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Foreign Exchange Services in Gambia

FX Bureaus:
There are many bureau de change outlets in Gambia particularly around the various holiday resorts such as Kololi, Bijilo, Fajara and Kotu. To get the best foreign exchange rates you either have to bargain hard or change bulk cash. They are often faster  and tend to give you better rates than you can get from a bank. Do be wary of signs that say zero commission as what you should look out for are the rates they have on offer. These are normally posted outside on the street on small signboards.

For large amounts be prepared to haggle and if they refuse to improve their offer from their advertised rates then be prepared to move on to the next firm. The cashier will usually call you back before you exit their bureau de change.
In order to avoid being short-changed don't assume you have been given the correct amount of money. Remember to count the bills given to you in front of the clerk, and its also a good idea to carry a pocket calculator. Do also check that the bunch of banknotes does not contain notes of a lesser denomination, for example a few 50 Dalasi notes mixed up with a larger bunch of 100 Dalasi notes. Do not be shy about asking for any torn notes to be changed replaced.

Parallel Market Money Changers:
Tourists are advised to give a wide berth to the local money changers who operate in the so called Parallel Market. Many locals used to change bills on the black market, particularly at Serrekunda's Westfield Junction, to get a better rate than they would have at the officially recognised exchange bureaus and banks. It is currently illegal to use the services of street hawking money changers and you should use an officially registered bureau de change of or one of the other financial institutions.


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