Gambia

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ShermansTravel experts rely on years of collective travel experience to bring you the best money-saving tips for your vacation. We take a discerning look at all the attraction passes, public transportation options, and other local bargains to make sure you get the most bang for your buck while traveling.

Gambia Money-Saving Tips

Photography

Try not to take pictures of government or military buildings. This could lead to the confiscation of your camera or even arrest.

Changing money

Capital cities and other major towns usually have ATMs that accept foreign cards, but it’s always easier to exchange cash. Keep in mind that many banks outside of major cities won’t accept traveler’s checks.

Beware the black market

In many West African countries it’s possible to change money unofficially on the street, especially near border crossings. Only do so if absolutely necessary and be aware that you’re liable to get scammed.

Visas

It’s best to arrange visas before leaving home, as it can be difficult to obtain them on entry. Other than Senegal, all of the countries mentioned in this guide require visas from U.S. citizens. Fees range from $30-$50 for a single entry, 30-day visa.

Language

The use of the former colonial languages of French, English, and Portuguese is widespread in West Africa. Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and The Gambia are English speaking. Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau are Portuguese speaking. The rest of West Africa uses French as a major language.

Religion

In addition to hundreds of traditional religions, Christianity is important in the region’s south (Ghana, Cameroon, southern Nigeria), while the northern and desert regions are dominated by Islam (Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, northern Nigeria).

CFA

All of the French-speaking West African countries, aside from Mauritania and Guinea, use the West African CFA franc (pronounced “sayfar”) as their currency. The rate is pegged to the Euro.

Vaccinations

A yellow fever vaccination is mandatory for visitors to many West African countries, and you’ll need to show a yellow fever vaccination certificate to gain entry.

Malaria

All countries covered in this guide are danger zones as far as malaria is concerned. Make sure you visit a clinic several weeks before you travel to arrange for anti-malarial drugs.

Fespaco

Africa’s biggest and most important film festival, the Pan-African Film and Television Festival, takes place every two years (around February and March) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

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