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Shopping in The Gambia
 
 
 

General

Popular purchases include colourful batik wall hangings, handmade clothing, woodcarvings, bead jewellery and traditional djembé drums. Beaded belts and ladies' handbags are also popular, as are books and albums made from recycled paper and West African handicrafts using straw, beads, leather, cloth or metal.

Kora is the main music instrument of the Mandinka tribe, and could be considered the national instrument of Gambia. It is 21-stringed and built from a large calabash cut in half and covered with cow skin to make a resonator. It sounds like a mixture of harp and flamenco guitar. Real koras can be very expensive but small souvenir versions are also available.

In The Gambia, there are enough shopping opportunities to satisfy everyone. From fruit stalls and craft markets to small shops and supermarkets, the choice is plentiful. Most shopkeepers and market traders are happy to do some bargaining if you fancy having a haggle.

Shopping hours are generally Monday to Thursday, 9 am-12 noon and 2:30 pm-6 pm, Friday and Saturday 9 am-1 pm. Some shops may stay open until 10 pm.

Places to Shop

Souvenirs can be bought at shops and stalls in the resort hotels, in Banjul's Albert Market and the various bengdulas (craft markets) in the resort areas. Fajara, Kololi, Serrekunda and Brikama also have a few shops and market stalls which supply African tribal curios such as masks and textiles.

Serrekunda Market is well worth a visit. This is the market where you may find the one item that you never expected to find, shoes, leather sandals, beach wear, etc. However, do be wary as the market is packed with shoppers and a few pick pockets.

Bakau Market has all the fruit, and most of the vegetables, that you would expect to find in Europe. A couple of hundred metres from the vegetable market you will come across the Bakau Craft Market near Cape Point.

From Fajara all the way to Serrekunda, supermarkets can be found at regular intervals. They sell much the same things, but the prices can differ. The shops on Kairaba Avenue, are more geared to everyday consumer goods as opposed to being tourist orientated. It's still worth visiting this road (also know as Pipeline because of a former colonial water pipe running along its length) as you could find some great bargains at less than European prices.

The largest supermarket chain in The Gambia is St Mary's Food & Wine. This company has a total of five branches in the Kombo area.

 

 
 

 



 


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