Gambia Country Overview

By | September 20, 2021

Gambia, officially English Republic of the Gambia [r ɪ p ʌ bl ɪ k ɔ f də gæmb ɪ ə], German Republic of the Gambia, country in West Africa with (2019) 2.3 million residents; The capital is Banjul.


According to shoppingpicks, the Gambia borders the Atlantic Ocean in the west, otherwise it is enclosed by the state of Senegal.

The country consists of a strip just a few kilometers wide (greatest width 50 km), which extends on both sides of the river of the same name (Gambia) over 475 km from the Atlantic coast eastwards into the West African Sahel.

The fertile river basin is followed by sandy hilly lands, which merge inland into gently rising plateaus (up to 53 m above sea level).


On the lower course of the river with its numerous small branches there are extensive mangrove forests with a variety of bird species that is unmatched in the rest of Africa. On the otherwise lateritic or sandy soils, savannas predominate, in the west moist savannah and gallery forests (raphia palm), in the east merging into dry savannah. The oil palm is typical in the coastal area.


The population is divided into around 20 ethnic groups, including Malinke (42%), Fulbe (18%), Wolof (16%), Diola (10%) and Soninke (8%). In addition to English, the most common colloquial languages ​​are Manding, Wolof and Fulbe. The population density is 208 residents / km 2, the proportion of the urban population is 61%. The largest cities are Serrekunda, Brikama and Banjul on the coast. Due to the poor economic situation, many Gambians live and work abroad.

Social: The standard of living of the population is low, and basic medical care is not guaranteed in large parts of the country.

The biggest cities in Gambia

Largest cities (population, 2013 census)
Brikama 81,000
Bundunka Kunda 55 400
Sukuta 47,000
Talinding 40 600
Faji Kunda 38 100
Banjul 31 100


The constitution guarantees freedom of religion. All religious communities are legally equal. It is estimated that over 95% of the population are Sunni Muslims from the Maliki school of law, traditionally shaped by Sufi brotherhoods. A good 4% of the population are Christians (in addition to Catholics, especially Anglicans, Methodists and Pentecostals), less than 1% followers of traditional African religions.


Brikama, city ​​in western Gambia, (2013) 81,000 residents, widely sprawled.

Administrative seat of the administrative unit of the same name; Center of traditional Gambian wood carving.


Banjul [English Bänd ʒ ʊ l], 1816-1973 Bathurst [ bæθə ː st], the capital and main port Gambia, at the mouth of the Gambia in the Atlantic Ocean, (2013) 31 100 residents; Agglomeration 454 200 residents.

Seat of an Anglican and a Catholic bishop and an imam; National Museum. The Banjul metropolitan area is the country’s most important industrial center (wood processing, food and beverage industry). To the west of Banjul on the Atlantic coast, new tourist complexes (Bakau, Koto Beach, Fajara) were built. There is an international airport in Yundum.


Gabon, Republic on the west coast of Equatorial Africa. The approximately 200 km wide coastal strip is covered by mangrove forests and savannahs, while the inland plateau mainly bears tropical rainforest. The population consists of around 40 ethnic groups (mainly Bantu). Export goods are crude oil (around 80% of export revenues), manganese and uranium ore and precious woods. Gabon has one of the largest rainforests in Africa. Lambarene, made world famous by Albert Schweitzer’s jungle hospital, is located in Gabon.

History: The coast of Gabon was discovered by the Portuguese in 1472. The country was in French possession from 1839 until it gained independence in 1960.

World Heritage Sites in Gambia

  • James Island (2003)
  • Megalithic stone circles Kerbatch and Wassu (2006)

James Island (World Heritage)

The world heritage comprises seven objects from the slave trade. The most important monument is James Island in the Gambia River. There was an important base for the West African slave trade. It lost its importance after the abolition of slavery in the 19th century.

James Island: facts

Official title: James Island
Cultural monument: Memorial sites in the 17th and 18th centuries. Base of the slave trade; After the prohibition of slavery in England and the British colonies, it was the starting point for the British preventing the transport of slaves from other nations
Continent: Africa
Country: Gambia
Location: James Island in the Gambia River
Appointment: 2003
Meaning: Important places to remember the history of slavery from its inception to its abolition

Senegambia Stone Circles (World Heritage)

The stone circles of Kerbatch and Wassu along the Gambia River are evidence of the megalithic culture in Africa. It includes around 1000 stone circles and tumuli with grave goods in Gambia and Senegal. They were created over a period of the 3rd century BC.

Senegambia Stone Circles: Facts

Official title: Megalithic stone circles of Senegambia
Cultural monument: Four groups of sacred stone circles and barrows, independent cult facilities in the West African states of Gambia and Senegal; Selection from a collection of over 1,000 megalithic large stone buildings in an area 250 km long and 100 km wide along the river Gambia; Stone circle groups Sine Ngaylene and Wanar (Senegal) or Kerbatch and Wassu (Gambia) with 93 stone circles and a large number of burial mounds from a period from the 3rd century BC. BC to the 16th century; Stone circles (diameter: four to eight meters) made of eight to 24 cylindrically hewn stones (some in V-shape); Columns with a height of 0.60 m to 2.45 m, diameter of 0.30 m to 1 m, up to ten tons in weight made of laserite (red to dark brown, aluminum-containing material of tropical soils)
Continent: Africa
Country: Gambia, Senegal
Location: Middle reaches of the river Gambia (Gambia), Kaolack (Senegal)
Appointment: 2006
Meaning: Unique testimony to an African megalithic culture of extraordinary size and arrangement; Documentation of cultic sites and burial sites that have been highly developed over the course of 2,000 years; most extensive and largest megalithic sites worldwide; impressive testimony to early stone-working skills

Senegambia Stone Circles (World Heritage)