If you truly want to appreciate the beauty of nature, Gambia is the best place to visit. When you visit the country for the first time, you will be taken aback by its natural reserve’s mindblowing beauty. This article will highlight fifteen must-visit places in the Gambia the media has been hoarding from you. This write-up aims to help you to explore and admire the beauty of nature with gusto.
The Gambia is a West African country with a rich cultural heritage. The all-around beauty of the country towers above its small size. The Gambia is a haven for tourists. The country is one of the must-visit tourist hubs in Africa.
Despite being the smallest country in West Africa, Gambia has proven that the size of the nation is not synonymous with the greatness of a nation. All African regions are adorned with breathtaking tourist sites, but the Gambia remains a perfect African vacation spot. There are many interesting must-visit places in the Gambia you may not have heard of. We will help you highlight those places to prepare your mind when next you are planning a vacation.
The Gambia got her independence in 1965 after 400 years of British colonization with Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara GCMG as the country’s first prime minister and president. Despite being a circular state and tolerant of religions, over 90% of the Gambian population is dominated by Islamic adherents. About 3% of the Gambian population are Christians through the evangelical influence of David Living stone, an early Christian missionary around the African continent.
The charming beauty of the Gambian Beaches alongside the unraveling grandeur of the Atlantic coastlines leaves one with no option than to admire nature’s beauty with an enthralling sense of wonder. The attractive tourist sites and beauty of its ecosystem hypnotizes and lures tourists to keep coming for more. The question that should be boggling your curious mind now is, why is the Gambia the perfect African Vacation spot? Stay tuned as we furnish you with the list of fifteen must-visit places in the Gambia.
15 Must-Visit Places in the Gambia
Are you preparing for a vacation in the Gambia and are stuck in the right place to visit and catch a cruise? Are you a lover of nature and you are looking for an interesting place to relax clear your head of all worries? This article is for you. Here is the list of 15 must-visit places in The Gambia:
1. Abuko Nature Reserve
This Nature reserve is historic as it is the first in the country. It was built in the 20th century, but it was given a modern touch and refurbished as a tourist site in 1960. This is one of the most prominent and resourceful nature reserves in the country, with more than thirty-three thousand visitors yearly. The Nature reserve harbors different species of wild animals. Most of the rare species are almost going extinct in most regions. The greenish vegetation and the serenity that characterizes the location make it even more tourist-friendly. One of the interesting facts about the Abuko Nature Reserve is that it is a tropical forest with the closest proximity to Europe. Plans have been put in place to bring in more wild lives to this 260-acre nature reserve. Three primates
Banjul is the capital city of the Gambia. The town was initially named Bathurst after the then British secretary of states for colonies under the British empire. Banjul is a beautiful city located on the sea coast of St. Mary’s Island. Banjul is one of the most underrated cities on media. The breathtaking architecture and the ultra-modern buildings around the city metropolises will leave you mesmerized. There is a lot to love about this city, ranging from its rich cultural heritage, its urban markets to its nature-friendly environment. The dynamic nature of the town helps to add vibes and vitality to the city. As you take a walk down to the Island to have a breath of fresh air, you will feast your eyes on the traditional Kirinting shelters crafted from Bamboo and harbored by the poor local farmers on the coast.
3. The Albert Market
This market was established in the late 19th century. It was named after Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband. This is one of the busiest markets in the region. The exciting thing about this market is that most of the goods sold in the market are affordable. Most of the market sellers’ friendly and humorous nature might propel you to buy what is not part of your budget. The enthusiasm and the robustness of the market users might blow you off the cliff. The bargaining and haggling skills demonstrated by most buyers in the market are mindblowing. Most of the ancient artifacts are sold in the Albert Market. If you have been to this part of Gambia and have not yet visited the Albert Market, your experience is incomplete.
4. Old Town
This is a city situated around the Banjul metropolis. The moment you enter the city, you will be greeted by old colonial buildings spread around the city. The architectural designs and structures of the own bear a striking resemblance with the free town. This resemblance is based on the fact that most of the inhabitants are Siereleonean migrants. Most of the inhabitants migrated from free town to settle in Banjul as far back as 1820. As you take a stroll around the city, you will find many exciting places to feast your eyes on.
5. Bijilo Forest Park
Bilijo Forest Park is a beautiful place to be if you are a nature lover. The perfect combination of Fauna and Flora in this Park makes it more tourist-friendly. The Bilijo pack is a small park for monkeys situated on the Island, 11KM away from the capital city. The three species of primate found here are the patas, red Colobus, and Vervet. The mellifluous symphony that comes from chirping birds will keep you entertained as you take time to observe the beauty of nature. You will have the privilege of feasting your eyes with over 100 species of bird when you visit the Bijilo forest park. When you visit this park, you will fall in love with it a thousand times over.
6. Brufut Beach
This attractive and exquisite tourist site is situated between the Atlantic ocean and the Kombo South District. The Burufut resort is about 22Km away from Banjul. This Beach is unique for its nature-friendly environment, and the gold plated sand spread on the ground, which helps to enhance the aesthetic beauty of the tourist site. This beach gives you room to relax and admire the beauty of nature. As you relax to refresh yourself, you can sight fishermen and women mending their nets,
throwing their nets into the water, and sorting out their catch for the day. You will always feel that sense of grandeur as you take a walk around the beach. The beach is spacious enough to catch fun. You may choose to take part in water sport, cycle, or walk around the sand and allow the rays of light from the sun to kiss your forehead.
Janjangbureh, also called Georgetown, is an old colonial administrative center situated on MacCarthy Island in the Gambia River. As you take a stroll around the city, you will catch a glimpse of an over 200-year-old building formerly designated as the commissioner’s quarters. The building was said to have been harbored by some of the freed slaves. One of the most exciting things about this city is that it is a home for all bird species. If you are a bird lover and you are looking for a safe place to enjoy the company of birds as they serenade harmonious tunes of nature to your ears, Janjangbureh is the best place for you.
8. Sanyang Village and Beach
The Sanyang village is a beach hamlet of about 7,000 inhabitants. The Hamlet consists of the Fula, Wolof, Mandinka, and Jola tribes. Some tourists have noted this beach to be one of the best in the country with an attractive beachfront. The beach is a famous tourist attraction long before tourism comes to the limelight. Lagoons and mangroves surround the beach. It is serene and perfect relaxation and recreational purposes. The people’s main occupation is fishing, which accounts for why there is a big fish market in the region. The Sanyang beach is a perfect beach for those who love nature tracking as there are shaded footpath provided for those who want to take time to observe the beauty of nature.
9. National Museum of the Gambia
This building was initially called Bathburst club, where only the whites were allowed entrance. This building is now used as the National Museum. When you visit this Museum, you will find many ancient artifacts that portray the traditional lives of the Gambians, the Colonial history of Bathurst, dance, music, and the historical background of the Senegambia stone circle. Despite the small size of the Museum, it is well stocked with artifacts that will unravel the history of Gambia’s great people. As you enter the main hall, you will be welcomed by the giant Kankurang sculpture on the wall. This ritual mask is used during the coming of age and the rites of passage.
10. Wassu Stone Circles
This stone circle is said to be the burial ground of most great kings, chiefs, and other prominent people in the region. These stones are dated back to 750 to 1000 AD. The height of the stones leaves tourists and archeologists perplexed about their origin. The average length of the stone is 6feet. Wasu has the most attractive stone hub with a rich cultural heritage. Amidst a myriad of stone circles in the country, Wassu remains the only tourist attractive region because of its unique features. The Wasu stone circle was declared a world tourist site by UNESCO in 2006. One reason why the stones have remained untampered is due to the belief of the locals that a curse awaits whoever tampers with the stones.
11. The Kachikally Crocodile Pool
This pool is located in Bakau old town. The people living around the Kacchikally crocodile pool believe in the mysterious healing powers embedded in water as you find them going there often to invoke blessings upon themselves. About 80 crocodile harbor in the pool, and a reasonable number of them make themselves conspicuous enough for tourists to feast their eyes on. The arena is filled with funfair as the environment is conducive enough for fun making and relaxation. Aside from Crocodile’s beautiful sight that trails your eyes, there are interesting places like a souvenir shop, ethnographic Museum, café, and nature trail to catch fun with.
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12. Makasutu Culture Forest
Makasutu culture forest is a woodland reserve located in the Kombo district and reserved for ecotourism purposes. The forest covers over 100 acres. The forest is situated in a riverine area surrounded by salt flats, mangrove trees, hardwood trees, palm, Savanah. The thought for the conservation of this forest was initiated in 1990 by two Britons. Today, this empty forest has become an attractive tourist site where people admire the beauty of nature. The forest is now the most tourist attractive forest in the Gambia.
13. The Gambia River
There is an inextricable bond between The Gambia and the River; this could be due to the River’s historical background. This famous quote explains this relation better: “The Gambia River is the Gambia, and the Gambia is the river Gambia.” The River is at the heart of the country, with people living on either side of the River. It is a renowned tourist site as it gives free to both the Senegalese and the natives.
You can book a boat ride cruise around the River and catch massive fun. The boat will take you to historic and eye-catching places like the slave trade station, wildlife, and attractive countryside.
Serrekunda is the largest town in The Gambia. It is a market city with about five hundred thousand people. The Batik factory is located in this town. When you visit this spot, you will have the honor of getting first-hand information about where the tie-dyed and batik fabrics are woven together.
Wrestling is the most favorite hobby of people living in the Senegambian region, and it’s taken more seriously in Serikunda. While the wrestlers are in the ring, the drummers will beat the drums to a frenzy to lift the wrestlers’ spirit. Each of the wrestlers in the ring has his drummer band beating his favorite drum sounds to boost his morale. The rules are a bit loose, but when the wrestling gets bloody, someone can always step in to intervene.
Tanji is the busiest and most famous fishing town along the coast of the Gambia. The beach features a lot of activities, which accounts for its busy nature. If you are one who loves privacy, you might not enjoy swimming in the River, but you will certainly have fun watching the bustling heart of the beach. If you are a roasted fish lover, Tanji is the best place for you as they are a lot of smoked fish and roasted fish in the region. The Museum situated at the heart of the village is used to educate visitors about the Tanji lifestyle and culture.
If you are a lover of birds and nature, Tanji is a perfect place for you as the Tanji Bird Reserve is situated six square miles away from the marine wetland and the savannah habitat. There are more than three hundred species of bird, including 34 raptors. You will have the pleasure of feeding your eyes with wild animals like hyena, red monkey, bushnback, and Red Colobus.
If you want to have an ecstatic moment with birds, spare some time to visit Bijol Island, where there are about 200000 species of birds.
You can’t visit the Gambia as a tourist and feel bored as there are many interesting places to visit around the country. If you are in the Gambia ( irrespective of where you are) and have not visited at least one of the 15 must-visit places in The Gambia highlighted above, then you are in a world of your own. You are cut off from the funfair and euphoria that trail the Gambian atmosphere. If you are a nature lover, a visit to the Gambia is a homecoming back to nature. Explore those beautiful tourist sites highlighted above and experience the best moment of your life with nature.