The smiling coast of West Africa

Updated on Jul 19, 2017 by Kathryn Burrington 

The Gambia is well known as 'the smiling coast' and not without good reason. Gambians are among the friendliest people you could hope to meet.

As you explore The Gambia you'll find almost everyone, whether they are total strangers or old friends, will have a smile for you. It can come as a bit of a shock to first time visitors.

While not everyone in The Gambia wishes to be photographed and, of course, we should always respect their wishes, over the years I've collected many smiling faces. Genuine, warm and welcoming smiles. And not just smiles for people trying to sell me something (although they have some lovely smiles too!). And either way, I always smile back a smile costs nothing after all.

My collection of smiles from the smiling coast


I've found smiles in the home..


...smiles in the classroom


...smiles in the playground


...smiles in the markets


...smiles in the hotel


and smiles on the beach.


So many wonderful smiles!

I hope they put a smile on your face!

If you are visiting The Gambia for the first time, be prepared to receive a barrage of smiles and check out Ali's post for the 'Top Ten Things to Do for First-time Visitors'.


Posted in Kathryn Burrington | Tagged Culture


Related Articles

Photo Essay: Tamala West African Drumming Troupe Read more


Join the West African Photo Shoot Read more


A beach lover's paradise Read more