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Wonders of Gambia

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

WorldBlue  Highlights

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.

Map with the described wonders

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WorldViolet Top 13 wonders of Gambia

Biological wonders

Pirang cotton trees

Western (Gambia)

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

Archaeological wonders

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.

Wassu stone circles, Gambia
Wassu stone circles / Ikiwaner, / CC BY-SA 3.0
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 forms, one stone has an odd V shape, unique for megaliths.

Kau-Ur stone circle (Kauur)

Central River

Megalithic stone circle.

Niani Maru stone circles

Central River

Group of 8 stone circles.

Lamin Kotu stone circle

Central River

Small stone circle.

Legendary and architecture wonders

Makasutu Cultural Forest

Western (Gambia)

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 dinosaurs.

Kunta Kinteh Island (James Island) with Fort James

North Bank

Fort, built by the Duchy of Courland in 1651 and abandoned in 1870. Fort played important role in the Western African slave trade.

Kunta Kinteh Island with Fort James, Gambia
Kunta Kinteh Island with Fort James / Ikiwaner, / CC BY-SA 3.0
Six-Gun Battery


A fortification that was built in 1816 to prevent the slave trade.

Maurel Frères Building

North Bank

Historical house, built by the British sometime around 1840. Now it houses a Museum on the Slave Trade in Senegambia.

Albreda chapel

North Bank

Ruins of Portuguese built chapel that was constructed in the late 15th century.

Arch 22


Large monument – 35 m tall arch over a road that leads into Banjul. Arch was built in 1996 to mark the coup d’etat that overthrew the democratically elected government.

Fort Bullen

North Bank

This fortification was built in 1826 in order to prevent the slave trade. It was built here because the Six-Gun Battery on the south shore of the Gambia River could not reach this side of the river.

WorldYellow Recommended books

The Gambia (Bradt Travel Guides)d

Small in size but rich in African character, The Gambia and its resort-dotted coastline offer perhaps the closest English-speaking ‘winter sun’ destination from Europe. The interior, dominated by the lush jungle-fringed Gambia River, is home to plentiful birds and monkeys, time-warped traditional villages, and mysterious megalithic sites.

A History of the Gambia

Originally published in 1940, this book contains a history of the West Coast of Africa from the invasion by the Portuguese in 1455 until 1938, when the area was under British control. Gray, who was a judge on the Supreme Court of the Gambia at the time, documents the often-bloody colonial developments in the area and the ‘many vicissitudes of fortune’ that the area had gone through since the first arrival of white people on its shores. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in the colonial history of Africa.

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