Did you know- Tourism is growing rapidly. Since the early 2000s, the nation is one of the most popular tourist stops in West Africa. Why? There is a world of great things to see and do in The Gambia. This vibrant African nation is well-known for its magnificent beaches, rich biodiversity, exotic cuisine, colonial architecture, luxury resorts, history, friendly people, of course, and traditions. At the same time, it is one of the most stable nations. Fewer than 100,000 tourists, on average, annually visit this tiny paradise with 85% of those from Europe, Japan, Taiwan, and the United States. Tourism is the second economic mainstay.
Did you know- Most of the world did not know of The Gambia until 1977. The tiny African country of The Gambia became the focus of international attention when it provided the setting for the 1977 TV series “Roots”, which is the third most-watched television program of all time, after “M*A*S*H” and “Dallas”.
Did you know- The Gambia is a nation, with luxuriant tropical forests and large fertile valleys, on the Coast of West Africa. It is one of the smallest nations on the globe. Curiously, The Gambia is the only former British colony in the world that is completely surrounded by an ex French colony (Senegal).
Did you know- The capital city is Banjul, which has been a hub of commercial activity since independence from the United Kingdom in 1965. In the past centuries, Banjul was one of the first towns to be built in West Africa. Apart from Banjul, there are, of course, other important cities: Serukunda, Brikama, Bakau, and Farafenni.
Did you know- The country boasts a famous UNESCO World Heritage Site in sub-Saharan Africa: James Island and Related Sites. Without a doubt, each place is an open door to the past, from where thousands of slaves were sent to the United States, South America, and the Caribbean. This World Heritage Site, on the Gambia River, is a legacy of a long history of relations between Africa and three European countries (Portugal, United Kingdom, and France), from pre-slavery periods to the new republic of The Gambia, one of the last black states on the Planet. In fact, this site has become the country’s most popular tourist destination.
Did you know- The rainforests, over 28% of the nation’s territory, provide habitat to a host of birds (whose population is one of the most abundant in West Africa) such as storm-petrels, pelicans, cormorants, hamerkops, and storks.
Did you know- At least three national athletes (in two sports) took part in the Summer Olympics in August 2008. In the mid-1960s, it gained its independence, but it did not begin to compete in the Olympics until 1984. In addition to these Games, it competes in the Commonwealth Games, African Games, and the World University Games.
Gambia & the United States
Did you know- America’s novelist Alex Haley had visited Juffure, The Gambia.
Lost City of Stone
Did you know- Apart from James Island, The Gambia also has other historic site: “Stone Circles of Senegambia”. Since then, it is an ancient wonder where the past is always present. Located along the Gambia River, this site , which gathers four groups of stones (Kerbatch, Sine Ngayene, Wanar and Wassu), is one of the new wonders of Africa. Astonishingly, it is estimated to contain a total of over 1,000 blocks of stone. Long unknown in the United States, these monuments, an “amazing work of art” in West Africa, were built from 3rd century BC to 16th century AD; the most artistically brilliant periods in the history of The Gambia. This massive area of stones was named World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2006. Without a doubt, this area preserves the native culture.
Did you know- In the year 2009, The Gambia set an example for several nations in the Third World. Despite having one of the worst sports systems in Africa, it won the FIFA U-17 African Cup and competed for the World Championships ( where they finished 11th,ahead of Japan and Costa Rica). The African champions were: Kemo Fatty, Ebrima Saho, Baka Ceesay, Buba Sama, Saikou Jawneh, Omar Bojang, Bubba Jallow, Ismaila Suwaneh, Ebrima Bojang, Osman Darboe, Lamin Sanjo Samathe, Dawda Ceesay, Lamin Samateh, Pateh Nyang, Baboucarr Savage, Demba Janneth, Sanusi Jabbi, Bakary Sanyang, Darbo, Kissima Bojang, and Lamin Gibba.
Did you know- Present-day Gambia has its roots in the ancient Empire of Mali, one of the Continent’s most powerful kingdoms, in the 14th century. By that time, it was the natural corridor between Mali and the Atlantic Ocean. It was an European colony from 15th century to 1965, when it became an independent nation.
Did you know- During Cold War, for over 24 years, the country’s government had supported the Anti-apartheid movement, along with Uganda, Guyana, India and a host of other Third World states. Since then, it refused recognition of Pretoria. By the mid-1970s, The Gambia withdrew from the XXI Montreal Summer Olympics because the national rugby team of New Zealand, a member Olympic, had visited South Africa, an international pariah between 1960 and 1991. In the subsequent decade, it also boycotted other multi-sport event : the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh (Scotland), alongside other national teams such as Kenya, Jamaica, and The Bahamas.
Did you know- Lenrie Peters is the nation’s most respected writer.