The legal drinking age in Gambia is 18, but not strictly
followed because so few people consume alcohol. Drinking
is prohibited by the Islamic faith, and this reflects
greatly on the attitude of Gambians towards alcoholómost
abstain from drinking, selling, and having it present
in their compound.
Most alcoholic drinking is done by tourists and Christians;
even if you donít fit into this category, as long as
you arenít Muslim
you wonít be looked down upon for indulging in alcohol.
Box wine (as well as a variety of imported European
spirits) can be had cheaply from supermarkets and local
locally brewed and bottled, is tasty and fairly cheap.
Palm wine is an inexpensive delicacy not to be missed.
Beers and Spirits:
These are on sale in the majority of hotels
or in their vicinity. They sell the popular domestic
and foreign brands. Prices are not extremely high. Milk
can be obtained in supermarkets,
just like the most important drink: Water.
Wonjo juice, also called sour juice, is dark cranberry-coloured
juice, made from boiling the dark red flower from the
sorrel plant. Often used for ices, this juice has a
very sweet taste and is especially refreshing when ice
Another popular ice is called bwi which is an off-white
sherbert like concoction made from the baobab.
Such local drinks are made by mixing crushed ginger
with lots of sugar and water then chilled in bottles.
Do be prepared as it is pretty strong and can can have
the effect of drinking a sweet juice made from hot chilies!
There are several types of herbal infusions such as
and kinkiliba (Combretum micranthum) whose leaves can
be found sold in dry form in some local market or being
sold at local tea stands in the mornings. It is often
mixed with a lot of milk or drunk with sugar only (lots
In Gambia Coke, Fanta, and Sprite are locally bottled
Ltd. and are very popular. If you want to take the
bottle away you must leave a non-refundable deposit.
This is because the bottles are sent back to the bottling
factory by local retail vendors for recycling.