Why you should still visit The Gambia during Ramadan
Blog > Why you should still visit The Gambia during Ramadan
Each year the people of The Gambia observe the holy month of Ramadan. However, don't be put off by this, Ramadan is the perfect time of year to visit for winter sun and culture!
The Gambia is a haven for winter sun and during Ramadan, this is no exception, it is the ninth month of the Muslim lunar year; the dates of Ramadan move by 10 days each year and in 2023 it falls in spring. Whilst Ramadan is a period of fasting for one month for those who observe, the tourism industry in The Gambia remains untouched. It is still possible for tourists to enjoy food and drink (including alcohol) within the resorts and hotels. You will find that during the day, it may seem quieter than outside of Ramadan, however, this is to no detriment to your holiday! The usual hustle and bustle of people going about their daily lives can be seen. You will find that in the evenings the main strip and eateries will be lively with tourists, just like normal.
Visiting The Gambia during Ramadan provides the perfect opportunity to learn more about Gambian culture and religion. The best way to get to know more about this interesting part of Muslim culture is to be in a Muslim country during Ramadan itself. Ramadan is a holy month in which Muslims all over the world fast from dawn to sunset, it is also a month of introspection, prayer for Muslims, of giving back and helping people. If you speak with your Gambian representative, you will be able to have the chance to meet locals during your holiday and if you are in the country at the right time, you will be able to see the end of Ramadan being celebrated, with a three-day festival known as Eid al-Fitr. Also known as the ‘breaking of the fast’, Eid al-Fitr is one of Islam’s major holidays.
During Ramadan, it is forbidden to smoke, so it is worth noting this if you are out of the hotel or resort. It is respectful to avoid smoking during the day when in an area heavily crowded with locals.
During your holiday to The Gambia, it is possible to visit a compound, an area of land owned by families with many houses built inside. Generally, they are home to extended families and occasionally those who are not related. They are tight-knit communities, where everyone lives, plays and eats together. If you are visiting during Ramadan, it may be possible to break fast with a family one evening. This is a wonderful way to experience the culture and traditions of life during this special time in the Islamic calendar! Gambian families tend to be very warm and welcoming and love to show tourists how they live and share local foods they enjoy, as well as learn about our culture here in the UK.
So, if you are thinking of booking a stay in The Gambia during Ramadan, and we recommend that you do, you can find some fantastic hotels on our accommodation page.