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Roads

There are slightly more than 3000 km (2000 miles) of roads in the country, about 450 km (280) miles of which are paved. Roads in and around Banjul are mostly bitumenised. The latest additions are the Kombo Coastal Roads which have greatly improved access to the airport, the Tourism Development Area and the fishing villages along the country's Atlantic coast. During the summer season, unsealed laterite roads and bush tracks often become difficult or impassable.

Tour operators use comfortable air-conditioned coaches for their transfers and 4-wheel drive vehicles for their excursions. For those wishing to adventure out on their own or in groups, there are three main taxis in The Gambia.

Taxis

Green (Tourist) Taxis
These are painted green with a diamond sign and a serial number on the side. They are licensed by the Gambia Tourism Authority and dedicated to serving tourists and other visitors. They are normally parked outside the hotels in the resort areas. They operate on a queue and have a published tariff for all distances within The Gambia and outside. However, we recommend you always check with the driver before departure. It is normal to tip these drivers.
Yellow and Green
These are mainly 4 passenger saloon cars painted in these colours which run a shared taxi service between short distances or park by the roadside for individual hire.
Collective (Bush) Taxi
The most common way of travelling in The Gambian is by Collective Taxis otherwise called 'Bush' Taxis. These are mainly 7 passenger saloon cars, vans and minibuses and buses. They do not have a single colour and they operate a shared service between both short and long distances. They have a set fare. Please ask for the fare before you board the vehicle. They can make several stops on the way to allow passengers to board or disembark.

Buses

These are operated by the Gambia Public Transport Company (GPTC) and run from the depot in Kanifing to Basse via Banjul. There is a 15 minute stop in Soma (half way between Basse and the coast). Buses are very reasonably priced but can be quite crowded at times.

Excursions

A wide of organised trips are available in The Gambia. These range from brief one day outings to a local craft market to treks up-river to Georgetown in search of hippos. Click here for details of Ground Tour Operators.

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Car Rental

There are two main car rental companies in The Gambia & Hertz and AB. Check with your hotel receptionist for details: Visitors wishing to rent a self-drive should possess either an International Driving Permit, which is accepted for a period of three months or a UK driving licence which can be used for a short visit.

Bicycle Rental

Bicycles are available for hire outside most of the resort hotels or in the craft markets. It is a good way of combining sport and adventure into the bush and villages. However, if you're going into the bush, leave your valuables in your hotel.

The River Gambia

The country is named after this majestic river which is one of the most navigable waterways in Africa. It runs for 1,100 kilometres from its source in the Futa Jalon highlands, in the Republic of Guinea to its mouth in the Atlantic Ocean. Six hundred kilometres of this is in The Gambia where it meanders along the entire length of the country.

The river splits the country into nearly two equal halves and its banks bordered by tropical forest, bamboo and mangrove swamps. Beyond these are the villages and towns where people live in their traditional African setting.

Ferries

There are nearly a dozen ferry crossing points where people, livestock and vehicles cross the river. They range from the big steel ferry boats crisscrossing the 7-mile estuary (Banjul - Barra) almost every 90 minutes to small wooden ferries upcountry which carry only three or four vehicles at a time. There is different tariff for various size vehicles but the foot passenger fare is quite low (between D2 and D5).

Adventure and fishing trips on the river are offered by almost all the tour operators using converted yachts or colourful African pirogues.

FOR FURTHER DETAILS

Please contact:
The Department of State for Tourism and Culture
The Quadrangle
Banjul
The Gambia
Fax: (220) 227753
  Gambia Investment Promotion and Free Zones Agency
5 Nelson Mandela Street,
P.O. Box 757
Banjul
The Gambia
Fax: (220) 222829
Email: dipm.gipfza@qanet.gm