The Gambia

Brief History

Not much is known about early Gambian history. The first written records of The Gambia came from Carthaginian travelers in the 9th and 10th centuries. The area that is now The Gambia was once a part of the Mali and Kabuu Empires. In 1588, trading rights were sold to The Portuguese, who were the first Europeans to establish trade with the Mali kingdom. The Gambia was the first British settlement established to trade slaves. Over three million slaves were sold to European slave ships before slavery was abolished in The Gambia in 1906. In 1965, The Gambia became a fully independent country. The current president of The Gambia is Adama Barrow.

National Flag

The national flag of The Gambia was adopted on February 18, 1965. The top red stripe is a symbol of the sun. The thin white stripes represent peace, the blue stripe symbolizes the Gambia river, and the green stripe stands for the forests and agriculture of The Gambia.


The Gambia is a country in western Africa and is also the smallest country in mainland Africa. The entire country, except for the coast, is surrounded by Senegal. The Gambia river runs east to west through the length of the country.


World Land Mass Ranking: 166th


Highest Mountain: No major mountains


Longest River: The Gambia River, 1,120 km (700 mi)

Main Languages


Gambia Population: 2.4 million (as of 2020)

Capital City: Banjul

Capital City Population: 460,000 (as of 2022)


The Gambia has a sub-tropical climate, with sunshine and warm temperatures year-round. Closer to the coast, temperatures are generally cooler and breezier than the rest of the mainland. There are two distinct seasons in The Gambia: a dry season and a rainy season.

Key People

Fatou Bensouda

Modou Barrow

Laba Sosseh

Musa Barrow

  • Cuisine

    Gambian cuisine is a part of West African cuisine, which is characterized by local ingredients and flavors. Most families in The Gambia grow their own food. Common ingredients in Gambian cuisine include rice, fish, peanuts, cassava, tomato, and oysters. The national dish of The Gambia is called Domoda, which is a groundnut stew made out of either pumpkin or sweet potato with a saucy base.

  • Sports

    Although The Gambia is a small country, sports are still an important part of the nation’s culture. The most popular sport in The Gambia is football, and their national team is called The Scorpions. In 2021, The Scorpions qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in history, and in 2022, they made it to the quarter-finals. Other sports that are popular in The Gambia are cricket, basketball, track and field, and wrestling.

  • Culture

    The Gambia is a multi-cultural society, home to many ethnic groups. Most Gambians are multi-lingual as a result of this diversity. Islam was introduced to The Gambia during the 1800s, and it is now the dominant religion. Arts and crafts, music, dance, and stores are all important aspects of Gambian culture.

10 facts about The Gambia

1. The Gambia is named after the River Gambia.


2. The top export of The Gambia is gold.


3. There are almost 600 different species of birds in The Gambia.


4. Agriculture is the main source of income in The Gambia.


5. The Gambia has 50 miles of coastline.


6. The Gambia is the smallest country in mainland Africa.


7. The average life expectancy in The Gambia is 62 years.


8. The spotted hyena is the national animal of The Gambia.


9. The Gambia is home to nine different tribes.


10. There is a sacred crocodile pool in The Gambia.


Q&A Corner

1. When did The Gambia become an independent nation? +
2. What is the capital city of The Gambia? +
3. Name a common ingredient in The Gambia? +
4. What type of climate does The Gambia have? +
5. What is the official language of The Gambia? +
6. Name a key/famous Gambian? +
7. What is the longest river in The Gambia? +
8. When was slavery abolished in The Gambia? +
9. What colors make up the Gambian flag? +
10. What is the most popular sport in The Gambia? +