Diverse Tourism Attractions
Diverse Tourism Attractions: Primary Opportunities
Sun & Sand Tourism
Sun & Sand tourism is the main tourist segment in The Gambia.
The Gambia is known for its pristine beaches which have long drawn international tourists especially during the European winter season. The short travel time (5-6 hours) from Europe and English being the official language – making communication easier - is also a major advantage.
Eco-tourism has growing investment potential, with strong support from the Gambian government to grow this segment.
The Gambia is well positioned to benefit from global growth in Eco-tourism, with strong investment opportunities in eco-tourism lodges and tours.
This is complimented by The Gambia’s natural assets: the highly navigable River Gambia & the country’s diverse flora (The Gambia is home to over 250 acres of rainforest) and fauna.
The Gambia is home to over 600 species of birds. Sitting in the transitional zone between tropical forests and semi-arid conditions, the Gambia plays host to species from both areas along with those native to West Africa.
As a major hub of migratory birds around the Palearctic realm, the bird-based tourism segment is expected to rapidly grow in the coming years and with increased demand for eco-tourism lodges and tours.
Source: International Trade Administration, Responsible Travel, Travel Weekly, Lonely Planet
Diverse Tourism Attractions: Top 5 Places to visit in The Gambia
Abuko Nature Reserve
The Abuko Reserve is The Gambia’s first reserve and is a popular destination for tourists.
The reserve plays host to over 250 species of birds and 50+ mammals.
Bijilo Forest Park
Located 11kms west of Banjul, the park covers an area of over 126 acres.
The place is host to several species of animals & birds like the Green Vervet Monkey, Galagos, and the Black-necked Weaver.
River Gambia National Park
Established in 1978, the park is made up of 5 islands and collectively covers an area of close to 1500 acres.
The park is host to several categories of flora & fauna such as the chimpanzee and western red colobus.
As one of the most recognizable beaches in The Gambia, the beach is host to several bars, markets, and high-end hotels for tourists.
The beach is renowned for its crystal waters, white sand & palm trees.
Kachikally Crocodile Pool
A popular tourist destination in Bakau, the Crocodile Pool is home to an estimated 80+ crocodiles.
The Pool is also known by locals for its healing effects and as a place where people come to pray.
Source: Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor, Access Gambia, Thomas Cook
Image Credits: Access Gambia, Polarsteps, Booking.com, Wikimedia Commons
Diverse Tourism Segment Offerings: Additional Sector Opportunities
Luxury Tourism/5-star hotels
The Gambia offers a range of luxury hotels including:
- The Sunprime Tamala Hotel
- Coco Ocean Resort and Spa
- Ngala Lodge
- African Princess Beach Hotel and more
MICE Tourism/Conference Centers
The Gambia has a range of new Conference and Meeting centers, making it an ideal destination for MICE and Conference retreats.
The Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center, pictured below, is the newest conference center and has a 1,000-person capacity.
The Gambia offers a range of cultural events and festivals that occur throughout the year.
The calendar of events can be found through Ministry of Tourism and Culture.
The Gambia offers a variety of Halal tourism opportunities, events and events.
These include the Sheikh Umar Futi Taal Ziyareh Festival and the King Fahad Mosque, pictured below, among others.
The Gambia has become an ideal year-round retirement location for many Europeans.
Construction of homes for the retirement community is a fast-growing sector recieving increasing amounts of investment.
Source: GIEPA, Gambia Ministry of Tourism & Culture - link