The Gambia

22 April 2013

The smallest country on the mainland of Africa is The Gambia, smaller than Connecticut. (Some island countries like São Tomé and Príncipe are smaller.)

It was an old British enclave surrounded by French West Africa. In the 1980s, attempts failed to form a closer union with Senegal, but people move freely between the two countries.

With the Gambia River producing the name and the shape of the country, someone cleverly put a blue stripe across the middle of The Gambia's flag.

Left:  Arch 22, over 110 feet tall, actually celebrates a coup that ousted a democratically elected government.
Right: Many beautiful, elegantly dressed, camera-shy Gambian women; hope this back photo from a bus is OK.
Going north, countries have increasingly large Muslim populations (e.g., The Gambia, 90%).
This view of the capital city (Banjul) was taken from the top of Arch 22.
Crowded market streets of Serrekunda, the largest city,
located just across an inlet from the island capital city of Banjul.
An obligatory retail visit to a place where colorful Batik is made. 
An unusually large (and unusually aggressive) array of sellers displayed
their wares on the pier by our small ship; this is a small fraction of them.