Western Gambia

Division Map

The western part of The Gambia encompasses Western Division and “The Kombos” areas of the country.

The Kombos (The West Coast)

The ONLY Set of Traffic Lights in the Gambia - Pipeline (Kanifing)

If you are travelling to the Gambia with a package holiday most likely you will be staying in the Kombos area at one of the big hotels (Senegambia being the biggest, and perhaps more famous) in the Kololi area. There are serious problems with erosion on the ocean here but the facilities provided by the hotels are what you would expect at any tourist facility in the world. If you want to pay a little less and perhaps see a bit of what the Gambia is REALLY like but still not forgo things such as a swimming pool or the ocean I would suggest hotels in the Fajara area such as the Safari Garden Hotel which offer all the facilities you would expect but without the vast numbers of tourists and high prices at the bigger hotels.

Seaside near Senegambia (NOTE: Old picture -- Beach now exists)

Of course, this is not how people in the Gambia live. Most of the people living in the Kombos area are in the Serekunda area but large portion of Kanifing and even Fajara are now being developed.

Outside the Main Serrekunda Market Area (from Bar Overlooking)

Most of the major roads in this area are paved with the government making efforts to provide adequate transportation infrastructure.

Pipeline (Kairaba Avenue) Near Mosque Road Looking Towards Westfield Junction

Leybato Bar and Restaurant (near where Atlantic and Pipeline meet)

There are a number of places to eat and drink in the area depending on what you are looking for (see my restaurant reviews here). Expensive places include Weezo's (“Mexican” – Pipeline) and the Clay Oven (Indian – just north of Pipeline just off of Atlantic Road) – expect to pay between 150 to 200 delasis a meal. For less expensive, the Bamboo Palace (Chinese – Pipeline) and the Come Inn (Restaurant/Bar – Pipeline near the Post Office) offer very good value for money.

There are also a few night clubs, including the famous “Jokers” located at Westfield Junction which opens for dancing and LOUD music LATE in the evening (or early in the morning, depending on how you look at it), at about 11:00 pm (there MAY be a cover charge). According to rumours there is also a Joker's open in Brikama.

My Friend Freida and Local Wildlife at Bijilo Forest Park (Freida on Left)

In the area there are lots of places to see some of the local wildlife including Bijilo Forest Park, just south of the Senegambia and The Kairaba Beach Hotel (4462 940/1/2) area on the ocean, as well as the Botanical Gardens in Bakau.

Lamin Lodge (4497603) is also a great place to go with the nearby Abuko Nature Reserve serving as an ideal day out – Spend the day at Abuko then have dinner at Lamin Lodge. Lamin lodge is basically a few grass huts on stilts on the river with multiple stories where you can go to have a drink or eat. It is a haven in the middle of the most populous area of the country.

Lamin Lodge -- Approaching from the River

In recent months there has been a big project to rebuild the long-eroded beaches. This project involves pumping up sand out from the bottom of the ocean and pumping it back onto the beaches.

Beach Reclamation

Radio Stations

There are a number of radio stations you can listen to for a definate feel for the area…

  • GRTS - 96 FM/648 AM - Government owned radio station
  • Radio One - 102.1 FM
  • West Coast Radio - 95.3 FM


On the north bank of the Gambia river there are few towns. Barra is the place where you can catch the ferry to Banjul on the south bank. The ferry is typically VERY overcrowded with both passengers and vehicles. It is not uncommon for vehicles waiting in excess of 3-4 hours. Many commercial vehicles will wait for days to get on the ferry. The fare is 5 delasis for foot traffic though considerably more for vehicles (tickets for those must be purchased at a separate location from the terminal itself – on the north bank look for the booth just outside of Barra).

Catching the Barra Ferry


South of the Kombos area there are a number of small villages all the way to the Sengal border and Kartung.

Sanyang Beach

Sanyang is a small fishing village south of Tanji. There is a small place to stay called “Sanyang Nature Camp” which is close to the beach which has no electricity but has showers and flush toilets. The camp is close to the beach though the town of Sanyang is another few miles in- land from the beach. The beach is also where the fishing fleet does it's business but is where the local tourist hotel is located. Away from both of these is a great, small, beach bar with few tourists or any other people for that matter.

Sanyang Beach Bar

Rooms at the Sanyang Nature Camp (Minus Mosquito Net)

Kartung is a small town near the border with Senegal quite close to the ocean. It offers two places to stay: Boboi (just outside of town on the beach) and “Centre” (which is in the centre of the town on a small hill). “Centre” (officially known as the Follonko Resthouse) is known to have better food but Boboi has a great position right on the beach. Both are quite small so on a busy weekend it can be difficult to get a room. Facilities are BASIC with “Centre” having only two rooms with three bunks each (though with running water for a shower, no electricity) and Boboi having no electricity or running water (a “bucket” flush toilet and another, different, bucket for shower).

Boboi Beach Bar and Camp Site

Boboi from the Beach