Resources for moving to the Gambia 2023
Here I´m collecting information that might help you if you too are thinking of relocating or coming to the Gambia for a longer time!
Living costs in the Gambia
Inflation is crazy all over the world at the moment and Gambia is no exception. Even though the prices on everything have increased a lot in the Gambia it´s still ok to live here if you come from Europe.
The prices stated here are based on what I my self recently paid for the item (year 2023). This can of course differ a bit depending on where you live but it should give you some idea of what to expect. (I also shop a lot in “tourist supermarkets” which makes everything a bit more expensive.)
Fruit and vegetable stand next to the roadside in Kotu
Dinner out for 1 person (local restaurant) 100-200 GMD (1.5-3 euro)
Dinner out 1 person (tourist restaurant) 400-600 GMD (6-9 euro)
Roadside breakfast half senfur with beans 25 GMD (0.4 euro)
Half chicken with chips 300-350 GMD (4.5-5.5 euro)
Bread (tapalapa or senfur) 10 GMD (0.15 euro)
Milk 0.5l imported, long life 65 GMD (1 euro)
Crate of 30 eggs 200-350 GMD (3 – 5.5 euro)
3 carrots & 2 apples 100 GMD (1.5 euro)
Onion 1kg 100 GMD (1.5 euro)
Medium bag (still quite small) of fresh cashewnuts 100 GMD (1.5 euro)
Small bag of fresh peanuts 50 GMD (0.7 euro)
Coca-cola 33cl 35 GMD (0.5 euro)
Water 1.5l 30-35 GMD ( 0.5 euro)
Gambians usually buy bags of 50kg rice 1700 GMD (26 euro), big bags of unions 18kg 1500 GMD (23 euro) and gallons of oil. Their cooking is of course much cheaper than mine.
Here is an example of apartments that are available at the time I´m writing this article.
KOTU / KOLOLI Small 1 room apartment behind Maroons (near tourist area) 15000 GMB/ month (231 euro)
BAKAU 2 rooms, 3 bathrooms, parking, unfurnished 150000 GMD/ year (2314 euro)
KOLOLI Luxury tourist apartment (aka normal Swedish standard) like Forrest View Gambia starts from 50 Euro/night
We have chosen to go with the internet provider Inet
Data to your phone can be bought in bundles. The smallest amount of data you can buy is 20MB which costs 7.5GMD (0.12 euro).
Monthly home-internet starts from 2300GMD (35 euro) and the cost depends of the speed you want. The 2300GMD gives you currently 4mbps unlimited data at Inet.
Most places here have cash power which means that the electricity is pre paid. Nawecs new meters will warn you when the cash power is running out by making an annoying beeping sound which will continue until you charge it with more power. You can purchase more at either online or at gas stations. They usually have a small office where you can go and buy it. We bought 71.3kwh the last time and it cost us 988GMD (15 euro). This amount usually last for aproximately 3 weeks for us (we use the AC).
Nawecs electricity meter for prepaid cash power. It warns you that your power is running out by making an annoying beeping sound
If you rent an apartment the water is usually included in your bill
We share our trash-fee with the other apartments here. That costs us 125 GMD (2 euro) per month.
Tuk-tuk or yellow taxi (shared) from Kotu policestation to Tippa garage 10 GMD (0.15 euro)
Yellow taxi from Bakau to Kotu 5km (the whole car) 200GMD (3 euro)
How to find an apartment in the Gambia
The cost of an apartment depends on factors like size, location, standard, if its furnished or not furnished, what contacts you have and/or how good you are at bargaining. But even if you don´t have contacts in the Gambia it is still possible to find a decent apartment. I rent a small apartment with 2 rooms and toilet/shower in Kotu (a calm neighborhood and a walking distance (15min) from the beach.) The apartment is brand new and very fresh. It is also furnished. It doesn´t have a kitchen though, but we have an electric cooker which is enough for us since we don´t cook that much. For this I pay 90000 GMD/year (1388 euro). Electricity and trash not included. (See “utilities” under “Living costs”).
Getting around in the Gambia
Gambia doesnt have a official public transport system yet. To get around people travel with tuk-tuks, gele-geles (vans that work as busses) or bushtaxis (the yellow taxi cars). Travelling in this way is very cheap but also time consuming since people are hopping on and off and sometimes you need to change cars to get to your destination.
Tuk-tuks in the Gambia through a cracked car window
Internet in the Gambia
There are several providers that provide internet in the Gambia. Qcell, Netpage, Inet and Africel are the biggest ones when this article is written (2023). Although it is possible to have a connection with ok speed, the nets uptime is still very wobbly. The fact that Gambia suffers from continuous power shortages everyday doesnt help either. Many places have generators as a back up when the electricity is out, but not all apartment blocks have them.
The internet infrastructure is also still very underdeveloped in the Gambia. According to this article the Gambia only has one submarine cable out of the country. It also has a lot of bottlenecks within the country and I think it will take time before it will become reliable.
So working remotely from the Gambia can be a bit of a hustle. If you have a job that requires your constant online presence 09.00-18.00 I would advice you to work from an other country. If your job is more flexible and it doesnt matter if the internet is down a couple because you can finish the task later – I would say working from here is possible.
Healthcare and dentist in the Gambia
There are several clinics for both healthcare and dentists in the Gambia. Which clinic is the best seems to depend on who you ask. I have used Africmed once and cant complain.
There is also a swedish dentist clinic here in Kotu that we usually go to.
24h Pharmacy in the Gambia
The only pharmacy that I am aware of that is open 24/7 (never closes) is Stop Step Pharmacy in Brusubi. They also have a doctor for minor problems.
Cash is still king in the Gambia
Money in the Gambia
In Gambia Cash is still king. A few places accept payments with cards, but most often you have to pay everything cash. The ATM:s are not always functioning so you might have to try a few before you can withdraw your money. I usually send money to my self via Western Union but I have heard that sending money to your self through APS is cheaper.
Visa, prolongening visa and recidency
If you come here as a tourist and want to extend your stay (you get 28 days at your arrival) you have to bring your passport to immigration to be stamped. Currently – prolonging the visa for non-ecowas costs 2000 GMD (30 euro) per month.
After 3 months in the country you may apply for recidency at the immigration office. If you are granted recidency you need an Alien´s ID card 2500 GMD (38 euro)
and a resident permit. There are different type of permits.
Type A: For persons of independent means and retired persons 3000 GMD (46 euro)
Type B: For skilled workers and investors 5000 GMD (77 euro)