The Gambia – 142nd Country. To see where I have been so far, check out my map as I count down the final 93 countries on the road to all 193 UN countries. The Gambia is my 142nd country.
The Gambia located in West Africa centuries ago was part of the Mali Empire. The Portuguese were the fist Europeans to take interest. Then the British and French jockeyed for power, until Britain gained control of these lands. The Gambia gained its independence from the Brits in 1965. The Gambia is the smallest country on continental Africa with less than two million citizens. It is a skinny enclave completely surrounded by Senegal and the Atlantic Ocean. The Gambia River which divides the country is a focal point for the nation. English is the official language with 95% of the nation practicing Islam.
I crossed overland from Senegal into The Gambia. I was in the midst of a month-long overland trip with two friends. The Gambia stated that US citizens are eligible for visa on arrival like most European nations. But I was advised that regardless that I would be able to get at the border. I crossed my fingers as I presented my passport. The immigration officials were courteous and professional and thankfully processed my visa for the stated $65 fee. The difficult part of the trip was waiting for the ferry to take us over the Gambia River. The wait was over four hours for a thirty-minute ride. We checked into a hotel near the ocean and dined on the beach. At dinner, my friends and I conferred and decided to cancel our trip due to Covid-19. Borders around the world were closing and we did not wish to be stranded during our road trip. While this was the correct decision, it was extremely frustrating to cancel this trip. We had planned to spend five days exploring this country and unfortunately this opportunity was lost as well as the rest of the road trip. I will return.
The Gambia is my 142nd country.