- Continental region – Western Africa
- Currency symbol of Gambia –Dalasi (D)
- Capital City –Banjul
- Official languages –English
- Population –2,434,113 (2020)
- Country dialling code – (+220)
- Official website – Gambia
- Top 3 biggest industries –Tourism, Manufacturing, Agriculture
- Google Maps link –Gambia
- Where is it? –The Gambia is a country in West Africa in the Northern and Western Hemisphere regions of the Earth. It is mainland Africa’s smallest country and is almost surrounded by Senegal except for a short coastline on the Atlantic Ocean to the west.
Gambia In Pictures
- How did the country get its first name? –The name comes from the Mandinka term Kambra/Kambaa. The Portuguese recorded the name as ‘KambiBolong’, and thereafter the name passed from one explorer to another. Other names captured in The Gambia’s record books are ‘Kambea’, ‘Jambea’ and ‘Gambra’ as they appear in Portuguese records until British explorers arrived on James Island in 1588 when it officially became Gambia.
- How did the country get its current name? – The name Gambia comes from the Portuguese word for trade, cambio. After the Portuguese throne was seized by Philip II in 1580, a number of Portuguese sought refuge in England. One of these refugees, Francisco Ferreira, piloted two English ships to the Gambia in 1587 and returned with a profitable cargo of hides and ivory.
- When and by whom the country was first discovered? – The Gambia area has been used for trade since at least the 9th century. The area has also been part of the Mali empire. Portuguese sailors were the first Europeans to discover the Gambia River in 1455.
- Who were the first Inhabitants? –There are signs that among the first people to settle in The Gambia were the Jola. The banks of The River Gambia have been inhabited continuously for many thousands of years. There are indeed pottery fragments that have been found and have been dated to about 5,500 years old.
- When it was first recognized as a country? –Upon independence 18 February 1965, the country used the name The Gambia.
- Who was the first leader of the country? – Sir Dawda K Jawara was the first Prime Minister and later the first elected president of The Gambia.
Five Significant Events
- 1894 Gambia a British Protectorate: The Gambia becomes a British protectorate. (https://hyperleap.com/topic/Gambia_Colony_and_Protectorate)
- 1965 Independence of Gambia: The Gambia becomes independent with Dawda Jawara as prime minister. (https://www.chronicle.gm/history-of-the-gambia-independence-movement/)
- 1970 Republic of Gambia: Gambia becomes a republic within the Commonwealth. (https://www.britannica.com/place/The-Gambia/History#:~:text=Britain%2C%20believing%20that%20eventually%20the%20Gambia%20would%20merge,Gambia%20became%20a%20republic%20on%20April%2024%2C%201970)
- 1981 Senegambia Agreement: Gambia & Senegal sign agreement to be known as Senegambia in Feb 1982. (https://www.onthisday.com/date/1981/december/12)
- 1989 Separation of Senegambia: Senegambia separates back into Gambia & Senegal. (https://wikimili.com/en/Senegambia_Confederation)
Five Places to Visit in Gambia
- Abuko Nature Reserve: This area is rich in Gambian wildlife and is now the most visited tourist attraction in the country – with over 33,000 visitors each year. (https://www.gambia.dk/nature/abuko.html)
- Banjul: Originally called Bathurst after the Secretary of State for the British Colonies, Banjul is the government seat for the country. (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g293795-Banjul_Banjul_Division-Vacations.html)
- The Albert Market: The market is exciting on its most boring day – which, really, is never! You’ll find shoes, carved wood masks, houseware, electrical gadgets, shoes, fantastic fabrics, fruit, vegetables, beauty supplies, clothes, you name it. (https://www.gambia.co.uk/blog/exploring-banjuls-colourful-and-chaotic-royal-albert-market)
- Old Town: This is Old Town, which looks remarkably like Freetown in Sierra Leone because of the many Freetown families who settled here in the early 19th century. (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/the-gambia/banjul/attractions/old-town/a/poi-sig/438078/355670)
- Bijilo Forest Park: The trails here are well maintained and take you through incredibly lush flora, a gallery forest, grass and low bush, on your way to the dunes. (http://accessgambia.com/information/bijilo.html)