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Gambia: Political System

Gambia is a presidential republic. The unicameral parliament, the Supreme Council, consists of 235 MPs elected every 4 years. The direct election of the head of state takes place every 5 years, two re-election is possible.

Gambia: Political System

According to, the official name of the country is:

Republic of the Gambia

National anthem

For The Gambia Our Homeland has been the Gambia's national anthem since 1965.

The music is based on the traditional Mandinka song "Foday Kaba Dumbuya" and comes from Jeremy Frederick Howe. Virginia Julie Howe wrote the text.

In English In German
For the Gambia, our homeland,

we strife and work and pray.

That all may live in unity,

freedom and peace each day.

Let justice guide our actions

to work man's common good,

and join our diverse people,

to proof man's brotherhood.

We pledge our firm allegiance,

our promise we renew.

Keep us, great God of nations,

to the Gambia ever true.

For the Gambia our fatherland,

we fight and work and pray

that everyone

can live in unity, freedom and peace every day.

Let justice guide our actions to

create the common good of humanity

and unite our diverse peoples

to show human brotherhood.

We pledge

our loyalty, we renew our promises.

Great God of Nations, let us

always be honest with Gambia.

National flag

The national flag (country flag) of Gambia was adopted on February 18, 1965. Based on flag descriptions by, the colors of the flag have the following meanings:

- Red symbolizes the sun, which means Gambia's future hopes

- Blue stands for the Gambia current flowing through the country

- Green stands for the country's agriculture and natural treasures

- White stands for peace and unity.

Gambia flag and coat of arms

Gambia: animals


Many of the large animals, such as elephants, lions and giraffes, were exterminated by the British colonial rulers and poachers in the 19th and early 20th centuries. But there are also around 110 different large mammal species in the Gambia, including various antelope species such as the sitatungas, kobs and bushbucks.

But primates are also often represented in the country, including Guinea baboons and vervet monkeys or West African colobus monkeys and hussar monkeys. The last chimpanzees in the country have been successfully moved to a nature reserve, where they now form a stable population. In addition, warthogs and aardvarks are quite common. Hippos can be found in the middle and east of the country. The local predators include leopards, spotted hyenas, servals, Haussa genet cats, mongooses and the capotter.

Reptiles without poisonous snakes

There used to be numerous crocodiles in the Gambia River, such as the Nile crocodile or the stump crocodile, but they have become relatively rare here. Turtles lay their eggs on the country's beaches. Lizards also live in the country, such as the up to 45 cm large settler dragons.

Also worth mentioning are the local Nile monitors (Varanus niloticus) up to 2 m in size. About 100 hippos can be found above Elephant Island. Elephant Island is around 6.8 km long and has a max. Width of approx. 2.3 km next to Janjanbureh Island with an area of around 10 km² one of the two largest inland islands of the Gambia River. The local non-poisonous snakes include:

- African house snake (Boaedon fuliginosus)

- Rock python (Python sebae)

- Striped house snake (Boaedon lineatus)

- Hallowell's house snake (Boaedon virgatus)

Poisonous snakes

- African


cobra (Naja nigricollis) - Boomslang (Dipholidus typus) - Mali cobra (Naja katiensis)

- Common puff adder (Bitis arietans)

- Royal python (Python regius)

- Black and white cobra (Naja melanoleuca)

- Senegal cobra (Naja senegalensis)


The Gambia is known for its diversity of colorful bird life. Over 540 species of birds are described in the specialist literature - with one third migratory birds, which therefore only stay in the country temporarily and overwinter here.

On the coast there are many species of heron such as the goliath heron or the cattle egret, but also flamingos, limicoles, spoonbills and ibises, predatory terns, lumpy terns and various types of gulls, as well as gannets, frankolin, from the pheasant-like family. The hammer heads, whose heads are shaped like a hammer, are interesting.

Arab bustards, bee-eaters, bluethroat, blood-breasted bearded birds, bush-winged chickens, various kingfisher species, magpie tokos, furrowed beaks, Gambian snowball stranglers, vultures, king fishers, crocodile watchers, crowned cranes, marabous, red-billed cranes, long-tailed black-tailed cranks, swallow-tailed swallows, live here, Rüppellseeschwalben, giant fishermen, red-billed tropical birds, darters, snowball shrugs, scaly head prinien, swallowtail razors, black-tailed diners, Senegalese kittens, Senegalese rackets, pusher eggs, Sudanese thrushes and widow whistle geese

Water world

Spawning areas for a number of different fish species can be found on the protected coastal areas. Dolphins live in the river mouth of the Gambia. Some species of whale live off the coast, including minke whales, sharks, African manatees (a species of manatee) and green turtles. And of course you can find numerous - sometimes beautiful - different types of fish near the coast.

Gambia: plants

trees and shrubs

The Gambia lies between the dry Sahel zone in the north and the tropical rainforest in the south and thus in the Sudan landscape. The savannah is the predominant form of the landscape. There are grasses and trees growing here and there. These include the baobab, mahogany, and the rosewood. The red kapok tree and Afzelia africana also grow here. To the northeast it becomes drier, the vegetation is sparse than in the south and on the coast in the west. Anogeissus leiocarpa and the Néré tree (Parkia biglobosa) are also found here. Around 530 different plant species grow in the Gambia with its wetlands.

About 40% of the country is covered with various types of forest, but the proportion of closed forest makes up less than 9% of the country. And around 75% of the forest area is known as the forest savannah. The most common tree species in the forest savannah are the African mahogany tree (Khaya senegalensis), the bush mango (Cordyla pinnata), the African copaiba balsam tree (Daniellia oliveri), the African rosewood (Pterocarpus erinaceus), the iron tree Prosopis africana (or the kwanda) Terminalia macroptera) as well as various Combretum species. Another 32% of the country's area are open bush savannahs.

Afzelia (Afzelia africana) grows on the drier plains. In the west of the country the bushes or small trees Anogeissus leiocarpa, Néré (Parkia biglobosa) and Sterculia setigera, from the genus of the stink trees, grow. It is worth mentioning that when forest is cleared for agricultural use, a few trees are left in the fields. These are mainly trees that are used as a supplier of fruits, such as the bush mango, for medical applications such as the West African mahogany or the ana tree, whose leaves are used as fodder. The bark of the baobab, for example, is used to produce fibers. Over a length of approx. 150 km from the mouth of the Gambia upstream there are - in the brackish water zone - dense mangrove forests on the banks. Even further upstream and on some of the Gambia tributaries, some of which only carry water during the rainy season, remains of the evergreen gallery forest can be found on the banks. Ebony, the African blackwood (Erythrophleum africanum), the African teak tree (Milicia regia) and the Ethiopian palmyra palm (Borassus aethiopum) as well as numerous lianas also grow here.

A typical example of a gallery forest can be found in the Abuko Nature Reserve. A small strip of coastal forest stretches along the coast to the Atlantic Ocean, where you can find stocks of the Ethiopian palmyra palm, the false African currant tree (Allophyllus africanus), the Guy Edouard Roberty plant (Malacantha alnifolia) or the thorny bushes of the Senegalese prickly or artar roots (Fagara zanthoxyloides) finds. The Ethiopian palmyra palm, fig trees, cinnamon apple trees and oil palms also grow here. A well-preserved and protected remnant of the typical coastal forest can be found near Bijilo.

Introduced plants

Some tree species that are not native to the Gambia are also increasingly being planted, for example in the Nymbai Forest Park plantations were created with the Gmelina arborea from the mint family, which comes from Southeast Asia. You can often see these trees along streets and paths. Other non-native tree species are z. B. teak trees, mango trees, neem trees or various eucalyptus trees.






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