal thick-knees
and spur-winged plovers. In the creek you may see fish-eating
birds such as ospreys and reef herons.
While on route from Bakau to Sting Corner via Sait Matty
Road you will see vegetable gardens. This is an excellent
place to spot cattle egrets and squacco herons.
• Crocodile Pool
lagoon was initially cut into the sands by the
ocean and is in front of the Calypso
Restaurant. The lagoon was then expanded and made
more permanent when the Gambian owner of the diner found
a few West African crocodiles had decided to make it
their home. It is now partly lined with large laterite
rocks and grasses, and has become a local tourist
attraction for holidaymakers and locals alike.
In fact as you head south towards the creek there is
an increased likelihood of seeing wild crocodiles among
Called the Sunwing
Tourist Craft Market it is located on a road island
occupying half of one side. There are numbered shop
units selling a variety of souvenirs such as batiks,
tie & dye hangings, wooden carved masks, necklaces,
drums, necklaces, shoes and trade beads. Nearby
you can find women selling a variety of tropical fruits
from their street side stalls.
It is possible to do some horseback riding on Cape Point's
strand which are available from the Ocean Bay and Sunbeach
Often you will find them exercising their horses up
and down the beachfront; all you have to do is stop
one of them and ask the price for a session.
• Botanical Gardens
Bakau Botanical Garden is situated just after the end
of the northern point of Atlantic
Road and was established in the last decade the
19th century. The trees and shrubs are surrounded by
a fence and is signposted on the main road. There is
a walking track that works its way around the garden's
labelled trees as well as a grass roofed shaded area
to sit in and relax. It is at its most green towards
the end of the monsoon season. There are also an assortment
of bird species fluttering between the trees and you
might be lucky to spot a bulbul or mannikin among others.
(Tel no: 7774482)
Among the various restaurants
in the area are the following:
Fang Chinese Restaurant
• Italian Connection
Hungarian (Tel no: 4497362).
Health & Safety:
The Cape Point enclave is renowned in The Gambia for
the high level of security and safety
due to the presence of numerous security personnel working
in this largely residential area. Starting from the
Craft Market the Atlantic
Road is well lit but provides little in the way
of a pedestrian pavement, while Kofi Annan Street is
also well lit, wider and has access to the beach from
the Ocean Bay Hotel. Going along the Old Cape Road towards
Banjul the road is lit but bordered by mangroves, and
it is not recommended to walk along here at night. There
is plenty of vegetation in the area harbouring mosquitoes,
particularly straddling the beach, so do apply sufficient
mosquito repellent at dusk to reduce your chances of
Despite not being a major through route there are yellow
(standard) and green tourist taxis
constantly in the area around the Sunwing Craft Market
to take you to the nightspots in places such as Kololi
and Kotu. The are sometimes bicycles
for rent near the Ocean Bay Hotel and is a good way
to explore the general area and the creek as well as
ride south towards Bakau and Fajara.
Car rentals are available from some of the larger tourist
[Geographical coordinates 13° 29' 21" N, 16° 40'
09" W / Kombo North Saint Mary District (Ksmd,
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