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Everything you need to know about Gambia: news, reviews, in-depth analysis, opinion and more

Gambia: The Land of Mandinka Tribals

Portuguese were the first European explorers to come across the landmass of Gambia in the year 1455. While the French came around 17 th century beginning followed by the English settlers. Slavery was largely followed in Gambia and it got abolished in the year 1807. It became a British colony in 1843 and was granted independence in 1970.

Gambia Fast Facts :

  • National Name : Republic of The Gambia
  • Capital: Banjul
  • Total Area: 11,295 sq km (4,361 sq miles)
  • Total Population: 1.8 million (UN, 2008)
  • Ethnic races: African 99% (Mandinka 42%, Fula 18%, Wolof 16%, Jola 10%, Serahuli 9%, other 4%), non-African 1% (2003 census)
  • Religions: Muslim 90%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs 2%
  • Currency: Dalasi
  • GDP per capita (PPP): $1,200 (2007 est.)
  • Languages: English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars
  • Life Expectancy: 59 years (men), 60 years (women) (UN)
  • Literacy Rate: 40% (2003 est.)

Gambia Geography, Climate and Economy :

Gambia's western coast touches the Atlantic Ocean and it is landlocked from other sides. The Gambia River flows through the center of the country stretching over to 322 km. The Terrain comprises of flood plains, which are edged by some low-lying hills. The highest elevation point is situated at an altitude of 53m while the lowest point is at Atlantic Ocean.

The climate of Gambia is usually subtropical with diverse dry and rainy seasons. In the months of November to June Gambia has extremely dry weather while it receives rainfall in the months of June to October. The cooler season commences in the month of March.

The Gambian economy comprises very limited agricultural produce as only groundnuts are grown here besides other staple crops. Around 75% of Gambian population is dependent on livestock and crops for their livelihood. The natural resource content includes titanium, zircon, clay, petroleum and fish.

Culture and Cuisine of Gambia:

The Gambian culture has a number of cultural influences and no particular ethnic group inhabits this country. Mandinka is the largest tribal group who earn their livelihood through agriculture. The traditional African music is still preserved till date. The old oral tradition in the form of folk music is still practiced by the inhabitants.

Gambia cuisine is famous in the Western part of Africa for it's traditional methods of cooking and combining all kind of spices and ingredients to enhance the flavor of the dishes. Fufu is a very famous item, which is mostly consumed during lunch and dinnertime. It is a staple food for Guinea that is usually made from starchy root vegetables like cassavas or coco yams. One of the main dishes of Gambia includes meat, cured and smoked hams.

Tourist Sites in Gambia:

Banjul, the capital city of Gambia offers a plethora of tourist sites such as the Gambia National Museum comprising the historical relics of this country. The gigantic arch at the entrance of the capital and the bustling Albert Market are some of the other places to visit in Banjul besides marveling at its colonial architecture.

Some Other Tourist Sites are:

  • Krerewan
  • Gunjur
  • Mansa Konko
  • Georgetown
  • Brikama
  • Serekunda

Scientists locate malaria parasites' Achilles heal

April 22, 2012 at 1:33 PM

London, April 22 (IANS) Scientists have identified a key protein common to malaria parasites, opening the way to more effective vaccines or drugs against the life-threatening infections caused by the micro-organisms.

Achilles' heel for life-threatening malaria identified

April 21, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Washington, April 21 (ANI): A link between different strains of malaria parasites that cause severe disease has been identified, which could help develop vaccines or drugs against life-threatening cases of the infection.

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