The petite port city of Banjul is the capital of The Gambia, in West Africa. It’s located in the southern part of the Gambia River estuary on Saint Mary’s Island. It's also the least-populated capital on the African mainland Banjul is relatively untouched by tourists who tend to head straight to the beaches. The sandy streets spattered with sun-bleached colonial buildings have a historic feel that the more modern seaside resorts are missing and yet, it tempts with a sense of history that the plush seaside resorts lack, and is home to a busy harbor and market that show urban Africa at its best.
Best time to visit:
The temperatures in Banjul can go as high as 29C in the early summer months of May and June, so later in the season may be more comfortable for sightseeing.
Injections/vaccinations and precautions:
Before travelling to The Gambia, courses or boosters of Hepatitis A, tetanus, typhoid and yellow fever are usually advised
AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN BANJUL
Despite this being seldom visited by many tourists, there are still some great things to do there if you have the time. Here are seven awesome things to do in Banjul.
- Arch 22
This 36-meter tall arch towers over Independence Drive, the road into Banjul. It was built in 1996 to celebrate the military coup on 22 July 1994. The top floor of the arch offers splendid panoramic views of the city, from where you can get a better sense of it being an island. You can see the Atlantic Ocean which surrounds it, the River Gambia and some of the Tanbi mangroves.
On the upper level (which can be reached by a lift or stairs), there is a cafe and also a small ethnographic museum. The museum displays traditional textiles, clothes, agricultural tools, and weapons like bows and arrows.
- Albert Market
This bustling market open from 8 am until 7 pm is the main one in Banjul. It is found on Liberation Avenue and is a maze of alleys full of ramshackle shops and stalls, groaning under the weight of their wares. On the first floor, you’ll find an array of colorful fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dried goods; alongside gorgeous vibrant fabrics and beauty products. Deeper inside the market is the Banjul Tourist Craft Market where you can find a huge selection of various handicrafts ranging from hand carved wooden masks, to jewelry, to paintings, instruments and much more. On the upper levels are many tailors working side by side in separate cubicles.
- Joseph's Adult Education and Skill CentreDisadvantaged young women have received skills training in this Old Portuguese Building for over 20 years.Visitors can take a free tour of classes such as tie-dye, crafts, sewing, and embroidery. There is also a reasonably priced shop where items made by the women can be bought and make lovely souvenirs.
The center and shop are open from 10 am – 2 pm Mon – Thurs and from 10am – 12pm on Friday.
- Sports Fishing
There are a couple of options if you wish to go sports fishing. You could rent a local long canoe (pirogue), some kitted out with an outboard motor and a driver to take you out on the peaceful Oyster Creek. There is rich fishing to be had here as the mangroves are the home to a plethora of fish species and other wildlife. You can easily arrange this independently with one of the small boat operators at Denton’s Bridge or with a local fisherman on the shore near the Barra Ferry Terminal.
- Full Day Gambian Home Cooking Experience
This experience is well worth taking the time out of your schedule for, especially if you’re a foodie. It will also give you a unique insight into Gambian life.
The preparation and cooking take a few hours, during which time you’ll also be able to get a real taste of real Gambian life and chat to the locals and their children.
Finally, when the food is ready, it is placed in the middle of the compound. You’ll gather round sitting cross-legged with the locals to enjoy the delicious meal you’ve just cooked.
- National Museum of Gambia
This is a fairy small, dusty and dimly lit but well organized Museum, with nice displays of cultural and historical collections, including historical documents, musical instruments, ethnographic items and agricultural tools.
Opening hours are 9am – 6pm Mon – Thurs, 9am – 1pm Fri and 9am – 2pm Saturday.
- Bird Watching
If bird watching is your thing, head down to the most southerly road, Kankujereh Road. This passes through saltwater wetland habitats, teaming with a many species of birds.
Nightlife is fairly scarce in Banjul, however, the Nefertiti Beach Bar and Restaurant is an ideal place to have a quiet drink or relax in the sun. Many party-seekers leave for nearby towns such as the Senegambia Strip, which offers a selection of bars and a generally livelier experience than Banjul. There is something for everyone, from low-key beach bars to more modern lounges. Opened in 1994, The Wow Nightclub of Gambia is a must-see and caters for both a wild night dancing away on the spacious floor or a more relaxing scene in the jazz cafe downstairs.
Refuse to give money to children and to mentally ill people. Don't tell anyone where you are residing. In General Gambia is a relatively safe country, the major danger are dumpsters who want to rip you off.
Cheap Flight with Royal Air Maroc Flight to Banjul
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Royal Air Maroc Flight Schedule of Banjul (BJL)
*For arrival and departure London Heathrow the terminal for Royal Air Maroc is always terminal 4.
London Heathrow airport (LHR):
Operating Days: 6days a week (Sun, Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat)
Departure LHR: 5:10 pm
Arrival BJL: 1:40am
Stopover in Casablanca (CMN): 1hr 25mins
Departure BJL: 2:40 am
Arrival LHR: 03:50 pm
Stopover in Casablanca (CMN): 6hrs 30 Min
London Gatwick (LGW):
Operating Days: Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat, (6days a week)
Departure LGW: 03:15pm
Arrival BJL: 1:40am
Stopover in Casablanca (CMN): 3hr 20mins
Departure BJL: 02:40 am
Arrival LGW: 10:05am
Stopover in Casablanca (CMN): 50mins
Royal Air Maroc Baggage Policy
Royal Air Maroc Economy class passengers are allowed 2 bags of 23Kgs + 1 hand carry of 10kilogramof hand luggage.