(Last updated on: 02/04/2020)
When you think of The Gambia in West Africa, you might not think too much about Gambia nightlife. Gambia beaches? Sure, there’s loads. Lush tropical greenery in every direction? Of course! Wildlife that lives in harmony with the human population? To be expected. But Gambia nightlife might just pass you by when planning a trip. Let’s change that – read on to find out about the very best Gambia nightlife!
- Where will I find the best Gambia nightlife?
- Gambia Nightlife: Kololi
- Gambia Nightlife: Kotu
- Gambia Nightlife: Fajara
Where will I find the best Gambia nightlife?
Gambians love music and they love a good party! Whilst you will find cultural events and evening get-togethers throughout the country, most of The Gambia nightlife that tourists are likely to be interested in is situated around the main beach resorts.
Kololi is the busiest resort in terms of partying and nightlife in Gambia. However, Kotu and Fajara have something to offer too. Below you’ll find recommendations for the best spots to enjoy in each resort.
Gambia Nightlife: Kololi
With neon signs and coloured lights galore, the Senegambia Strip in Kololi is home to some of the best Gambia nightlife.
It is a J-shaped road about a kilometre in length lined with bars, restaurants, clubs, casinos and hotels.
Restaurants offer a wide range of cuisines: European, Asian and of course, African. Pubs and bars have snacks available too, as well as live reggae music and DJs until the early hours.
Recommended restaurants on and around the strip
There are some fantastic restaurants in Kololi! I have tried and tested most restaurants along the strip myself and there are also lots of great reviews on Trip Advisor too.
Here are some of the most highly rated:
Ali Baba Restaurant
They claim to serve the best ice cream in Gambia. They have an extensive menu, great cocktails, local bands and European football games on TV.
Jewel of India
The Jewel of India offers a Saturday night buffet from 7pm onwards.
Described as ‘truly authentic north Indian cuisine’, the colours and aromas are bound to impress guests from around the world (trust me- the food is delicious!).
Green Mamba Restaurant
This popular restaurant serves Gambian and Mongolian food. They use their own secret sauces, cater for a variety of levels of spice-lover, and even have their own version of Oktoberfest in the beer garden.
Recommended bars/clubs on and around the strip
If you’re looking to go ‘out out’ whilst in The Gambia there are several options in and around Kololi. Here is the lowdown:
Totties Night Club
Totties Night Club has a D150 entrance fee. Open from 10pm until 4.30am, this is perfect for late night partygoers. Blasting reggae, hip-hop and R ’n’ B, you won’t be able to miss it!
Milly’s Night Club
Milly’s Night Club opens at midnight. Closing at 4am, they also play hip-hop, reggae and R ’n’ B. They also have a mix & mingle programme on Monday nights, live bands on Fridays and an open mic night on Sundays. There is a VIP lounge, outdoor area and restaurant too.
This is a popular recommendation when it comes to Gambia nightlife. There’s a pool table, two different bars, jazz cafe and a spacious dance floor.
Open 7 days a week, if you love to dance then this is the bar for you!
Aquarius Nightclub has a D200 entrance fee. Music includes Latino, hip-hop, R ’n’ B and dance. Open from 10pm until 5am (with happy hour from 11pm-1am), they also have themed nights throughout the year.
There is also a casino in Kololi, aptly named Kololi Casino. The casino is relatively quiet, but still worth visiting if it’s something you’re interested in.
Gambia Nightlife: Kotu
Kotu is another resort where the best Gambia nightlife happens. There are bars, clubs, restaurants and casinos, many of them on the beach.
Kotu is a lot more laid-back than Kololi, but is still great for those who love to party.
Many of the bars in Kotu are also restaurants rather than being one or the other, but there are plenty of options.
Bars/restaurants in Kotu
There are several bars and restaurants in the Kotu area that are worth visiting. Here are my recommendations:
LIV Cocktail & Sports Bar
LIV Cocktail & Sports Bar is located within the Kombo Beach Hotel. With not one but two ‘happy hour’ time slots, a pool table, live football, speedy WiFi and affordable prices, you’re bound to love it.
Paradise Beach Bar
Paradise Beach Bar is located right on the beach. Attentive staff, a wide range of food and competitive prices make it a great option for a quiet evening – it tends to be less crowded than other bars in the area.
Kunta Kinteh Beach Bar
This lively bar is open from 9am until late during the holiday season. The restaurant seats 40 and offers a variety of dishes and drinks; on Sundays the have a BBQ with local dancers and drumming to entertain guests.
Big Apple Executive Lounge
The Big Apple Executive Lounge is located within the Palms Shopping Complex. It is a classy, upmarket establishment so expect to pay a little more but if that’s what you’re after, you won’t be disappointed.
Gambia Nightlife: Fajara
Quieter again, Fajara offers a different side to Gambia nightlife: a sophisticated evening meal.
Fajara is not too far in a taxi (or even on foot) to reach the Kotu Strand, where there’s a lot more going on, but if you want something a bit more chilled out then stick to the eateries around Fajara.
Restaurants in Fajara
Butcher’s Shop Restaurant
Butcher’s Shop Restaurant is open day and night. Offering Moroccan cuisine, they started life as a butcher’s shop in 1993 before benching out into serving gourmet dishes.
Described as ‘chic by day and romantic by night’, expect to pay a little more than you might elsewhere – but it’s worth it!
The Clay Oven
The Clay Oven offers authentic Indian food to eat in or take away.
Dinner is available between 7pm and 11.30pm seven days a week, and the menu is jam-packed with a huge variety of Indian dishes and desserts. With continuous table service on their weekly Sizzler’s Night (Tuesdays) and an outside catering service, it’s no wonder this has been named the best Indian restaurant in Africa…
Ngala Lodge Restaurant
Ngala Lodge Restaurant is open to the public as well as hotel guests.
With views over the sea and a varied menu, this is one of the most popular restaurants in the area so it is advisable to book if you want to enjoy the Gambia nightlife in this stunning setting.
So as you can see, Gambia nightlife is hugely varied. From bars to restaurants and clubs to casinos, there is something for everyone to enjoy on a trip to Africa’s smiling coast!