Foreign travel advice
There has been political uncertainty in The Gambia following President Jammeh’s recent electoral defeat on 1 December 2016. His decision to contest the election results at the Supreme Court has raised the risk of political unrest in the build-up to the scheduled handover date of 18/19 January 2017. Although the situation in The Gambia remains calm, the potential for disturbance remains and this could include Banjul International Airport being closed at short notice.
You should follow events closely, keeping in regular contact with your tour operator and airline and continue to monitor travel advice and social media updates in the run-up to the handover in case tensions rise and the current deadlock isn’t resolved. Avoid large crowds and avoid discussing politically sensitive topics in public. Read more about how to be prepared in case of a possible crisis
There is an underlying threat from terrorism. You should be vigilant after recent 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.
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
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.