Overland Gambia Travel
Currency to display:
- 1 Visiting Gambia
- 2 Entering Gambia with a Car or Motorbike
- 3 Driving in Gambia
- 4 Gas price in Gambia and Diesel price in Gambia
- 5 Safety and Security Considerations
- 6 Camping in Gambia
- 7 Navigation
- 8 Special Overland Travel interests
- 9 Vehicle Maintenance
- 10 Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Gambia
- 11 References
- 12 Helpful External links
Gambia is a beautiful country full of wild places and friendly people. It is well worth a visit.
Entering Gambia with a Car or Motorbike
Correct as of: July 2016
Travel Visa for Gambia
Very few nationalities require a visa for Gambia, and those that do can get one at the border. Show up and you'll either get in for free, or you can buy a visa at the border.
- Passport of registered owner.
- Drivers license of registered owner.
- Original vehicle registration.
- Proof of vehicle insurance.
(no copies are required)
Process at border
The owner of the vehicle gains entry at immigration - NOTE if you require a visa you can get it at the border. The list of countries that require a visa is constantly changing.
Customs will issue a Temporary Import Permit for the vehicle.
Cost of entry
Officially the temp import permit is supposed to be free if the duration is less than 25 days. Make sure you only ask for 24 days. For longer periods (1 month) some have paid FCFA5,000.00 XAF, some have paid FCFA10,000.00 XAF. It seems to depend on the day and the border.
Permitted length of stay
The same length of time as your visa, usually 21-28 days.
Extension of stay
Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country
Exiting with a vehicle
Hand the Temporary Import Permit to customs, get yourself stamped out at immigration.
Driving in Gambia
Recommended books for Overlanding in Gambia
Travel insurance for Gambia
Vehicle insurance requirements
You must have Insurance to drive in Gambia, and will probably be asked for it.
If you travel through more west African countries get a 'Carte Brun' or CEDEAO insurance which is valid in most west African countries at no extra cost
Cost of vehicle insurance
Insurance for multiple countries in West Africa (Carte Brun) was around €200.00 EUR for 6 months for a newer 4x4. Older vehicles will be cheaper.
Where to purchase vehicle insurance
The license from your home country seems good enough for a maximum of 3 months stay.
Driving side of road
Drive on the Right.
RHD tourist-vehicles are permitted without problem for a temporary stay, for permanent import they need to be converted to lhd within max. 3 months.
Mandatory items in vehicle
- 2x Safety Triangle
- First Aid Kit
- Fire Extinguisher (that is not expired and is charged)
General Road quality
The main "North" highway running East to West is very good, the one on the South bank is under construction in 2016.
Many other roads are gravel, but in good shape.
Road signs are present on the highway, and usually good.
There are no toll roads in Gambia, but crossing the ferries can be expensive (see below)
Bribery in Gambia
Bribery can happen in Gambia, more than likely you will just be asked for a gift, which you can just smile away, or give a business card or something.
See the bribery tips page for advice.
Police / Military checkpoints are extremely frequent in Gambia. All are very friendly, and more than likely the officers will just want to shake your hand and meet you.
Traveling with pets
Gas price in Gambia and Diesel price in Gambia
Last updated: March 2017
Currency and unit to display:
|Unleaded||D47.00 GMD per Liter|
|Diesel||D46.00 GMD per Liter|
Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency
Shortages do not seem to common but happen, mostly dieselproblems, all stations have gas and diesel.
All towns have a station, distances are not large.
Gas and Diesel Quality
Gasoline seemed to be of good quality.
Sulfur content of Diesel is unknown.
Safety and Security Considerations
Driving at night
Driving at night should be avoided due to road hazards and vehicles with no lights.
Parking on the street during the day seems fine, maybe not in Banjul. Secure parking overnight is recommended.
Special driving considerations
Animals on the road is very common, roads in the center of Banjul are extremely poor - watch out for massive potholes, cracks, etc.
Security advisories and information
- Country Specific Information - U.S. Department of State
- Travel Reports and Warnings - Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
- Travel advice by country - Foreign and Commonwealth office (U.K.)
- Travel Advice for Gambia - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Camping in Gambia
Camping is common enough in Gambia, most towns have a hotel type place you can camp, usually costing around D200.00 GMD for two people per night in a 4x4. Ask first, you might be able to negotiate camping free if you eat in the restaurant of the hotel.
Wild camping is very possible and seems safe enough - ask in the village first if you are close enough to be seen.
Camping guide books
Tap water should be filtered before drinking, otherwise buy water.
Reise Know-How are among the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in Gambia
GPS Maps of Gambia
- Garmin Open Street Maps has excellent coverage of all roads - highways and cities.
- Tracks4Africa is an SD Card for Garmin GPS, and contain Routable turn-by-turn maps with 809,000 kms of roads and over 129,000 points of interest.
GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Gambia
- iOverlander is a website and iPhone application designed by Overlanders, for Overlanders. It contains GPS co-ordinates and reviews for camping, hotels, propane, water, mechanics, borders and much more.
Link to sites that have a list of GPS co-ordinates (or directions) for camping locations (including "wild" campsites), propane filling, gas stations, repair shops, places of interest, etc.
Special Overland Travel interests
- Crossing the Barra - Banjul Ferry: The line up can take a very long time (9+ hours) - try to arrive as early as possible in the morning. When paying, you will be told the price is D5,000.00 GMD because your car has foreign license plates. Their system will not let it be done any other way. Say you will pay in a foreign currency, and it's only $10USD or 10Euro.
4x4s / Trucks
- Toyota Global Dealer Locator
- Land Rover International Dealer Locator
- Mercedes Benz International (select country on bottom right)
- Jeep International site locator
Add known good mechanics here.
Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Gambia
Describe how a foreigner can buy a vehicle. List any difficulties or limitations on where the vehicle can be driven.
Describe how a foreigner can sell a foreign-plated vehicle, or list not possible.'
Links to the source of any information - blogs or discussion forums, etc.
Add any helpful external links here.