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Gambia: Bicycle Tour Travel Guide




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by David Mozer

[An introduction and overview to travel in Africa is available by clicking here.  If you are look for a bicycle tour to this country, this link might help you.]

The information below may have been extracted from a more comprehensive "Country Supplement" to the book "Bicycling In Africa".  For information on these publications click on the links.

Senegal and Gambia have nice beaches, warm weather in January and are a short trip for European tourists, so they come in large numbers and there are a lot of large beach resorts that cater to them.

There are a few things few other things that also recommend historical sites like ; the enormous variety of birds of the West African flyway; the culture and the general beauty. The diversity of points of interest is very satisfying.


There are a number of paved roads that fan out from Dakar. It is difficult to get between them, so once you pick your direction you are pretty much committed to seeing that part of the country. Each offers a different visual and cultural experience, but common to all of the routes is a lack of significant hills.

Most people will probably find the most interesting direction to the south, into the Gambia and Casamance and then east to the upper Casamance. The segments on this trip might be: Dakar­Mbour, Mbour­Foundiougne via Fatick, Foundiougne­Passi, Passi-Toubakouta, Toubakouta­Banjul, Banjul­Diouloulou, Diouloulou­Ziguinchor. Each stop has food and lodging and there are a number of side trips you can build in to the trip to enhance the experience: From Dakar go to Malika, Niaga and Theis; from Mbour visit Joal-Fadiouth and Palmarin; from Diouloulou head for the beach at Kafountine or Abene; from Ziguinchor visit one of the many village campement in Basse Casamance region.

Going east from Zuguinchor is more of a challenge, because there are no hotels and very few other services between Zuguinchor and Kolda, unless you travel via Bignoua and Sedhiou. Tanaf, at the midpoint of the direct road has some small restaurants. Kolda is a great town if you can get there. It would get many people vote for the nicest town in Senegal. It is not because it has one highlight or special feature, it is just a very relaxing atmosphere. Kolda to Tambacounda presents another problem. There was a Campement in Velingara, but it has been closed for several years and no one seems to know when it will be reopened. There is another Campement a mile west of Kounkane, but it is only open during hunting season ­­ a few months of the dry season.

Going east from Banjul also has it challenges, not the least of which are the roads. The roads on the north side of the river are dirt. In theory the road on the south side of the river is paves as far as Basse Santa Su, but there are long sections which are torn up and much of the paving seems to have been done by throwing down globs of asphalt embedded with billions of little seashells. It is a horribly rough ride! The next challenges are services: the are rustic guesthouse in several of the villages between Bwiam and Kalaji, Farafenni has a hotel and restaurant and you can find accommodations in Georgetown and Bassa Santa Su. Other than that you are going to have to be prepared to improvise. One thing that make Gambia a delight for cycling is a lot of capped borehole wells with hand pumps. And the water taste good.

Links of Interest:


Regional Resources:




For current news on Africa and more web sites with country-by-country information go to the link section and click on "Africa: News, Background, Travel."

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