Last updated: 20 Sep 2021

Gambia

About

Gambia is Africa's smallest mainland nation, it is scenically varied, with sandy beaches, lush tropical forests, swamps, marshes and large areas of wooded savannah. The River Gambia, one of Africa's great waterways, dominates the country.

The Gambia is a birdwatcher's paradise, with over 540 different species. Relax on the pleasant beaches in the resort area near Banjul, where friendly bars and restaurants are never more than a short stroll away. Take a long-distance boat trip on the River Gambia, the dominant feature of the country. Look out for monkeys leaping through the riverside foliage, spot pelicans and hippos, or just relax and enjoy the peace of the wilderness.

Spend a day fishing, either sea-angling in the Atlantic, creek-fishing inland near Banjul, or line-fishing from one of the beaches and hook a marlin, barracuda, ladyfish or snapper.
Official Name: The Gambia
Capital:  Banjul (BJL)
Currency:  Gambian Dalasi (GMD)
Language:  English. Several local languages are also spoken. 
Dialling code from SA:  + 220
Time Zones: No GMT offset (2 hours behind South Africa)
Public Holidays 2021: 

Jan 1; Feb 18; Apr 2, 5; May 1, 8, 13, 15; Jul 20; Aug 15, 19; Oct 19; Dec 25

Side of the Road: Right
Best Time to go: November – February
Plugs: 230 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are UK-style with three square pins.
Drinking Water: All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Milk is unpasteurised.
Health: Medical facilities are very limited. It is advisable to carry basic medical supplies.  Comprehensive health insurance is recommended and it should include emergency air evacuation coverage.
Customs: Respect to religious customs should be shown particularly during Ramadan, and dress should be conservative. The right hand must be used for the giving or receiving of food or objects. Swimwear should be reserved for the beach.
Local Offences / Laws: It is illegal to photograph military bases and airports. Homosexuality is illegal. It is illegal to export from The Gambia any article made from wild animal skins, ivory or feathers of any protected creature.
Travel Tips / Warnings: Most businesses accept cash only. ATM’s are few and not always reliable, and should be used with caution due to high incidents of fraud.  Road travel from Gambia to southern Senegal should be avoided. Road conditions are very poor
Duty Free: The following goods may be imported into The Gambia by travellers over 18 without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 1L of wine or beer.
• Goods up to a value of D1,000.

Travel Alerts

Last updated: 15/09/2021

Gambia is open for international travel. Passengers from high-risk countries are subject to testing on arrival.

Form requirements

  • Passengers travelling to Gambia are required to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF).

Test requirements

  • Passengers must hold a negative Covid-19 PCR test result obtained within 72 hours prior to arrival in Gambia.

Quarantine and testing on arrival

  • Passengers not travelling from the following countries must quarantine for 14 days on arrival in Gambia: Belgium, Chile, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Korea (South), India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom or the United States.
    • Passengers who receive a negative Rapid Diagnostic Test result at the airport may quarantine at home.
  • Passengers travelling from the above countries will be subject to Rapid Antigen Testing on arrival, and those who receive a positive result must quarantine for 72 hours at their own cost and will be subject to further PCR testing.

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

High Commission of The Gambia,
2nd Floor North Block, 261 Middel Street, Brookfield Office Park
Nieuw Muckleneuk, Pretoria 0181

Phone:+27 (12) 004 0374
Cell   071 025 0184
Mon to Thu 08:00 -  16:00
Fridays: 08:00 - 12:00
Email info@gambiahighcommissionsa.co.za
Web: www.gambiahighcommissionsa.co.za

Visa submission operating hours:
Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 15:00
COLLECTION from 13:00

Visa Requirements

Visas are required by SA passport holders.

Requirements: 

  • 1 fully completed application form
  • Passport with validity of 6 months after return date, at least one blank page
  • Two recent passport photos
  • 3 months bank statement showing proof of funds, and letter from employee
  • If trip is sponsored: letter from sponsor indicating relationship, length of stay and place of stay. Copy of hosts passport/id must be included
  • If travelling for business: letter from employer indicating details of applicants appointment/ position and reason for travel. Must also include details of who is financially responsible for traveler
  • Proof of reservations: this should be from the hotel management and signed on hotel letterhead, including the name of the traveler and the exact duration of stay in The Gambia.
  • Proof of flight bookings:  E-ticket or copy of Airline ticket showing entry and departure from The Gambia
  • All persons entering The Gambia are required to have a valid certificate of immunization against yellow fever. The vaccination should be made at least 10 days prior to entry, and should be renewed every 10 years
  • Minors (travellers under the age of 18): An original copy of the traveler’s birth certificate, Coloured copies of both parent’s driver’s licenses/ID, A signed letter of consent by the parents/guardians authorizing the minor to travel to The Gambia.

Visa Processing Time

 Travelers are advised to apply for a single- entry visa at least within two working days prior to the intended departure date.

Visa Validity

Single-entry visas that are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. 

Visa Cost

Single Entry: R450
Multiple Entry: R600.00

Fees to be paid into the Embassy's account:
Bank Name: Standard Bank
Account Type: Business current account
Account Number: 281094845
Branch code: 011245
SWIFT CODE: SBZA ZA JJ
Branch code (electronic payment) : 051001
E-mail: accounts@gambiaembassysa.co.za

SA Representative

South African Embassy in Senegal is accredited to The Gambia
Tel: + 221 33 865 1959
E-mail: ambafsud@orange.sn / dakar.dha@dirco.gov.za

Travel Health

Compulsory:  Yellow Fever 
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis A & B, Meningitis, Rabies, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio
  Malaria Risk