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Pros and Cons of Living in Gambia

If you're moving to Gambia, it's important to learn about both the Pros AND Cons of living in Gambia.
|-Pros and Cons of Living in Gambia

Are you considering a move to the smiling coast of Africa? Gambia, the smallest country on mainland Africa, is a place of vibrant culture, stunning natural beauty, and a warm, welcoming community. However, like any country, it has its pros and cons. In this article, we’ll delve into the advantages and disadvantages of living in Gambia, to help you make an informed decision about your potential move.

Pros of Living in Gambia

One of the most significant advantages of living in Gambia is the warm, welcoming nature of its people. Gambians are known for their hospitality and friendliness, and as an expat, you’ll likely feel welcomed and accepted into the community. This is a country where you can easily strike up a conversation with a stranger and make a new friend.

Another major pro of living in Gambia is the cost of living. Compared to many Western countries, the cost of living in Gambia is significantly lower. Rent, groceries, and services are all more affordable, allowing you to live comfortably without breaking the bank. For example, a meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Gambia can cost as little as $2, while a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can be rented for around $200 per month.

Gambia’s natural beauty is another significant draw. The country is home to stunning landscapes, from its beautiful beaches to its lush national parks. Wildlife enthusiasts will be thrilled by the abundance of bird species and the chance to spot monkeys, hippos, and even crocodiles in their natural habitats. The country’s climate is also a plus, with plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures throughout the year.

Finally, Gambia’s rich culture and history are another major pro. The country has a diverse cultural heritage, with influences from various African tribes, as well as European colonizers. This is reflected in its music, dance, art, and cuisine, providing plenty of opportunities for cultural immersion and learning.

Cons of Living in Gambia

While there are many pros to living in Gambia, there are also some cons that should be considered. One of the main challenges for expats can be the lack of certain amenities and services that they may be used to in their home countries. For example, while the country has made significant strides in improving its infrastructure, power outages and water shortages can still be common, particularly in rural areas.

Another potential downside is the healthcare system. While there are some good hospitals and clinics in the larger cities, the quality of healthcare can be variable, and in rural areas, access to medical services can be limited. This can be a particular concern for those with ongoing health issues or those who require regular medical care.

The job market in Gambia can also be challenging. While there are opportunities in sectors such as tourism, agriculture, and education, competition for jobs can be high, and salaries are generally lower than in Western countries. This can make it difficult for expats to find work, particularly if they do not have a specific skill set or qualifications that are in demand.

Finally, while Gambia is generally a safe country, crime can be an issue, particularly in urban areas. Petty crime such as pickpocketing and bag snatching can be a problem, and there have been reports of more serious crimes such as armed robbery. It’s important to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings, particularly at night.

Despite these challenges, many expats find that the pros of living in Gambia outweigh the cons. The warm, welcoming community, the affordable cost of living, the stunning natural beauty, and the rich culture and history all make Gambia a unique and rewarding place to live. However, it’s important to be prepared for the potential challenges and to do your research before making the move.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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