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Living in The Gambia

Published on 5th June 2019
Wooden houses on the River Gambia with a boat outside on the water
Are you preparing to make the move to The Gambia? If you’re wondering what life will be like while living there, this practical and handy guide talks about what you can expect. Living in The Gambia is a wonderful and cultural experience than anyone can enjoy. Whether you’re coming from overseas or travelling from another part of Africa, The Gambia is an ideal place to live for many reasons. Discover more about living in The Gambia below.

Life in Gambia

Healthcare in The Gambia

There is a healthcare system in The Gambia that is built around 3 levels: Primary, Secondary and Tertiary. Malaria is present throughout the region and local areas, so it’s important that when living in The Gambia, you take precautions and receive vaccinations to avoid any risks. Although medical facilities are limited and relatively sparse in The Gambia, there are some new healthcare clinics that are being built up throughout the country. 

Primary Healthcare

Primary healthcare is in villages where there is a population of more than 400 inhabitants. Typically there would be a village health worker and a midwife who are dedicated to delivering healthcare services to the people who live in that particular village.

Secondary Healthcare

This is where healthcare is provided by professionals working in both large and small centres. You will be able to receive in-patient and out-patient care at these facilities with resident nurses, doctors and ancillary staff on hand to assist you.

Tertiary Healthcare

At this level, healthcare services are delivered by referral hospitals, the Medical Research Council (MRC), private clinics and NGO operated clinics. 

Education in The Gambia

children at a school in the Gambia

When living in The Gambia, school is free and compulsory for the first 6 years of a child’s education. There is a lack of resources and funding so this rule does not always manage to get executed by locals. However, despite this, enrollment rates have risen over the past couple of years. The school start age is 7, with six years of primary schooling, three years of junior schooling, three of secondary or senior schooling and then four years of university. Find out more about education in Gambia here.
There is only one university located in the region, The University of Gambia. There are a number of schools and faculties here, including:
  • Agriculture and Environment Sciences
  • Arts and Sciences
  • Business and Public Administration
  • Engineering and Architecture
  • Education
  • Information & Communications Technology
  • Journalism and Digital Media
  • Law
  • Media & Allied Health Sciences

Public Transport in The Gambia

You can travel to The Gambia via road, sea or air. The only airport in The Gambia is Banjul International Airport, also known as Yundum International. 
What’s more, there is over 2,500 km of road network, most of which is unpaved. When living in The Gambia, you’ll notice two different coloured taxis. Regular taxis are yellow while tourist taxis are green.
Another great way of getting around is to take advantage of the waters. There is around 390 km of waterways in the country, which offer both commercial and public use. In most cases, there are passenger and vehicle ferries running between the commercial port of Banjul and Barra at least once an hour.
Major towns and cities are connected via national bus routes. However, departure times can be irregular with travel times being quite long also.
Please be aware that there are no passenger train services in The Gambia. 

Making the Move to The Gambia

Gambia is a small Western African country. In fact, it is the smallest county within the mainland. Right now there are fewer than two million people who live there. However, when living in The Gambia, you notice how easily locals and expats mingle and live life as one. Thanks to the Gambia culture and general way of life, you’ll feel right at home.

shot of the river that flows through the gambia
If you want to find out more about relocating to The Gambia, take a look at our previous blog post:
When looking for somewhere to live in The Gambia, there are a number of popular destinations. To make things easier, we’ve listed some of the best places to call home: 
If all you think about is living in The Gambia but you’re not sure whether you want to rent or buy a property, read more information about Gambia real estate here:

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