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Gambia

The Gambia is a developing country in western Africa, and the capital is Banjul. The official language is English. Facilities for tourism in the Banjul area are good; however, outside the capital region, tourist facilities are limited in availability and quality. Read the Department of State Background Notes on The Gambia.

Gambia

   
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 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
Country Name: Gambia
Continent: Africa
Capital City: Banjul
Boundary Countries:
Recommended Hospitals in Capital: Kololi Clinic (Banjul), Lamtoro Clinic (Banjul), The Royal Victoria Hospital (Banjul), Bansang Hospital (Northants)
Main Cities: Banjul, Gunjur, Brikama, Georgetown, Basse Santa Su, Mansa Konko, Kerewan, Serekunda, Farafenni
Country Size: 11,300 sq km
Population: 1,688,359

 

COUNTRY GENERAL INFORMATION
Language:

English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars

Currency: dalasi (GMD)
Predominant Religions:

Muslim 90%, Christian 9%, indigenous beliefs 1%

National Holidays: Independence Day, 18 February (1965)
Economic Status:

Unemployment and underemployment rates remain extremely high; short-run economic progress depends on sustained bilateral and multilateral aid, on responsible government economic management, on continued technical assistance from the IMF and bilateral donors, and on expected growth in the construction sector.

Security:

Gambian National Army (GNA), Gambian Navy (GN), Gambian National Guard (includes Presidential Guard)

US Presence:

Americans living or traveling in The Gambia are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department’s travel registration web site so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security within The Gambia. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located 92 Kairaba Avenue in Fajara, a suburb of the capital city of Banjul. The mailing address is P.M.B.19, Banjul, The Gambia. Twenty-four hour telephone numbers are (220) 439-2856, 439-2858 and 439-1971; the fax is (220) 439-2475; and the web site is http://banjul.usembassy.gov. Normal business hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and till noon on Fridays.

Document Requirements:

A passport, visa, and evidence of yellow fever vaccination are required. The current fee for a five-year visa for Americans is $100. The U.S. Embassy strongly recommends obtaining a Gambian visa in advance of arrival.

Travelers who do not obtain the necessary visa before arrival in The Gambia will have their passports stamped at the port of entry with a 24, 48 or 72 hour pass and are required to report to Banjul Immigration Department to document their stay. Banjul Immigration grants permission to remain for one month for about $16. Extensions require additional visits to the Gambian Immigration Department and additional fees.

A $10.00 (U.S. dollars) tourist levy is charged upon arrival at the airport. Payment is only accepted in U.S. dollars, British pounds, or Euros. NOTE: Charter flights should have this fee included in the price of the ticket.

Travelers are urged to obtain the latest information on customs and entry requirements from the Embassy of The Gambia, 1156 15th Street, NW, Suite 905, Washington, DC 20005; telephone (202) 785-1399, fax (202) 785-1430; or from the Permanent Mission of The Gambia to the U.N. at 820 Second Avenue, Suite 900-C, New York, NY, 10071; Telephone (212)949-6640. Overseas, inquiries should be made at the nearest Gambian embassy or consulate. Visit the Embassy of The Gambia web site at www.gambiaembassy.us for the most current visa information.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our web site. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.

Major Airports:

Airports:  1, Airports w/paved runways:  1

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

Travelers driving a vehicle in The Gambia should stop at all roadblocks or road checkpoints.  Drivers should not reverse direction to avoid a road checkpoint or make any movements that security personnel may view as suspicious or provocative. 

Petty street crime is a problem in The Gambia.

The U.S. Embassy has received several reports of violent crimes against women.  Women should avoid walking alone on the beach and in tourist areas, particularly in the evening.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total:  70.14 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth:  TOTAL 54.54 years  (male 52.68/female 56.46)

Immunization Indicators:

Required: Yellow Fever
Recommended: Malaria, Hep A & B, Meningococcal, Rabies, Typhoid
Boosters: MMR, DPT, polio

Infectious Disease Concerns:

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, yellow fever are high risks in some locations
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis

Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, and onchocerciasis (river blindness) are other diseases carried by insects that also occur in this region. A number of rickettsial infections also occur in this region. Plague occurs sporadically or in outbreaks. Other infections that tend to occur more often in longer-term travelers (or immigrants from the region) include tuberculosis, HIV and hepatitis B.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Medical facilities in The Gambia are very limited, some treatments are unavailable, and emergency services can be unpredictable and unreliable. 

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 1
Referrals: 9
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Maleria is a serious risk to travelers in the Gambia.

Communications Info:

Country Calling Code:  +220    
Internet Country Code:  .gm

 



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