Gambia - Facts

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  • Surrounded on all sides by Senegal with only a narrow outlet to the Atlantic Ocean, The Gambia is a thin ribbon of land stretching along the Gambia river. The 480 km (300 mile) long river is the heart of this small country, which rarely exceeds 32 kms (20 miles) in width. The river is navigable for 270 kms (169 miles).
  • Yachts can easily go all the way up to Georgetown on the river, the best areas are above Baboon Island. It is possible to go under the new Senegambia bridge, also known as the Trans-Gambia Bridge, which opened in January 2019 and which connects north and south Gambia.
  • Located at 13°30′59″N 15°34′21″W, recent cruisers have reported passing under the bridge with 17.5m and 18 meter masts on the LW neap tide.
  • 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).
  • Some 27 kms (17 miles) upriver lies James Island, site of an infamous slave market. The bird and wildlife on the river are prolific and there are many villages along the river banks, where it is possible to stop and barter for food.
  • For the ordinary tourist, The Gambia’s prime attraction are the vast stretches of undeveloped beaches, while upriver is the much-visited village of Juffure, from where the main character in the Roots book was abducted and taken as a slave to America. Other interesting sites are Abuko nature reserve and the Wassau burial sites, whose huge stone columns are said to be at least 1200 years old.
  • The Gambia is English speaking with friendly people, the cost of living is very low, the wildlife is incredible and there are big supermarkets available on the coast for provisioning for an Atlantic crossing.
  • Lamin Lodge up-river is provides a warm welcome to visiting sailors.
  • Over 95% of Gambians are Muslim. Dress conservatively during your stay in lightweight full-coverage clothing.

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Gambia was last updated 3 months ago.

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  1. December 18, 2021 at 12:02 PM
    theseabass says:

    Information on The Trans-Gambia Bridge and the nearby power line.

    The bridge is officially 17 meters (55 feet), but it is reported possible to sail under the bridge with a 20 meter mast at low tide at spring tide.

    I myself have seen a 19 meter high sailboat pass at low tide on December 6, 2021 when the tide coefficient was around 85. I estimate that there was a 25 – 50 cm margin between the mast and the bridge.

    The power line five nautical miles east of the bridge is no problem to sail under. Follow the southern shore and there will be plenty of air between the mast and the powerline at any waterlevel.

  2. August 27, 2020 at 2:07 PM
    jpisco says:

    Hello. Anyyne as informations about Covid procedures regarding Gambia formalities entrance?
    Many thanks