Last updated: 28 January 2015
The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Banjul has returned to normal following a gun attack on the President’s residence on 30 December 2014. The attack was unsuccessful and a number of suspects were arrested, both in The Gambia and the United States. The authorities have increased security surveillance and there are a number of checkpoints currently operating in and around the capital. Expect your vehicle to be searched if you’re stopped by security forces.
There have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in The Gambia. For health advice relating to Ebola, see the National Travel Health Network and Centre website. For further details about this outbreak of Ebola, see the World Health Organization website and this map showing the areas affected.
The Gambian government has closed its air borders with Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Mali. The government has also announced that any international traveller who has been present in one of these 4 countries within 21 days of arrival in The Gambia won’t be allowed to enter.
The Gambia withdrew from the Commonwealth on 3 October 2013. A period of anti-UK rhetoric by the Gambian President followed this decision. Although this rhetoric has since subsided and anti-UK sentiment among the wider population appears limited, you should avoid discussing politically sensitive topics.
Following political disagreement between the government of The Gambia and the European Union about the deterioration of human rights in The Gambia there has been an increase in political tension which may lead to unannounced demonstrations in Banjul and other parts of the country. You should avoid all demonstrations.
Most visits to The Gambia are trouble-free although independent travellers are at increased risk due to the lack of local support in an emergency. If you’re travelling independently, make sure next of kin in the UK have details of your itinerary and keep in regular touch.
Some foreign nationals have been detained by the police in relation to homosexuality and there has been an increase in inflammatory homophobic rhetoric across the country. See Local laws and Customs
The Gambia has provision in law for the implementation of the death penalty for a number of crimes including arson, murder and treason.
Take care when swimming in the sea. Tides, waves and under currents can all be very strong.
There is a low threat from terrorism.
If you’re living in The Gambia, you should establish contact with the British warden network. The network has established links with the British Embassy and is kept regularly updated on matters that may affect British nationals in The Gambia. To find out who your local British warden is, contact the British Embassy.