World History

Gambia, The | History, Capital, Language, Flag, Facts

History of Gambia, The:

The current territory of Gambia was once part of the Mali and Kab empires. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to establish trade with the Kingdoms of Mali and Gambia, but in 1588 they sold their trading rights to the British.

Gambia was a major slave exporter. An estimated 3 million slaves were sold to European slave ships. It became an official British colony in 1888. Slavery was abolished early in England, and was abolished in Gambia in 1906.

The Gambia became a fully independent country in 1965. In 1994, Yahya Jammeh seized power in a military coup. He has remained in power ever since.

Information about Gambia, The:

Capital Banjul
Population 2,785,428 (Source: 2023 worldometer)
Major Cities Banjul (capital), Serekunda, Brikama, Bakau, Farafenni, Lamin, Sukuta, Basse Santa Su, Gunjur, Soma
Borders Atlantic Ocean to the west, and Senegal to the north, east, and south
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) $2,273,060,863 (2022 worldometer)
Currency dalasi (GMD)

Flag of Gambia, The:

Gambia, The Economy Key Industries:

Gambia Major Industries: processing peanuts, fish, and hides; tourism, beverages, agricultural machinery assembly, woodworking, metalworking, clothing

Gambia Agricultural Products: rice, millet, sorghum, peanuts, corn, sesame, cassava (tapioca), palm kernels; cattle, sheep, goats

Gambia Natural Resources: fish, titanium (rutile and ilmenite), tin, zircon, silica sand, clay, petroleum

Gambia Major Exports: peanut products, fish, cotton lint, palm kernels, re-exports

Gambia Major Imports: foodstuffs, manufactures, fuel, machinery and transport equipment

The Geography of Gambia, The:

Total Size of Gambia: 11,300 km² (source: wikipedia)

Geographical Low Point of Gambia: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

Geographical High Point of Gambia: unnamed location 53 m

Climate of Gambia:  tropical; hot, rainy season (June to November); cooler, dry season (November to May)

General Terrain of Gambia: flood plain of the Gambia River flanked by some low hills

World Region or Continent of Gambia: Africa

Geographical Coordinates: 13 28 N, 16 34 W

The People of  Gambia, The & Culture

Gambia Government Type: republic

Gambia Nationality: Gambian(s)

Gambia National Holiday: Independence Day, 18 February (1965)

Gambia Independence: 18 February 1965 (from UK)

Gambia National Symbol:  lion

Gambia National Anthem or Song: For The Gambia, Our Homeland

Gambia Languages Spoken: English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars

Gambia Religions:  Muslim 90%, Christian 9%, indigenous beliefs 1%

Interesting Facts about Gambia:

The Gambia is a long strip of land along the Gambia River, located on the west coast of Africa and bordered on both sides by Senegal. Incredibly narrow, less than 30 miles at its widest point. Although it is a small country, it is a densely populated country with about 2.28 million people.

Agriculture is an important source of income. The Gambian economy relies heavily on tourism, with peanuts being the second largest source of income.

The Gambia is a Muslim majority country. The country is very tolerant of different religions and has a minority Christian population. The festival of Ramadan, a month-long fasting period, is celebrated each year.

The Gambia is home to nine different tribes. The largest of these tribes is the Mandinka, who, together with the Fula and Wolof, all live in harmony. There are several variations of the local language, which makes it a little more difficult to learn. Despite being a former British colony, English is widely spoken.

There are about 600 notable bird species. This country is definitely a birdwatcher’s paradise. In forests and shores he can observe over 600 species of birds.

Head further inland to spot vervet and red colobus monkeys in some of the hotel’s gardens, as well as river crocodiles and hippos, so don’t forget your camera.

In elections, Gambians use marbles to vote. In private booths, voters are presented with a hole in the ground marked for each candidate. Then just drop the marble into the hole of your choice.

Bakau has a sacred crocodile tank. Kathikari Crocodile Pool is home to around 100 crocodiles of different shapes and sizes. They are all well cared for (and more importantly, well fed!) so they pose no threat to the tourists who pass by every day.

This name comes from the Gambia River, one of the largest rivers in West Africa. The river stretches for 1,100 miles from northwestern Guinea to Banjul in the Gambia and finally empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The Gambia River flows through the heart of Gambia and along its mangrove-filled tributaries, many of the country’s wildlife can be seen.