The Gambia is known as the smiling coast of Africa and with good reason, the welcome you receive is like no other.

Warm vibrant and exciting Gambia has some of the best beaches in the world, with it’s guarantee of winter sun yet short flight distance from the UK it is no wonder that this destination is rising in popularity.

From stunning wildlife to exciting culture the Gambia has it all, the game reserves and bird watching experiences will appeal to nature lovers, the miles of golden sand will appeal to the beach lovers and everyone can enjoy the live entertainment and sports facilities of the amazing resorts.

The Sheraton Gambia Resort and Spa is set in Brufut Heights – 5km away from the nearest tourist area of Kololi. Totally self contained this secluded resort offers absolute luxury with it’s beach location, the well thought out design giving an element of the tradition amongst it’s modern amenities, this hotel is perfect for those wishing for an idyllic beach holiday.

For a much more basic but enthralling experience stay at the Janjanbureh camp in the Janjanbureh region. Sited in isolation across a river, the camp is a series of huts with no electricity, this base really is the extreme Gambian experience. Excellent for bird watching these camps are popular for a few nights stay with only the most seasoned traveller staying for longer. The appeal is clear with the monkeys wandering amongst the camp, tamed by years of interaction with tourists.

Most of the major tour operators offer holidays within the self contained beach resorts, this combined with an overnight stay in one of the camps may be the perfect holiday experience for some. Those seeking a little more of the hidden Gambia may wish to look independently at the excellent range of small guest houses that are available within the coastal towns.

Most of the beach resorts have excellent restaurants within the self contained complexes, serving a range of Gambian and international foods, but those eating away from the hotels may find themselves pleasantly surprised.

Seafood is the Gambian speciality, butter fish nestles alongside Barracuda and platters bursting with giant Atlantic prawns. Meat is often served stewed, try Domoda, meat stewed in peanut purée and served with rice or Chicken Yassa with it’s fresh lime taste.

The Gambia is a garden of fresh fruit and vegetables with a taste of the exotic.Try the ‘Boss Lady’ restaurant in Kotu for a truly Gambian eating experience, open air and serving traditional local produce the Gambian way. Simple but effective this is one dining experience that you won’t forget.

For fresh fish served daily. the Calypso at Cape Point is hard to beat, with it’s stunning beach side location this is the perfect place for informal dining whilst you watch the sun setting over the ocean.

Take a bird and breakfast trip, with over 500 species of birds, an early morning trip to see these birds n their natural environment is a stunning way to start the day. Travel through the creeks at sunrise to one of the many nature reserves and enjoy a stroll before sitting down to a hearty Gambian breakfast.

Visit the Gambian capital of Banjul, the sights and the smells of the exotic markets will remind you just how far away from home you are. Situated on an island Banjul is a small capital with no room for expansion. Originally founded in the 19th century by the British Army and Navy as a military base Banjul was built to prevent the trafficking of slaves along the Gambian river, a somewhat poignant history that underpins the exciting vibrant feel.

For a humbling experience visit a local school, the teachers and children both welcome visitors and will often demonstrate local songs and dances, although humbling the schools are also uplifting with the teachers dedication shining through. Take along small gifts of books and pens for the children as the charity funding for these schools doesn’t always cover the cost of these basic essentials.

The Gambia has excellent year round sunshine with virtually no rainfall recorded between November and June.

The fluctuations in temperature are small throughout the year but January to April may have cooler mornings, which can be a pleasant break from the sunshine and heat. The summer months can be high in humidity making the Gambia the perfect winter destination.