Summary

The Gambian government routinely blocks consular access to foreign nationals in detention. As a result, the British Embassy in Banjul may not able to provide consular assistance to British nationals who may be detained by the Gambian authorities. If you are living in The Gambia, you should establish contact with the British warden network. The network has established links with the British Embassy and is kept regularly updated on matters that may affect British nationals in The Gambia. To find out who your local British warden is, contact the British Embassy.

Some foreign nationals have been detained by the police in relation to homosexuality and there has been a recent increase in inflammatory homophobic rhetoric across the country. See Local laws and Customs

The overall deterioration of human rights in The Gambia has led to political tension between the European Union and the Gambian government. This could lead to unannounced demonstrations in Banjul and other parts of the country. You should avoid all demonstrations and discussing politically sensitive topics.

Although Banjul has returned to normal following a gun attack on the President’s residence on 30 December 2014, the authorities have increased security surveillance and there are a number of checkpoints currently operating in and around the capital. Expect your vehicle to be searched if you’re stopped by security forces.

There have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in The Gambia. For health advice relating to Ebola, see the National Travel Health Network and Centre website. For further details about this outbreak of Ebola, see the World Health Organization website and this map showing the areas affected.

Although there are no air-travel restrictions with neighbouring Ebola-infected countries, health officials screen all passengers and may refuse entry if there are concerns.

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.

There is a low threat from terrorism. See Terrorism