There is no denying that the sunshine soaked coast is a must not miss. With white sand beaches and generally warm water, the country undeniably makes for a great beach vacation in the middle of winter. Head a bit further south, down the coast and you will find untouched beaches that make you feel as though you are on a private island. In the evening, enjoy fresh fish, right as they bring it off colorful painted wooden boats.

Banjul itself, the capital “city” does not have much to offer, as it is essentially a conglomeration of government buildings and run-down buildings remaining from British colonial rule. Serrekunda, a sort of suburb, though, offers a number of quirky restaurants, small shops selling daily dishes and plenty of opportunities to converse with the locals, some of the friendliest people in the world, over a Yuki, the local soda. The Serrekunda market is not to be missed, with its streets upon streets of everything you would ever think to purchase, but particularly, its amazingly colorful wax fabrics.

Up-country, as the locals refer to everything outside of the Banjul area, which is essentially the east-to-west stretch of the skinny country, will provide you an experience unlike anywhere else you will go. Right outside of the city area is an incredible hidden secret, as there are towns full of beautiful murals painted on the side of mud homes. These fabulous paintings are done by well-known European artists, who come add a little color to the lives of the individuals from each village. This tour is an absolute cannot miss! Not only does this tour offer the opportunity to see this beautiful art, but you will also get a glimpse inside the lives of Gambians and that experience is one that will be absolutely worth the trip.

The further up the River Gambia, which divides the country in half, you go, the more you are going to experience the peacefulness that is The Gambia. The people in the small villages that sprinkle the narrow, long country are full of life and enjoy even the littlest things that they have in front of them. Taking the time to go wandering in the country will allow you to experience the simple life first hand and will allow you to truly learn to appreciate what this beautiful world has to offer. Watch one of the hundreds of bird species fly into their nesting place, catch a hippo yawning above the river water, perhaps take in the chimps being rehabilitated on an island in the center of  the river, or just sit back, take a look at the sunset, and take it all in.