Banjul, The Gambia

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Banjul, The Gambia

Region: Banjul

Geographic Coordinates: 13.453100, -16.577500
Temperature Range: 20.0°C to 35.0°C (68°F to 95°F)
Climate: Tropical climate with a wet season from June to October and a dry season from November to May.
Population: 413397
Language: English

Banjul, The capital city of The Gambia, Is a small but historically significant city located on an island at the mouth of the Gambia River. Founded by the British in 1816 and named Bathurst after Henry Bathurst, It has a population of approximately 31, 000 people. Despite its size, Banjul has a rich history dating back to pre-colonial times when it played an important role in the transatlantic slave trade. Visitors can learn about this dark period in history at sites such as Kunta Kinteh Island and Fort Bullen.

Arch 22 is one of Banjul’s most prominent landmarks and commemorates The Gambia’s independence from Britain in 1965. Visitors can climb up to its top for stunning views over the city and river below. Albert Market is another must-visit attraction where vendors sell everything from fresh produce to traditional textiles. Banjul also boasts several beautiful beaches along its coastline such as Cape Point Beach and Kotu Beach which are popular with both locals and tourists alike. Abuko Nature Reserve offers opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts to see monkeys, Crocodiles, Birds, And other animals native to The Gambia.

The city itself may be small but full of character with colorful buildings lining narrow streets filled with bustling markets selling everything from fresh fish to handmade crafts. Visitors will also find plenty of restaurants serving up delicious Gambian cuisine such as benachin or domoda. Overall, Banjul is worth a visit for its rich history, Stunning views, Vibrant culture despite not being well-known compared to other African capitals.

Important Landmarks

  1. Arch 22
  2. Albert Market
  3. Banjul National Museum
  4. The Gambia River
  5. Kachikally Crocodile Pool
  6. State House of the Gambia
  7. McCarthy Square
  8. Independence Stadium
  9. Banjul Beach
  10. St Joseph’s Cathedral

Primary Industries

Major Industries and Businesses in Banjul, The Gambia

  1. Tourism
  2. Agriculture
  3. Fishing
  4. Manufacturing
  5. Retail
  6. Banking and Finance
  7. Government Services
  8. Transportation and Logistics
  9. Education


Banjul is a popular tourist destination with its beaches, wildlife reserves and cultural attractions.


Banjul serves as a hub for the export of agricultural products such as peanuts, rice and cotton.


The city also has a rich fishing industry that provides employment to many people.


There are several small-scale manufacturing industries in Banjul that produce goods such as textiles, furniture and food products.


Retail is also an important sector with many small shops and markets selling a variety of goods to both locals and tourists.

Banking and Finance

Several banks operate in Banjul providing financial services to individuals and businesses alike.

Government Services

As the capital city of The Gambia, Banjul houses many government offices including ministries, courts of law among others which provide employment opportunities for people living there.

Transportation and Logistics

With its port being one of the busiest on the west coast of Africa, Banjul serves an important transportation hub for goods coming from other parts of Africa or beyond.


There are also several universities, colleges, schools located within the capital city offering education opportunities to students from both within & outside the country.

Noteable History

  1. The establishment of Banjul as a British colonial settlement in 1816.
  2. The arrival of Mary Kingsley, a British explorer, in Banjul in 1893. She later wrote extensively about her travels in West Africa.
  3. The founding of the Gambian Democratic Party by Sir Dawda Jawara, who would later become the country’s first president after independence.
  4. Independence from Britain on February 18th, 1965.
  5. A military coup led by Yahya Jammeh in July 1994 that overthrew Jawara’s government and established a military regime that lasted until Jammeh was ousted in December 2016.
  6. Kunta Kinteh Island (formerly known as James Island), which served as a center for the transatlantic slave trade and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  7. Notable people from Banjul include former President Sir Dawda Jawara, musician Juldeh Camara, and footballer Mustapha Jarju (Toubabo).

Museums and Things To See

  1. National Museum of The Gambia: This museum showcases the history and culture of The Gambia, including exhibits on traditional crafts, music, and clothing.
  2. Arch 22: A monument that commemorates the 1994 coup d’état in The Gambia. Visitors can climb to the top for panoramic views of Banjul.
  3. Albert Market: A bustling market where visitors can find a variety of goods, including textiles, jewelry, and local produce.
  4. Kachikally Crocodile Pool: An important cultural site where crocodiles are revered as sacred animals by the local community.
  5. Abuko Nature Reserve: A protected area with diverse wildlife and vegetation that offers visitors a chance to explore nature trails and go birdwatching.
  6. Independence Stadium: One of the largest stadiums in West Africa that hosts major sporting events and concerts.
  7. Gambian National Gallery: An art center that showcases contemporary Gambian art through exhibitions, workshops, and events.
  8. Makasutu Cultural Forest: A nature reserve with authentic traditional villages where visitors can learn about Gambian culture through guided tours.
  9. Banjul State House Museum: This historic building was once home to colonial governors but now serves as a museum showcasing Gambian political history since independence in 1965.
  10. St Joseph’s Cathedral Banjul: One of the oldest churches in The Gambia built by French missionaries in 1861 with beautiful stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes inside it is worth visiting for its architectural beauty alone!

Sports Teams

  1. Wallidan FC: Founded in 1972, Wallidan FC is one of the oldest and most successful football clubs in Banjul. They have won numerous league titles and cups over the years.
  2. Hawks FC: Another popular football club in Banjul, Hawks FC was founded in 1973 and has also enjoyed success on both the domestic and international levels.
  3. Interior FC: Founded in 1995, Interior FC is a relatively new addition to the Gambian football scene but has quickly made a name for itself with several impressive performances.
  4. Gambia Ports Authority FC: As their name suggests, this football club is affiliated with The Gambia Ports Authority and was founded in 1974.
  5. Red Scorpions FC: This women’s football team was founded in 2001 and has since become one of the top teams not only in Banjul but also throughout The Gambia.
  6. Brikama United Football Club: Although not based directly within Banjul city limits, Brikama United Football Club is a popular team that represents nearby Brikama town. They were founded in 2000 and have enjoyed considerable success since then.
  7. Samger Football Club: Founded as recently as 2010, Samger Football Club has already established itself as a force to be reckoned with on both the national and international levels.

Cultural Events

  1. Banjul Demba Cultural Festival
  2. Roots Homecoming Festival
  3. Gambian National Agricultural Show
  4. Banjul International Street Art Festival
  5. Gambia Fashion Night
  6. Independence Day Celebrations
  7. Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha Celebrations
  8. Christmas and New Year’s Eve Celebrations
  9. Banjul Jazz Festival
  10. International Roots Festival


  • Domoda is a well-loved Gambian dish that features peanut butter, tomato paste, and either beef or chicken. It’s typically paired with rice.
  • Benachin, also called one-pot rice, is made with vegetables, meat or fish, and rice.
  • Yassa consists of marinated grilled chicken or fish served alongside an onion sauce with a tangy flavor profile.
  • Tapalapa Bread is a crispy bread that’s commonly consumed in The Gambia.
  • Banjul’s coastal location means that there are plenty of fresh seafood options available at local restaurants.

Some of the most popular dining establishments in Banjul include:

  • Calypso Restaurant & Bar
  • The Butcher’s Shop
  • Ninki-Nanka Restaurant
  • Ocean Bay Hotel & Resort
  • Ali Baba Restaurant

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Arch 22 Park is a lovely spot in Banjul, with a distinctive archway that’s sure to catch your eye. It’s perfect for picnics and relaxation.
    2. If you’re a sports fan, be sure to check out Independence Stadium. This venue hosts soccer matches and track and field competitions.
    3. Shopaholics will love Albert Market, which offers an array of goods like clothing, crafts, and food.
    4. For a unique experience, visit the Kachikally Crocodile Pool – home to sacred crocodiles that are revered by locals.
    5. Nature lovers won’t want to miss Abuko Nature Reserve – it’s full of hiking trails, birdwatching opportunities, and wildlife viewing spots.
    6. Banjul Beach is just outside the city limits and offers swimming, sunbathing, and water sports activities for visitors.
    7. Tanji Fishing Village is a bustling hub where visitors can watch local fishermen bring in their catches of the day.
    8. The National Museum of The Gambia showcases the country’s history through exhibits on art, music, religion, politics, and more!
    9. River Gambia National Park features boat tours along the river where hippos, monkeys, and birds can be seen in their natural habitat.
    10. Makasutu Cultural Forest Reserve offers guided tours by foot or canoe while learning about traditional Gambian culture from local guides.


    Go Where The Road Takes You.

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