The Gambia is a West African nation bordered by Senegal and has a short coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. The Gambia River flows through the center of the country and drains into the Atlantic Ocean. The country occupies an area of 10,689 square km and houses a population of 1,882,450 as of 2013.
Farming, fishing, and tourism are the three major sources of income and employment in Gambia. One-third of the population of the country lives below poverty line. The rate of urbanization in Gambia was 57.3% according to a 2011 report. As more areas are being declared urban, the gap between urban and rural populations is declining. Here, we discuss the biggest cities in the country.
The Five Biggest Urban Centers In Gambia
The biggest urban center in Gambia is Serekunda which is only 13 km to the southwest of the country’s capital city of Banjul. The urban center is named after Sayerr Jobe, the founder of Serekunda. Nine villages were collated together to form the big urban center.
Brikama is located south of Banjul, the capital city of Gambia. It is the biggest city in the Brikama Local Government Area and houses a population of about 57,000. Several major educational institutions like the Gambia College are also located in Brikama.
Bakau is located on the Atlantic coast west of Banjul. The town is famous for its beaches, crocodile pool, and botanical gardens. It is the nation’s most developed town. Tourism is a thriving industry in Bakau, and a large percentage of employment is generated by this industry. Hotels and guest houses are located near the beaches of the town. Several banks, offices, schools are also present in Bakau. Fishing is another important economic activity here. The Independence Stadium, Gambia’s only national stadium is situated in Bakau.
Banjul is Gambia’s capital city. Formerly known as Bathurst, the City of Banjul is located within the district of the same name. The city is located on the St Mary's Island, also known as the Banjul Island, at the position where the Gambia River drains into the Atlantic Ocean. Several bridges connect the island to mainland territories. Ferries also operate carrying passengers from Banjul to other places. Banjul houses several tourist attractions like the Albert Market, African Heritage Museum, the Gambian National Museum, several cathedrals, and mosques.
The city of Banjul is also the economic center of the country and houses the Central Bank of the Gambia. The port of Banjul serves as a major trade port in the country, and export items like peanut, beeswax, palm oil, skins, and hides are all shipped from the port. The Banjul International Airport serves the city.
Located on the Trans-Gambia Highway, Farafenni is a Gambian town and an important center of commerce in the country. Wolof, Mandinka, and Fulu are the major languages spoken in the town. A large military base is present in the city. A few schools and a recently built hospital are also housed by the city. One big market and a small one, as well as several shops, are located here.