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The Gambia might not have the glitz and glamour of some of the world’s other tourist resort destinations but what it lacks in finesse it more than makes up for with incredibly warm welcomes and natural beauty. Miles and miles of unspoiled Atlantic coastline, seafood caught and cooked that very same day and a vibrant local culture all make this tiny African country a big adventure.
The Gambia is blessed with warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine throughout the year. But with the rainy season in the UK’s summer months, it is an ideal destination for a winter break. With January and February temperatures up in the 30s on a regular basis, escape the gloom of winter in the African sun.
A burgeoning tourism scene means that there are regular flights to the capital Banjul throughout the year. And although it might seem a world away, at just over six hours and with reasonably cheap flights to the Gambia at most times of year, it is gaining a reputation as a great place for a relaxing break.
Whether you’re travelling for some winter sun or to see the incredible birdlife that draws many visitors, you can find the best choice of budget fights to the Gambia at Expedia. If you have a desired arrival time, preferred airline or other requirements, use the filter menu on the left side of the page to refine your search.
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There are regular departures to the Gambia from the UK throughout the year.
The Gambia’s only international airport is located just outside the capital, Banjul. Also known as Yundum, it was originally built after World War II, and has been upgraded in recent years. Although small, you can find a good range of services, from money changing desks to gift stalls. There is also an outside bar and restaurant where you can sit in the sun and enjoy some refreshments with views of the runway.
A choice or airlines run services between the UK and the Gambia.
Once you have landed at Yundum, it may be possible to arrange onward transfers through your hotel or resort. The Gambia is a very small country and most onwards journeys take less than an hour, with the majority of the main resorts located on the coast around 25 minutes away.
Once in the country, it is possible to hire cars but it is always recommended to get a driver, as road travel can be a little chaotic at times. Taxis are everywhere and can be pre-booked through your hotel or flagged down, but you will be expected to barter for a decent fare.
Alternatively, travel like the locals and jump in one of the cramped seven-seater bush taxis which run regular routes between specific points. It might not be the most comfortable way to travel but it is fun and incredibly cheap.
The Gambia might be short on major landmarks and tourist attractions but there is still plenty to see and do. The country is famed around the world for its birdlife, with people coming from around the world to see these rare creatures. In the Abuko Nature Reserve alone there are more than 300 species, as well as crocodiles and monkeys. The Gambia River National Park is another beautiful wildlife reserve.
You can take a boat up the Gambia river to James Island to visit the former slave trading station and setting for Alex Harvey’s bestselling novel ‘Roots’. Or you can simply hang out on Sanyang Beach, one of the most beautiful in the Gambia.
The Gambia runs on GMT but there is no daylight savings change so for some parts of the year it is an hour behind.
The Gambian dalasi is the official currency but dollars and pounds are also widely accepted.
British citizens do not need a visa for stays of less than a month.