Gambia is Africa’s smallest mainland country, consisting of a short stretch of coastline and a narrow strip along the banks of the Gambia River. Once united with Senegal, whose territory entirely surrounds it, Gambia has developed its tourism in recent decades. Agriculture is the other main industry; peanuts are an important crop. The Gambian stone circles date from the eighth century and seem to be cemeteries. The stones have been quarried and worked into cylinders, some more than two metres tall. There are also burial mounds which date from much earlier. Many stones are found in the Wassu area, where there is a museum. The small city of Banjul, on an island at the mouth of the river, is the Gambian capital. At Bakau is a sacred crocodile pool, used in fertility rituals. Folk music is an important part of the culture. Griots or bards tell stories accompanied by the kora, a type of harp. The Gambia was once a centre of the slave trade, and is the setting for Alex Haley’s book ‘Roots’. The book describes the author’s search for the heritage of his African ancestors who were slaves, and describes meetings with a griot.
|Capital of Gambia||Banjul|
|Time zone||GMT (UTC +0)|
|Dialing code of Gambia||+220|
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