Start \ Regions and countries \ Africa \

Gambia

Main attractions

Night falls over the mysterious Makasutu Forest, Gambia
Night falls over the mysterious Makasutu Forest / Forbes Johnston, CC BY 2.0

Gambia is the smallest mainland country in Africa. There are not too many landmarks in this lowland country but some are very interesting. Highlights of Gambia are the numerous megalithic stone circles and European built fortifications both to support and to stop the slave trade.

Natural landmark

  • Pirang cotton trees - Western. Two giant cotton trees (Ceiba pentandra), the largest is 43 m tall. Circumference of the largest tree at the ground is 50 - 60 m, but just a bit higher the circumference is much smaller.

Man made landmarks

Megaliths

  • Kau-Ur stone circle (Kauur) - Central River. Megalithic stone circle.
  • Kerbatch megaliths (Kerr Batch) - Central River. Group of 9 stone circles (including a double circle) and other megaliths built in the burials of local chefs. Stones have been shaped into cylindric or polygonal form, one stone has odd V shape, unique for megaliths.
  • Lamin Kotu stone circle - Central River. Small stone circle.
  • Niani Maru stone circles - Central River. Group of 8 stone circles.
  • Wassu stone circles - Central River. Group of 11 stone circles and other megaliths, erected in the time period between the 7th and 9th century AD. Stones are up to 2.5 m high, there are later burials inside the circles.
Kunta Kinteh Island, Gambia
Kunta Kinteh Island with Fort James / Ikiwaner, CC BY-SA 3.0

European built fortifications

  • Fort Bullen - North Bank. Fortification, built in 1826 in order to prevent slave trade. It was built here because Six-Gun Battery on the south shore of Gambia River could not reach this side of river.
  • Kunta Kinteh Island (James island) with Fort James - North Bank. Fort, built by the Duchy of Courland in 1651 and abandoned in 1870. Fort has played important role in Western African slave trade.
  • Six-Gun Battery - Banjul. Fortification which was built in 1816 to prevent the slave trade.

Other man made landmarks

  • Albreda chapel - North Bank. Ruins of Portuguese built chapel, which was constructed in the late 15th century.
  • Arch 22 - Banjul. Large monument - 35 m tall arch over a road which leads into Banjul. Arch was built in 1996 to mark coup d'etat which over threw the democratically elected government.
  • Makasutu Cultural Forest - Western. Site of legends, a thick forest at Mandina Bolon stream. Site of legends - according to locals this forest is haunted by djinns and here earlier (or even today) was living the beast called Ninki-nanka, similar to dinosaur
  • Maurel Frères Building - North Bank. Historical house, built by British sometimes around 1840. Now it houses a Museum on the Slave Trade in Senegambia.

List of described attractions by divisions

Gambia is divided into 5 divisions and one city.

Banjul
Central River
ArrowWassu stone circlesMegaliths
Lower River
North Bank
Upper River
Western

Map of Gambia

Your thoughts?