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 Banjul - Profile

Location

It is recommended to arrive here during the week when all the offices are open for Clearance. The average depth in the channel is 30 ft (9 m). Vessels should keep all buoys to starboard when entering. Port Control keeps a continuous watch on VHF Channel 16 on weekdays and should be contacted prior to arrival.

Position 13° 29.7'N, 16° 37.2'W (river entrance)

Clearance

Visiting yachts can either anchor off the big oil tanks next to the harbour and go inside the harbour by dinghy for clearance, or proceed to the government wharf or commercial dock and tie alongside.

If anchoring, be sure to take all the crew ashore with you. It's unlikely the officials will be interested in inspecting your boat if a dinghy-ride is required. At the dock, various officials may want to come on board for inspection. You will be accosted by "helpers" when you arrive, but refuse all help, it is easy to visit the offices yourself.

Money for clearance can be obtained in the town. From the pontoon, walk through the harbour and go out of the main gate. Turn right and follow this road in to the town centre to the police station. There is a bank just opposite.

The Immigration office is in the harbour (on left as you come over bridge from wharf), and should be visited first. Next Customs (when you come from the pontoon turn left after the first building and follow that road for approx. 500m. Customs is the last white building on the left). Finally visit the Harbourmaster (big blue building in the middle of the harbour). His office is on the top floor, through the second entrance. Permission to visit the river for approx. 25€ can be obtained here.

Both Customs and Immigration may want to inspect the boat. Although the officials are reported to be very friendly, the formalities tend to be time- consuming (approx. 5 hours) and a stock of small presents (cigarettes, lipstick, milk powder, old shoes, children's colouring supplies etc.) will smooth the way.

The Gambia Yachting Association acts as an agent for visiting yachts and may approach yachts on arrival to offer their services with clearance formalities. If using them, a fee should be agreed in advance.

It is not necessary to have your yacht anchored off Banjul port to clear out. It is possible to take your documents by road from Lamin Lodge, for example. Clearing out does not cost anything.

Last updated September 2012.

Gambia Port Authority
Liberation Avenue, P O Box 617 , Banjul
Tel:227266, 229940 Fax:227268
Opening hours: 8:00 to 16:00

Docking

Anchoring:
For clearing in/out anchorage is at Half Dike, by Banjul Pier. Shelter is usually adequate.

For a longer stay, the best place is at Lamin Lodge (13.23.637N 16.37.562W). It is a very sheltered spot in the mangroves, with a bar/restaurant and dinghy dock. It's a bit of a walk to the main road, but then catching a bush taxi to do the shopping is no problem.

Taking up (for a fee) of an offer to show you around is worth doing, as it is a difficult place to find your way about on a first visit.

Cruising the River

Yachts can easily go all the way up to Georgetown on the river, the best areas are above Baboon Island. At Georgetown there is a power cable across the river, however cruisers report it is possible to go further up to Basse at low tide on the north bank in a smaller yacht with one man at the masthead (see reports adjacent).

Cruising the river with the tide is comfortable and when you want to stop you just anchor close to the side. There is an abundance of wildlife (hippos, monkeys, crocodiles and birds). Always put anchor lights on at night as there are a lot of fishermen with long drift nets.

Last updated August 2012.

Yacht Clubs

The Gambia Sailing Club in Banjul has some sailing enthusiasts who organise regular races and will help visitors if needed.

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