Gambia
The smallest Country of
África

Geographic situation

The Gambia is the smallest country in Africa, with an area of ​​475 km long and 52 km wide.

This land is distributed around the Gambia River, which is the backbone of the country.

In West Africa and bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, its 80 km of coastline are virtually untouched beaches.

Its territory is mostly flat.

The horizontal strip of land occupied by this country is completely surrounded by its neighboring country, Senegal, with which it shares tradition, culture and family

Some intellectuals call the land of Gambia and Senegal as “Senegambia”.

Languages

The official language is English, a legacy of British colonization. English is the vehicular language in education, justice, media and official communications.

In addition, there are other languages ​​of each ethnic group and these vernacular languages ​​are predominant among the population.

The most spoken language is the mandinka, followed by Wolof, Fula, Jola; in addition to other more minority native languages ​​like serrer, soninké and bassari.

Enjoy your holidays in the Gambia, the smallest Country in Africa

Weather

Subtropical climate with two seasons.

Warm temperatures all year round, around 30º, can vary between 19º and 35º.

The dry season extends from October to June. During the months of December to February, the Harmattan, wind that comes from the desert, crosses the country.

The rainy season covers from the end of June to September. It is characterized by its tropical rain. Sometimes short and frequent rains during the day, sometimes a week without rain.

History

The Gambia was part of the Empire of Mali in the fifteenth century.

The first Europeans to reach the area to establish commercial maritime routes were the Portuguese.

Already in the seventeenth century the English were established, after buying the rights to Portugal. The commercial lines were established through the Gambian river.

In the eighteenth century, more than three million people were sent from this region to the British colonies in America as slaves.

The slave trade was a legal activity until it was abolished in 1807.

History

The Gambia was part of the Empire of Mali in the fifteenth century.

The first Europeans to reach the area to establish commercial maritime routes were the Portuguese.

Already in the seventeenth century the English were established, after buying the rights to Portugal. The commercial lines were established through the Gambian river.

In the eighteenth century, more than three million people were sent from this region to the British colonies in America as slaves.

The slave trade was a legal activity until it was abolished in 1807.

Political situation

The Gambia became independent from the United Kingdom on February 18, 1965. It became a Republic in 1970 and Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara became the first president until 1994, when he was coup d’état

After the military coup Yahya Jammeh, he rose to power in 1994 until December 2016, becoming an authoritarian president. During his mandate, the country lived a dark period due to lack of civil liberties and non-compliance with human rights.

Today, after the victory of Adama Barrow in the last elections of December 1, 2016, the Gambia is experiencing a new period of openness, freedom and political stability. The process of change was peaceful and a great example of transition for the rest of the countries.

 

The Banjul Barra Ferry

Population

Less than two million inhabitants, in the country live different ethnic groups with their own language and unique traditions.

Some of these ethnic groups are the Mandinka population (majority in the country), Wolof (currently, their language is predominant among the population), Fula (former nomads), Jola, Serer, Soninké and Basari.

waiting for fishing boats in tanji the Gambia
El Mezqueta de Banjul Gambia

Religion

The majority of the population is Muslim, representing 85% of the country.

The rest of the population is divided between Christianity and some African animistic religions.

There is a harmonious coexistence between the different religions of the population.

Cathedral de Banjul Gambia

Historical Heritage

The James Island, the stone circles of Wasu and Kerbatch are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, from 2003 and 2006, respectively.

James Island (now known as Kunta Kinteh Island) were the scene of the slave trade. In Wassu and Kerbarch there are megalithic sites, a set of stone circles dating from the third century BC. and the sixteenth century AD.

Els Cercles de Pedra de Wassu
Julbrew the Gambian beer

Gastronomy

Above all, we can eat a variety of types of rice, a basic cereal in the Gambian diet.

The majority agricultural crop is peanut. That is also eaten in sauce.

And there is a great variety of fresh fish. Some typical dishes are domadá, benachin, chere (millet couscous) and chicken yassa.

The fruit has great prominence for its variety in this tropical area: bananas, mango, orange, papaya and the fruit of the baobab (which can be drunk in delicious juice).

In The Gambia, there is beer production -Julbrew-, in addition to palm wine. A soft and intense malt drink is marketed.

Finally, the national drink is green tea. Preparing tea is a social ritual common throughout the country.

plato de arroz con verduras Yassa Gambia

Music and dance

One of the great cultural and traditional riches of the Gambia is music and dance. Each ethnic community posse their musical rhythms and instruments.

Since ancient times, griots have been the community of musicians that accompanied parties and social events telling stories of families and stories of the territory.

They have been the transmitters of the Gambian culture, orally spreading histories of the ancestors throughout the Country.

Some of the musical instruments typical of the area are the kora, the Ghallam, the ritti, the balafon and different types of drums such as tama, sabar and jembeh.

Dance is present in the most traditional celebrations, in family ceremonies and on the stage of younger contemporary musicians.

The great musical variety that exists and develops in the country is of great artistic beauty for the senses.