The Gambia

The Gambia, also known affectionately as the Smiling Coast is one of Africa’s smallest countries and unlike many of its West African neighbours it has enjoyed long spells of stability since independence.  On 18 February 1965, Gambia gained independence from the United Kingdom and joined The Commonwealth. Banjul is Gambia’s capital, but the largest conurbations are Serekunda and Brikama.  Its area is almost 10,500 km² with an estimated population of 1,700,000. An agriculturally fertile country, its economy is dominated by farming, fishing, and tourism.  About a third of the population lives below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.

Our Partner Training Camp, Gilkock Football Academy is based in Brufut. Brufut is a town located in the Western Division of the Gambia.  The town of Brufut is situated a couple of kilometres inland from the coastal road and around 40 km’s from the Capital Banjul.

Football – The Gambian leagues are regionalized and have/are undergoing significant changes to achieve FIFA approval. The central regions tend to offer the better sides who compete for the trophies. In recent years the top sides have produced players who have signed for European sides. The season runs from October to March. The Gambia is currently ranked outside the world top 150 in the FIFA rankings.

View our gallery of images from our work in The Gambia

Local information

Currency = dalasi, 50 dalasi = £1

Flight time = approximately 5 ½ hours

Time difference = 1 hour behind, depending on BST

Climate = Located midway between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator, The Gambia enjoys virtually uninterrupted sunshine and high daytime temperatures with almost no rainfall from November to June. Rainy season period runs from July to October

Language = English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula

Religion = Islam, Christianity

Local cuisine = The Gambia is renowned for its abundant supply of fresh sea food; lady fish, barracuda, butter fish, Atlantic prawns are just some you will find on many menus.

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