Foreign travel advice

Gambia

Summary

In January 2017, The Gambia experienced a peaceful handover of power to President Adama Barrow and his coalition government. Parliamentary elections are due to take place on 6 April 2017. These aren’t expected to cause any protests or violence.

There is an underlying threat from terrorism. You should be vigilant after attacks in Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Burkina Faso, especially in places visited by foreigners. See Terrorism

It hasn’t always been possible for the British Embassy to gain early access to detained British nationals in The Gambia. If you’re living in The Gambia, you should contact the British Embassy who will be able to advise on how to contact consular staff in the event of an emergency.

In the years before the new government took office, some foreign nationals were detained by the police in relation to homosexuality. Although homosexuality remains illegal, the new government has taken a softer stance on many issues, including homosexuality. See Local laws and Customs

There are a number of checkpoints operating in and around the capital. Expect your vehicle to be searched if you’re stopped by security forces.

Most visits to The Gambia are trouble-free although independent travellers are at increased risk due to the lack of local support in an emergency. If you’re travelling independently, make sure next of kin in the UK have details of your itinerary and keep in regular touch. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

The Gambia has provision in law for the implementation of the death penalty for a number of crimes including arson, murder and treason. See Local laws and Customs

Take care when swimming in the sea. Tides, waves and under currents can all be very strong.