For the latest guidance and travel updates, see our COVID-19 travel info page.

Gambia Holidays

Gambia Holidays

Read more about Gambia


Discover the amazing wildlife and blissful beaches of The Gambia. With non-stop warm weather and fantastic hospitality, you can relax here all year round.

Destination highlights

  • Sandy beaches
  • Sub-tropical winter sun
  • Diverse wildlife
  • Amazing hospitality
  • Jump to...

    Beaches | Hotels | Food & drink | Nightlife | Events | Things to do | Weather | Important information | Reviews |


    What are the best beaches in The Gambia?

    It’s known as the Smiling Coast for two reasons - firstly because the ocean gives way to a large river that curves into the land, and secondly, because everyone wears a big grin on beach holidays to The Gambia! These are our favourite places to take in the unique ocean and river views:

  • Cape Point – positioned between the ocean and the river, this beach feels like the edge of the world - the perfect place to get away from it all!
  • Bijilo – a stretch of calm, white sands between the ocean and a national park, which is home to rare monkeys and exotic birds.
  • Kotu – a picture-perfect beach with gently sloping sands, making it a popular hangout for family holidays to The Gambia
  • Kololi – the ideal spot to relax by the palm trees before checking out the bars and restaurants of the nearby Senegambian strip.
  • Bakau – a slice of Gambian life awaits visitors at this working beach, with colourful boats and a buzzing fish market.
  • Batokunku – the undisturbed flat sands of this peaceful beach line up with the horizon to create the perfect sunset scene.


  • Gambia beach

    What are the top hotels in The Gambia?

    The Serrekunda area is the most popular with visitors due to its buzzing urban life, while further along the coast you’ll find pockets of peace in nature. We think you’ll love these hotels whichever way you’d like to go. Here are a few of our faves:

  • Senegambia Beach - a beachside hotel close to the main strip, with excellent accessible features and gardens full of wild birds and monkeys.
  • Coco Ocean Resort & Spa - the ultimate five-star getaway, offering seriously stylish rooms on a calm beachfront close to the Bijilo national park.
  • Ocean Bay Hotel & Resort - situated right on Cape Point, this five-star resort is a hit with families thanks to its endless beach sports and fun activities.
  • Kairaba Hotel - a great beachside pick for friends and couples looking to chill by the sea all day and hit the lively Kololi bars at night.
  • Calabash Residence Apartments - if you’re planning a cheap holiday to The Gambia, you’ll want to check out these lush self-catering apartments, which are close to the beach and plenty of dining spots.
  • Labranda Coral Beach Hotel - escape to a peaceful beach in Brufut, where this hotel provides suites for parties of every size, plus local live music and a rooftop bar.


  • The Gambia

    Click here to book your Gambia beach break


    What’s the food like in The Gambia?

    The complex and rich flavours of Gambian dishes often come from the variety of sauces and rubs they like to use. You’ll also see baobab juice everywhere, something we can only get in powdered form at home, so make sure to try it fresh! When it comes to food though, these dishes are sure to tickle your tastebuds:

  • Domoda - the national dish of rice and a peppery peanut sauce, served with or without meat
  • Ebbeh - a chunky soup with cassava and seafood, flavoured with chilli and lime
  • Yassa - chicken or fish marinated in a lemon and spice rub, and then cooked whole
  • Afra - a street food snack of spiced meat cubes, barbecued and served on skewers
  • Chakery - The Gambia’s answer to rice pudding, made with cous cous and a creamy sauce


  • The coastal area is packed with excellent international restaurants, but we also love to chow down on some local favourites at these eateries:

  • John Raymond’s Bar & Restaurant, Kotu - a chilled-out beach bar famed for its friendly vibes and tasty seafood
  • Calypso Bar and Restaurant, Cape Point - A gem hidden amongst wildlife, serving generous portions of local cuisine and fresh fish
  • Rahma’s Kitchen, Kololi - a casual dining spot where you can grab some street food to go or enjoy a full traditional dinner
  • Ice Land, Fajara - the best place for anyone with a sweet tooth, serving amazing homemade ice creams and desserts in an accessible café


  • The Gambia food

    Where's the best nightlife in The Gambia?

    If you book an All Inclusive holiday to The Gambia, you’ll be treated to fab evening entertainment wherever you stay. Outside of hotels, The Senegambian Strip is the liveliest place to be at night and is best experienced by taking a stroll and following the music. New bars and clubs spring up (and change names!) all the time, but these are some longstanding favourites in the Kololi area:

  • Poco Loco Beach Bar - the cocktails flow throughout the night as local live music sets the mood at this colourful seaside spot
  • Reo’s Bar and Restaurant - stay after dinner when the DJ starts playing at this friendly bar with a great atmosphere
  • Patta Patta - a restaurant that turns into a dance floor, with live music nights of all kinds throughout the week
  • Aquarius Nightclub - a buzzing club playing the best pop and afrobeat hits - the perfect place to party at the weekend


  • What events can I go to in The Gambia?

    Traditional drumming and dances animate the streets throughout the year, so you’re sure to catch something even on a last minute holiday to The Gambia. If you like to know what to expect though, then try planning your visit around one of these fun annual events:

  • Kartong Festival (January) - this colourful village festival on the beach is a chance to see the area’s fantastic dance and music traditions.
  • Independence Day (February) - huge parades and concerts are a humbling sight for British visitors, as The Gambia celebrates its independence from colonial rule.
  • The Gambia Beach Championships (March) - anglers from around the world compete for the best catch in this four-day beach fishing tournament.
  • Bob Marley Day (May) - The Gambia joins in with reggae fans around the world in celebrating the legend’s life and music.
  • Gambian Football Federation National Division season (November) - the season kicks off for the country’s best players - you can cheer them on at the Independence Stadium.
  • Open Mic Festival (December) - the nation’s biggest music festival, showcasing rising stars in the Gambian music scene.
  • Christmas (December) - Banjul comes alive with traditional festive performances, with some unusual additions like the fairy masquerade.


  • Things to do in The Gambia

    See a total knockout

    If you get the chance to see local wrestling on your Gambian holidays, take it! It takes true skill to battle it out on the sands with this much style. You can catch a show at Sanyang Beach on Sundays or look out for big matches at the Independence Stadium.

    Get lost in nature

    Nature-lovers will already know that The Gambia is one of Chris Packham’s top spots in the world for birding. Take a tour with his favourite guide Malick Suso, who’ll lead you up the magical river that hundreds of exotic birds call home.

    Make a meal of it

    If you’re keen to take home a skill from your holidays in The Gambia, you should head to the Yabouy Home Cooking centre. You’ll make memories with local legend Ida, donning traditional dress as you visit the vibrant Tanji fish market, then learn to prepare a Gambian feast with your catch of the day!

    Get snap happy

    The Kachikally Crocodile Pond & Museum is a truly unique experience that the kids will love, too. The crocodiles live in the nature park around a pool used for fertility rituals and are tame enough for you to get up close. If you’re not quite feeling brave enough, you can still look from a distance and learn more about the area at the museum!



    The Gambia pond

    What's the weather like in The Gambia?

    If you’re looking to escape the winter chill on your 2022 holiday, then The Gambia is perfect for a big dose of sunshine and warm seas. Due to the sub-tropical climate, the ideal time to visit is the dry season between November and May. The temperature remains high from June to October, but increased humidity and heavy rainfall are common.

    Month

    Average temp.

    Sea temp.

    Hours of sunshine per day

    Jan 24 °c 23 °c 10 h
    Feb 26 °c 22 °c 10 h
    Mar 26 °c 22 °c 11 h
    Apr 25 °c 22 °c 12 h
    May 26 °c 25 °c 11 h
    Jun 27 °c 28 °c 10 h
    Jul 26 °c 29 °c 8 h
    Aug 26 °c 28 °c 7 h
    Sep 26 °c 28 °c 8 h
    Oct 27 °c 29 °c 9 h
    Nov 27 °c 28 °c 10 h
    Dec 25 °c 26 °c 10 h

    Click here to book your Gambia beach break »

    Important Information about travelling to The Gambia

    How long does it take to fly to The Gambia?

    Flights from the UK to The Gambia take around five and a half hours.

    What’s the time difference between the UK and The Gambia?

    There’s no time difference between the UK and The Gambia.

    What currency do they use in The Gambia?

    The official language in The Gambia is English, though residents speak many local languages such as Mandinka and Pulaar.

    What language do they speak in The Gambia?

    The official language of The Gambia is Spanish.

    Will Covid-19 affect my holiday to The Gambia?

    We are currently closely following the Covid-19 situation and how it affects travel. You can find out the most up to date information about travel to The Gambia on the FCDO website.

    Do I need any vaccinations to visit The Gambia?

    Please check with your healthcare provider for all up to date vaccination advice before booking your holiday.

    Do I need a visa to travel to The Gambia?

    You don’t need a visa to travel to The Gambia for under 28 days.



    Customer reviews

    At On the Beach, we’ve sent many satisfied customers to The Gambia for a bit of sunshine. But don't just take our word for it, read some of their 5-star reviews below.

    Mr & Mrs Harmes:


    We have booked with On The Beach several times and never had any issues. Looking forward to another stress free holiday next year.

    Melanie Howie:


    We have used OTB for years, all our holiday are booked with them - at least 4 a year. Never had any problems.

    Karl Cooper:


    I always choose my holiday through On the Beach it’s always easy to find what I’m looking for, you get longer to pay and honest reviews on the hotels - never been disappointed.

    View destination on a map

    Gambia Weather

    The Gambia enjoys virtually uninterrupted sunshine and high temperatures all year round. There are 2 distinct seasons, wet and dry.

    From July to October the temperatures rise combined with sharp showers, but these occur mainly at night.

    The best time to visit is between November and March when it's dry and bearably warm.

    Jan 24ºC
    Feb 26ºC
    Mar 26ºC
    Apr 27ºC
    May 27ºC
    Jun 28ºC
    Jul 28ºC
    Aug 27ºC
    Sep 27ºC
    Oct 27ºC
    Nov 26ºC
    Dec 25ºC

    Things To Do on Gambia Holidays

    River Cruiser
    The breath-taking River Gambia flows through the heart of the country. Treat yourselves to an early morning ride along the river and watch hundreds of birds rise with the sun for sights and sounds you won’t forget in a hurry.

    Eco Warrior
    One of the most eco-friendly countries in the world, The Gambia has a variety of green activities you can get involved in. Feed the wildlife, spend the night in an eco-lodge, or visit the beautifully maintained national parks for unforgettable experiences.

    Crocodile Hunter
    All that ecological awareness means that The Gambia is home to hundreds of different species. In particular, the country is famous for its crocodile population. Take a trip down to the crocodile ponds and marvel at these prehistoric creatures in their natural habitat.

    Wrestling Champ
    Wrestling is the traditional sport of The Gambia and ceremonial wrestling festivals are regular occurrences. Modern Gambian wrestling combines athletics, music, and spirituality, so make sure you don’t miss out if you happen to be in town when one is occurring.