Though the Gambia (in West Africa) is small it offers a wide variety of sites offering tourist excursions and attractions. There are numerous land-based tours, mixed excursions and river trips organised by overseas tour operators as well as locally based ground tour operators and freelance Official Tourist Guides.
Starting from the coastal holiday resorts of Kombo North you can begin with the various tourist attractions of Banjul Capital where there is Gambia National Museum on Independence Drive, the bustling & lively Albert Market, the huge arch at the entrance to the capital or marvel at some of the colonial architecture.
A few kilometres away from the capital and towards the coastal areas you get to the major vacation locations of Bakau, Cape Point, Fajara, Kololi,(Senegambia Strip) and Kotu where you can enjoy local attractions of endless golden beaches and almost guaranteed sunshine & other leisure activities such as watersports, quadbiking, golf and tennis. These areas are where most tourist choose to spend there time with its numerous restaurants, bars, shops & local night clubs particularly in the Kololi & Senegambia areas.
At Bakau there is the Craft Market, Katchikally Crocodile Pool (whose crocs are allegedly said to be so tame they allow tourist to touch them) further inland you findSerrekunda town with its dazzling & hectic market, Sunday Wresting and tie-and-dye factory. There is also the Bijilo Forest Park which is within easy walking distance from the Kairaba or Senegambia hotels. The destinations of Brufut Heights and Brufut Gardens are becoming an increasingly important resort destinations after the opening of the Sheraton beach hotel and the development of the local area’s facilities.
For the more adventurous you can take a one-day or half-day excursion further down the coast of the Tanji Village museum & Bird Reserve where you can hire a boat and take an excursion among the mangroves with amazing unspoilt scenery. You can also go for camel safaris at Tanji which is located just after the bridge on the left. At Kartong you can visit the Lemonfish Art Gallery which display works from local Gambian artists. Micro-light flights are also available that offer visitors stunning views of the creeks and bolong and other natural tourist attractions.
Birdwatching is possible even within the tropical gardens of the major hotels and many actively encourage birds to breed on their hotel complexes. However the Gambia has many wildlife & bird reserves such Tanji and Abuko Nature Reserve which is a 20 minutes drive from most hotels. Abuko forest is also home to lions, hyenas & various species of monkeys.
There are numerous safari camps located up-country and most are to be found on the river banks offering reasonably descent accommodation.
For the even more adventurous you can visit the Tanbi Wetland Reserve which is located directly south of the capital. It is a large expanse of creeks & mangrove swamps with plenty of opportunities for cruising, bird watching and fishing.
Fishing excursion opportunities are endless. You can choose both sea or creek fishing as well as the river itself where you can hire a boat from numeroustour operators located at Denton Bridge.
Further inland still you get to Brikama with its craft market & factory and to the north east you get to the Makasutu Culture Forest which lies next to the River Gambia. On its shores there is the luxury eco-lodge of Mandina River Lodge. To the east of Brikama you can visit Lamin Lodge in Pirang Forest Park which has a small river running through it and is an unspoilt Eden and ideal for naturists.
Some of the Gambia’s most ancient monuments are located inland near Wassu, where circles of stones mark 1,200-year-old burial grounds. Way up river you will get to the Baboon Island which form part of the River Gambia National Park. See also River information.
On the north bank which you can reach by ferry from Banjul there you can visit Fort Bullen at Barra Point and Jinack Island which is part of the Niumi National Park where you can do a spot of dolphin spotting. On the river bank itself further inland try out the ‘Find Your Roots Excursion’ which is a one day pilgrimage to the village of Juffure made famous by Alex Haley’s book ‘Roots’. Nearby there is the slavery museum at Albreda, not far from the shore the ruins of Fort James Island.