How Safe Is Gambia for Travel?

Safety Index:

The Gambia is a country located in West Africa and at the same time, it is the smallest country on the continent of Africa.

It has a short North Atlantic Ocean coastline in the west and is surrounded by Senegal so that it is almost an enclave.

The country occupies the navigable length of the Gambia River valley and the hills surrounding it.

Apart from adding the “The” to its own name (it is short for The Republic of Gambia), they also call themselves “The Smiling Coast of Africa”, alluding to their cultural diversity, developed tourism and safety for visitors.

And to be fair, for an African country, The Gambia is mainly safe to travel to and your trip should be trouble-free.

Warnings & Dangers in Gambia

Overall Risk


Gambia is, for the most part, a safe country to visit. However it does have a rather high crime rate, though it's mainly ridden with petty street crime. You should be vigilant and take all possible precaution measures in order to minimize the risk of getting stolen from.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Public transportation in Gambia is not particularly reliable but you can always use a shared taxi if there's extra room. Always negotiate every ride before entering the vehicle. Watch out in public transport as it is likely there are thieves roaming around.

Pickpockets Risk


There is an extreme threat of petty crime. Pickpockets are an everyday occurrence, so you should be extremely careful when handling your valuables and never carry your money in a purse or a pocket. Never carry all your money in the same place, and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Be wary of young men called "bumsters", since they will offer anything they can in order to get some money from you.

Natural Disasters Risk


During the year's rainy season (June to October), there has been severe flooding and some winstorms.

Mugging Risk


Muggings, armed robberies and other types of assault, are on the increase in Gambia, but still not a major threat. Be extremely careful when handling money and around ATMs. These are often the target for muggings and robberies. Always get a taxi to and from bars at night, never walk the streets after dark. African cities in general are not safe for tourists at night.

Terrorism Risk


There haven't been any terrorist attacks recently in Gambia, but they shouldn't be ruled out. Stay away from large gatherings and avoid possible protests. Always follow the instructions of security personnel.

Scams Risk


The risk of getting scammed is extreme in Gambia. There is a number of scams performed on tourists, such as getting your passport stolen at the airport by people posing as airport officials, or getting scammed by a bumster - who may trick you into thinking they want to help you, when their only goal is getting some of your money.Another scam exists in which marijuana is offered to tourists only to find police waiting to extort money from you as a bribe.

Women Travelers Risk


Gambia is relatively safe for solo women travelers. Just use your common sense and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Avoid wearing purses and do not walk alone or ride in taxis at night.

So... How Safe Is Gambia Really?

Generally speaking, traveling throughout the country Gambia is trouble-free.

However, like anywhere else, travelers should use their common sense, apply the basic precaution measures, and be vigilant of any potential threats to their safety and security.

You are unlikely to encounter violent crime incidents, and the most common threats in The Gambia are a petty street crime such as pickpocketing, bag snatching, and theft.

It is most commonly performed in crowded market areas, public transport, taxis, and isolated beaches.

Unfortunately, tourists are increasingly being targeted by thieves so never leave your luggage or valuables in plain sight.

However, the most irritating issue for tourists in The Gambia are the so-called ‘Bumsters’.

These are young men who rely on scamming tourists instead of finding a real job, so this is basically their profession.

They approach tourists offering help: either romantic, tourist, or social, they will offer basically anything they can do to get some money.

Bumsters often target women, using romance with them, because they are hoping to either gain some money from them or to depart The Gambia through marrying someone from the west.

Keep in mind that LGBT activities are illegal in the Gambia, so watch out for people on the street telling the authorities where your hotel is.

Useful Information

  • Visas - For visits lasting less than a month, you don’t need a visa to enter The Gambia. British nationals are given a 28 day stamp in their passports upon arrival. It is possible, however, to get further 28-day extensions from the Immigration Office. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit which will let you know whether or not you need visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
  • Currency - Gambian dalasi is the official currency in Gambia. Be extremely careful when handling and carrying money or near ATMs.
  • Weather - The Gambia has a subtropical climate with very distinct dry and rainy seasons. From November to mid-May there is constant dry weather, with temperatures reaching as low as 16 °C, while from June to October it's mostly rainy season.
  • Airports - Banjul International Airport, sometimes also known as Yundum International is the international airport of Banjul, capital of the Gambia, constructed during World War II.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Gambia, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Gambia Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 25° C
Feb 26° C
Mar 27° C
Apr 27° C
May 27° C
Jun 29° C
Jul 28° C
Aug 27° C
Sep 27° C
Oct 28° C
Nov 27° C
Dec 25° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Where to Next?

16 Reviews on Gambia

  1. I love Gambia. I’m 40y/o American female. I find ppl to be nice and it’s easy to get around. It’s true re: bumsters. They pledge their allegiance in love or other things to try to reel u in, but once u can see that it’s super easy to dismiss them. I have made some great friendships with Gambians.

    1. F
      Francesco says:

      @Monica how exactly do you “dismiss” them ? Calling police extracting a gun or a rifle ?

  2. Subtropical? The Gambia is definitely tropical. That can be seen by the stable temperatures, being in their mid 20’s all year round, and the presence of coconut trees – these do not grow outside of the tropics.

  3. Gambia is a lovely place.

    Gambia is lovely place to visit lots to see and do. Yes there are Bumsters but to say they just don’t want to work is not entiley true as work is not easy to find in the country and even trades people find it hard to make a living. So people see the tourist season easier to make money sometimes not that honestly so keep your wits about you.

  4. Y
    Yeet_Da_Feet says:



  5. Its fine. Extremely poor

    Gambia is a easy place to navigate. Ive been all throughout the country. From Pirang to Sittunuku, Westfield to Tanji, never any problems. Yes, the airport is hectic but nobody will hurt you. Ive flown in from Barcelona, Brussels, Amsterdam and Lisbon. If you need anymore info email me at ddagencylvatgmail.

    1. S
      Stephen Scott says:

      Whats up Dwight …your email isn’t working

  6. S
    Safe As Always says:

    You Should Go To Gambia It Is Safe

    1. M
      MS,JAMES says:



      1. A
        Anonymous says:

        You’re welcome 🇬🇲

  7. A
    Anonymous says:

    Gambia is safe but security crime and hazard theft is rare in Gambia.

    1. The influx of Americans is making Gambia unsafe for white people

  8. A
    Anonymous says:

    What are hotels like? Restaurants? Things to do?

  9. D
    Disgruntled dylan says:


    The Gambia is a country filled with pickpockets and men trying to date middle aged tourists for nothing but visas had 3 people try and pickpocket me when I’m there. Funny enough when I started roaming with protection they seemed to stop. Go hear at your own risk

  10. A
    Anonymous says:

    Very recently, your school embarked on a tour of one of the historical sites in the Gambia. Write about the journey, the site visited and state your observations

Rated 3.81 / 5 based on 16 user reviews.

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