Gambia – The Smiling Country

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Gambia – The Smiling Country

We were more than thrilled as we first visited the smallest country in Africa which is surrounded by Senegal.

„The smiling country“

Fortunately, up till now there is still not a lot of tourism in Gambia, but on the other side there is a lot of stuff to do.

Why the „smiling country“?

You can absolutely feel free in this country and travel around without any bothering. You can rather say the opposite they are so friendly, funny and really helpful. The Gambia is a muslim country, the way of life is even religious, but absolutely not strict, most of the ladies are not wearing a headscarf and „it´s nice to be nice“. That´s what everybody is saying 24/7. They have a really nice party area and a lot of pubs with local and international live music! It is quite mixed half of locals and the rest is mostly people from Europe. The local girls are very casual and nice dressed, so you wouldn’t think that you´re in the muslim country. So it´s very comfortable to travel through the country.

International Airport Banjul

International Airport Banjul

We can highly recommend the Leo´s Beach Hotel, we were spend most of our time in the Gambia. It´s a very beautiful fucking awesome place and we think it is the best in the Gambia. The owners of the Hotel are very lovely people from Austria. They really put a lot of love and effort in this place, so that everybody feels 100% comfi. The Hotel has five big rooms, one suite, a nice garden, a swimming pool and even a jacuzzi. To reach the beach you only need to walk down the stairs and in less than 2 minutes you will reach the beautiful beach. The whole hotel complex is like a small paradise. The stuff was very friendly and took care of everything, so every guest felt more than happy. We had a lot of fun with everybody like the waiter, gardener or the stuff which was responsible for our safety. The hotel offers a really high professional service and the quality of the food was incredible high. The variety of the menu was more than amazing, so it was always a hard decision to pick the right dish. So from us a high compliment to the cook and the kitchen.

Leo´s Beach Hotel

Leo´s Beach Hotel

Danke an das tolle Team

The fantastic Team

Nina and Luis, we thank you so much! You made our stay unforgettable.


As we walked along the beach, we soon met a funny new friend. We also could see a very happy group of young people, they were laying under the palmtrees and listening to Elton John every day. With a loud “hello” and a huge smile they welcomed us. They were immediately inviting us for a cup of tea. They were absolutely not bothering us more like the opposite. Their good mood was contagious for us, so we decided to visit them nearly every day.

Bijilo Forest Park 

A couple of kilometers down the beach you will reach the monkey park, which is called “Bijilo Forest Park.” The Park is very close to the hotel and you can reach the park easily in 30 minutes. On the way to the park, we met Mike, he was buying the tickets for us and the peanuts for the monkeys. He was joining us and even was showing us the best spots in the monkey park. It was easy to feed the monkeys with peanuts, it drove them crazy when they saw them. It could even happen that one monkey was jumping on your shoulder. These small monkeys are very naughty, but for us it was amazing to see the naughty fellows jumping from one branch to the other, it was really awesome.





On the top of everything we have to say that the Gambia has a huge variety of birds. There are tourists who are only coming to the Gambia to see the seldom and colourful birds and try to get the best pictures. Sometimes we saw people with an amazing huge telephoto lenses, that we thought actually you need two people to carry it around. But we think they wanted to do everything for the perfect photo. Yuspha is an excellent birdguide and also the craziest guide we have ever met. He could even called for the birds by imitading their noises, how crazy is this. For sure, only he knows the “special places” of the birds. You absolutely can´t miss this amazing attraction, even when you´re not a “birdperson”


“We love birds more than everything in the world and of course after our trip to the Gambia even more”


We love birds more than everything in the world and of course after our trip to the Gambia even more”

Fish is a big topic in the Gambia

The most famous fish market is located in a small fishing village named Tanjil. You can see a lot of typical fisher boats there. They are painted very colorful and hard to miss, but the smell around the market is a little big awkward. We were covering our noses to avoid the smell a little bit. The market is for sure directly at the ocean and it can happen that some of these fishes are randomly between your toes.




The lovely girl

Unfortantely some fishes drop down during the transport and they were treaded down in the sand. As we explored the market, first we saw some dried fish and they were just driying it in the sun. At the next shop we saw some smoked fish. Afterwards your clothes will smelling like fish. When you are in Tanjil, you have to take a taxi further to Karton. It is in the south and very close to the border of Senegal. The other villages like Sayang Beach and Gunju are not very mentionable, because they are very similar to Tanjil.



Our Insider Tip – The Snake Farm

The guide from the snakefarm is a very funny guy from Sierra Leone. He took your fear of snakes immediately to hold the snake in your hand or put it around your neck.

Yes around your neck!

There are snakes, reptilian, turtles and crabs. It was hard for our guide to convince us to touch the snake or and it was even harder for him to convince us to put the snake around our neck. But we did it for the perfect picture.



For the last days we moved to the Coco Ocean Resort. The hotel was painted all in white and all in maroccan style, the hotel is of course directly at the beach and belongs to the best hotels in the Gambia.The very well groomed hotel complex has swimming pools, a lot of bars, a spa area and a gym.



Coco Ocean Beach Resort









Leo´s Beach Hotel 

Coco Ocean Resort & Spa


No Visa for Germans


Gambian Dalasi GMD

To change the money is a little bit difficult. They accept only cash
You could change money in exchange offices
To pay with credit cards is mostly possible in hotels.
The current course you can look up at Oanda


You should looking for a doctor and tell him, which country you visit in the next time.
Malariaprophylaxe is very expensive but the health insurance will pay for it.

Yellow fever:
Yellow fever is very important. Even this will be paid by the health insurance.
Please tell them the situation.
Vaccination card must be available for the entry

Check your vaccination card from the doctor. The health insurance will pay for that.



Local time

You can read the local times here

High Season

The best time for Gambia here


You can find all entry requirements at the listed embassies


For US Embassy: link
For UK Embassy: link
For AUS Embassy: link

Information about the tour guide



Mr. Mohammed Kaba






Leo´s Hotel
Coco Ocean Resort
Baobab Holiday Resort

About Mohammed Kaba

Mohammed was a really nice guy and he was smiling all the time. He took care for us quite good. he is a very reliable and good driver. He picked us up always in time.
He told us a lot about the life in the Gambia and Senegal.
We had a very nice, funny and interesting time with him.

Thank you so much for everything!


Saskia & Bastian




  • Solveig F Bork

    A nice blogpost. Just want to correct your information about vaccinations. All vaccinations a reccomendations and you only need a vaccination passport with yellow fever vaccine if you enter from a country with yellow fever 🙂

    6. January 2017 at 11:43
  • Drumles Den Haag

    I really liked the Gambia. I do think that traveling with a boyfriend/husband to this country is a good decision. Me and my mother where constantly spoken to at the beach, at restaurants etc etc. But, the country itself is amazing!

    13. June 2017 at 15:30