What to Wear in Gambia

A Message From Helen



I want you to have an amazing vacation. That's why I started WhatToWearOnVacation.com,
to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.

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General Style Tips

  • Casual, comfortable clothes are the key when traveling in The Gambia. The local way of life is very laid back and relaxed.
  • During the day it's hot, so our advice is to pack lightweight, loose fitting clothes in natural fabrics such as linen, bamboo and cotton that will keep you cool and are easy to wash and dry.
  • Local dress is bright and colorful.
  • But do avoid blue or black clothing - the tsetse flies are drawn to these colors, and their bite can give you African Sleeping Sickness.
  • Mosquitoes are most active around late afternoon and through the evening. We strongly recommend you take a good insect/mosquito repellent with you. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants will also help.
  • Wear plenty of sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection), sunglasses and a sunhat.

What Shoes To Pack

  • Take lightweight comfy shoes or sandals for exploring - we love Hotter shoes, for total comfort along with style.
  • Or try the Lindsay Phillips Switch Flops range - using interchangeable shoe and flip-flop bases with snap-on decorations, you can change your look from day to evening in an instant whilst still packing light.

Clothing Tips for Women

  • Our advice would be to keep swimwear to the beach and pool, and cover up with a kaftan or sarong when walking around public areas.
  • A skirt or loose-fitting pants are good in the heat and will protect you from the sun. 
  • A few well-chosen pieces of costume jewelry will transform any outfit.
  • And a pashmina is a versatile piece that will dress up an outfit, cover you for modesty or shield you from the sun.

Clothing Tips for Men

  • Although dress is not formal, in the evenings most hotels and restaurants require men to wear shirts and long pants.
  • If you're looking for versatile and stylish beachwear, try the Madda Fella range of shirts, shorts, polos and swimwear.
  • For great versatile travel jackets with multiple pockets including RFID security options, we love the SCOTTeVEST range.

Pack for the Weather

  • The Gambia enjoys virtually non-stop sunshine and high daytime temperatures which vary little throughout the year.
  • Sea beezes make it feel a little cooler on the coast, but inland can be sweltering during the hottest months.
  • The wet season covers the months of July to October, with spectacluar heavy rainstorms occuring (heaviest in August and September). These are largely short and at night, but a light raincoat or travel umbrella would be a good idea. The humidity is also very high at these times so light breathable fabrics will be best.
  • In the dry season from November to June there is almost no rainfall.
  • In January, February, March and April the evenings and early mornings can be cooler, so a light jacket, fleece or pashmina would be a useful item to pack.
  • We love the Weather+ app - it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too - a nice way to remember your trip :) Download for iPad/iPhone or Android

Other Things To Pack

  • Don’t drink or even brush your teeth in tap water. Consider taking a Water-to-Go Filtration Water Bottle.
  • A lightweight day sack will come in handy to carry your sightseeing essentials.
  • If you plan to travel with carry-on luggage only, a soft-sided rucksack is more practical than a hard suitcase. Using packing cubes can help to keep your belongings tidy whilst compressing the volume too.
  • Look after your mobile phone with a phone bunjee - it protects against loss, theft and damage.
  • To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step down voltage converter if your devices are not designed for the local voltage (230V).
  • Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees - use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! Try out the craft markets and local market stalls to pick up woodcarvings, beaded jewelry or batik wall hangings.

Last updated 16 December 2016.

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Pack Light

  • Less luggage to carry
  • Save time packing and unpacking
  • Save money on baggage fees

Pack Right

  • Respect local cultures
  • Feel comfortable and confident
  • Suitable outfits for all occasions

A Message From Helen



I want you to have an amazing vacation. That's why I started WhatToWearOnVacation.com,
to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.

Advice You Can Trust

I found your packing list very helpful. Never having traveled to Africa before, and not wanting to over-pack, I was unsure which items would best serve my needs. I'm hoping to travel light and that's why I accessed your website. Thanks for providing me with this helpful list and advice.

- Julie, USA