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Climate - Gambia

Temperature, rainfall, prevailing weather conditions, when to go, what to pack

See also the US version (°F - inches - feet)

Flag - Gambia

Map - Gambia

In the Gambia, a small country overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and crossed by the river of the same name, the climate is tropical, hot all year round, with a dry season from November to May, and a rainy season from June to mid-October, due to the African monsoon.
Along the coast, where the capital Banjul is located, the climate is tempered by the ocean, while in the interior the heat is more intense.
Here are the average temperatures of Banjul.
Banjul average temperatures
Banjul J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°C) 16 17 18 19 20 23 24 23 23 22 19 16
Max (°C) 32 34 34 33 32 32 31 30 31 32 33 32

The annual rainfall varies between 900 and 1,100 millimetres; the rainiest area is the coast, followed by the south-east. The first showers occur in June, but the months in which the rains are really abundant are July, August and September, when they exceed 200 mm per month; August is the rainiest month, when rainfall exceeds 300 mm in Banjul.
Here is the average precipitation in Banjul.
Average precipitation Banjul
Banjul J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Prec. (mm) 1 0 0 0 1 65 230 345 255 75 2 1 977
Days 0 0 0 0 0 5 14 19 16 6 0 0 60

In winter it's hot during the day, with highs around 32/34 °C on the coast and 34/36 °C in the inland areas, but with peaks of 38/40 °C even on the coast. However, the air is dry and the nights are cool. The wind blowing from the desert, the Harmattan, can veil the sun and lift dust. Already in February, the temperature begins to increase in inland areas, reaching 37/40 °C from March to May, while along the coast the heat is less intense, but moisture is higher. So the spring (which as regards the temperatures should be considered the real summer) is a very hot season everywhere, but especially in inland areas (see Sabi).
Sabi average temperatures
Sabi J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°C) 15 18 21 23 24 24 23 23 22 22 19 16
Max (°C) 33 36 39 40 39 36 32 31 31 34 34 32

With the arrival of the rains, the temperature decreases, dropping to about 30 °C during the day, but the humidity is high, so the heat is sweltering. Sometimes, however, it can get very hot even in summer, during the breaks between the rainy periods. Between October and November, after the rains, the temperatures increase again, especially in inland areas.


The sea is a bit cool from January to April, when the water temperature fluctuates about 21/22 °C, while it's warm during the rainy season. In November, the first month after the rains, the sea is still warm.
Sea temperature Banjul
Banjul J F M A M J J A S O N D
Sea (°C) 22 21 21 22 24 27 28 28 28 28 28 25

When to go

The best time to travel to Gambia is winter, especially the months of December and January, since already in February it gets very hot in inland areas.
On the coast, the heat is tempered by the breezes, so the favorable season for a beach holiday is longer, and all in all it goes from November to May, although from January to April the sea is a bit cool.
We advise against the period July-September due to heavy rains, which can cause flooding and make difficult travelling throughout the country.

What to pack

In winter: light clothes for the day, a sweatshirt for the evening and boat rides, a scarf for the wind-borne dust and sand.
In summer: light clothing of natural fibres, a light sweatshirt and a light raincoat for the rain. For women, it is best to avoid shorts and miniskirts outside of tourist resorts.

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Near countries:
Cape Verde
Guinea Bissau

US version (°F)
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