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Mark Moxon's Travel Writing

Great Journeys: The Gambia: River Gambia

Small but perfectly formed, the shape of the Gambia is defined by the river that bears its name, as it flows from colonial slave posts to beautiful beaches.

Map of the Gambia

Click on the links below to find out more about individual destinations.

Journey Summary

The Gambia has some wonderful travelling for Anglophones, and we start in its laid-back and friendly capital city, Banjul. After getting our bearings our journey takes us to the Atlantic beaches of Fajara, where the local touts – or bumsters – have to be seen to be believed. Luckily things calm down to the east, and the pot-holed main highway that runs through the centre of the Gambia eventually takes us to Tendaba, where the nearby Kiang West National Park is home to some wonderful landscapes and some extremely elusive wildlife. Rattling further east we come to colonial island of Jangjang Bureh, which sits beautifully in the middle of the tranquil River Gambia, providing a perfect setting for a bit of river boating, not to mention contemplation of the slave trade, which looms large in the island's past. Finally, after traversing the whole country, we end up in the transit town of Basse Santa Su, from where we can either retrace our steps or head into Senegal – the Casamance region of Senegal would provide an excellent way to loop back round to the Gambia's west coast, though when I visited it was off-limits due to insurgency.

Suggested Itinerary

The following is only a suggested itinerary.

Day Suggested Itinerary
1 Fly to Banjul
2 One day in Banjul
3 Banjul to Fajara
4-5 Two days in Fajara
6 Fajara to Tendaba
7 One day in Tendaba
8 Day trip to Kiang West
9 Tendaba to Jangjang Bureh
10-11 Two days in Jangjang Bureh
12 Jangjang Bureh to Basse Santa Su
13 Basse Santa Su to Senegal or back to Banjul