Travel to Gambia, The

The smallest country in Africa, Gambia is beautiful and diverse with a bustling capital city, Banjul. Abuko Nature Reserve in the north of the country might be one of the smallest protected areas in the continent but it's still brimming with wildlife including crocodiles, chameleons, monkeys and over 300 species of birds. Then there's the Bao Bolon Wetland Reserve which is home to dugongs, antelope and hippos who love the swamps and thick forest. It's not just about the stunning wildlife though, Gambia is also home to some beautiful beaches including Sanyang Beach - a must during any holiday in Gambia.

Direct, cheap flights to Gambia are available with Monarch and flythomascook from London Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham airports during peak season which lasts from November to April. The journey takes around six hours. May to October is the rainy season and while indirect flights to Gambia are available they are very expensive.

Flights from the UK arrive at Banjul International Airport which is located 14 kilometres southwest of the city of Banjul. The only way to reach the city is by taxi, there are no buses which serve the airport. There are two types of taxis: green ones are licensed while yellow ones are private. The journey to the city centre takes around 30-45 minutes.

If you plan to rent a car during your holiday to Gambia it's advisable to opt for a 4WD as the roads aren't always in great condition! Buses are very few and far between, so you're best off using taxis to get around. Yellow taxis are much cheaper than green taxis.

Gambia's Atlantic coastline is home to many four and five star luxury resorts. If you're looking for cheap hotels in Gambia you're best off heading further inland where there are inexpensive eco camps and lodges offering basic accommodation and affordable prices.

There are many restaurants serving international food such as Indian, Chinese and even fish and chips but these tend to be more expensive. For cheaper meals eat the local cuisine. Domoda (meat stew with peanut butter sauce and rice) and Jollof rice (rice with meat, fish or vegetables with spices and tomato) are both tasty and filling.

If you're looking for bargains during your holiday to Gambia, you can pick up tailor-made clothes for a snip. Local handicrafts such as wooden carvings and masks are also very affordable at local markets, just remember to haggle!

A cruise down the River Gambia is a must during a holiday in Gambia, although you should shop around for the best price on tours and ideally book before you depart the UK.

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