Banjul is the second largest city in and capital of Gambia. The city is on an island, which has constrained its size - its population is only 40,000. Consequently much of the population now is based on the mainland between the airport and the city. The main tourist and business centres are around Bakau, Fajara, Kotu and Serrekunda.
Banjul has become very popular as a package holiday destination with British and other European visitors. Travel company 'The Gambia Experience' has been the market leader, but other operators are increasing their offerings too.
Banjul International Airport also known as Yundum International (BJL IATA) is the international airport of Banjul. There are many direct flights to Banjul from some parts of Europe and Africa. Direct flights to Conakry, Dakar, Freetown, Amsterdam, Lagos, Brussels, Bissau, London, Accra, Abidjan, Madrid, Barcelona etc. For the intrepid tourist, the Plymouth - Banjul Challenge also ends here.
Green taxis are available at the airport, with a table that lists prices to various destinations. D500-700 to hotels in Serekunda.
Most hotels will have a selection of green tourist taxis, which have fixed prices to the most popular destinations. Yellow taxis are cheaper and more fun; locals buy a seat in a taxi on a journey from junction to junction for a few dalasi, or pay for a "town trip" to their destination. Minibuses and trucks are colourful, but extremely uncomfortable.
Bicycles are also available for rental. Cycling is popular for young locals, but there is little respect for the safety of cyclists on or near the roads.
Car hire is available from Avis and AB, both of which are based at the SeneGambia Hotel. Car hire will cost about D1500/day for a small car.
Gambians drive mostly on the right. The rules of the road are complex, licences are not common, and there is no test. The majority of roads are sand in the winter, and mud or waterholes for most of the year.
- 1 Arch 22 (at the end of Independence Drive). Gives good views over Banjul city. The gate is 35 m tall and the centre of an open square. It houses a textile museum. D50.
- 2 The Gambia National Museum, Independence Drive, e-mail: email@example.com. M-Th 9AM-6PM, Fr-Su 9AM-5PM. Small museum with cultural and historic artifacts D50.
- Albert Market
- Banjul State House
- Banjul Court House
- The African Heritage Museum or African Heritage Centre is a museum and art gallery in Banjul, The Gambia. It holds a large collection of African art and statues.
The city has two cathedrals and several major mosques.
Go to its wonderful beaches.
- GT Bank. Takes MasterCard at all their ATMs.
Being on the Atlantic ocean, Banjul has some excellent and well priced seafood on offer. The locally produced peanuts are also very good and go well with a pint of Julbrew.
- Radio Sud Beach bar. This used to be a radio station which started life as a pirate radio on a boat off Sweden. After changes in the law there, it was sailed away and ended up in the Gambia. The ship and radio station have both now gone (the former sank nearby and the latter closed in 2002 when its mast collapsed). It is now a beach bar and restaurant. The original owners are still there and are happy to talk about the history. Located on the beach near Banjul city. Driving away from Banjul city it is on the right after the cemetery.
- Michel's Seafood Bar. Close to the Independence Arch on Independence Avenue.
- The restaurant at the base of the Independence Arch has good seafood.
- Nefertiti, ☎ . Good buffet, great location on the beach and free WiFi
There are many good restaurants in the road leading to the hotels at Kololi Beach. This road is also known as the Senegambia Strip.
- YMCA hostel., kanifing south mdi road, ☎ . The hostel has 34 fan single and double rooms. You can book a room via their web site. D250/400.
- Fajara Guest House, 11 10th street south (one block from Atlantic road), ☎ . 11 single/double rooms.
- Camping Sukuta and Lodge, ☎ . Camping/single/double. US$3.80/9.50/13.00.
Kololi Beach area
- Sarges Hotel, Kololi Serrekunda (4 km from the centre), ☎ . On the Senegambia strip. This is a basic hotel. Air conditioning in rooms costs extra D500 per night. Use of safe is extra. Wireless internet is slow and breakfast pretty basic. There is a pool and a bar. D2600.
Most luxury hotels are located along the beaches in nearby Serrekunda.
- 1 Laico Atlantic, Marina Parade (North of Banjul city centre on the beach), ☎ . This is not in the main tourist area, which is further to the West. One of the better hotels with a pool and private beach. Wireless Internet throughout.
Kololi Beach area
- SeneGambia Hotel. Good beach hotel, which is popular with older travellers. There is no wireless internet, just 2 machines in reception, for which you can buy 1-hour cards at D100. 'The Gambia Experience' tours are based here.
- The Kairaba Hotel
- Kololi Beach Club. Luxury accommodation. Has time share and soon accommodation for outright purchase.
Embassies and consulates
- Guinea-Bissau, 78 Atlantic Rd, Fajara, ☎ , fax: . M-F 9AM - 5PM; closed Sat-Sun.
- Consulate of Mali, 26 Rev William Cole St, ☎ . You can get a visa by mail here.
- Mauritania, Fajara A Section, P.O. Box 2592, Serrekunda, ☎ , fax: .
- High Commission of Sierra Leone, 67 Daniel Goddard St, ☎ , fax: .
- British High Commission, 48 Atlantic Rd, Fajara, ☎ .
- United States, 92 Kairaba Ave, Fajara, ☎ , , fax: , e-mail: ConsularBanjul@state.gov. The U.S. Mission consists of two U.S. Government agencies: the Department of State, with 9 American and 77 locally employed staff, and the Peace Corps, with 2 American staff and 105 volunteers.