The climate of the Gambia
Gambia, also known as ‘The Gambia’, is located in the western part of
the African continent. According to the Köppen climate classification
Gambia has a tropical savannah climate (type Aw). This means the
country is situated within a tropical climate zone. Some sources
mistakenly classify the climate of Gambia as subtropical. Gambia not
only has a savannah climate; the vegetation is also typical for a
savannah climate. Mainly grass landscapes with big bushes and several
trees can be found here. There are no large rainforests here. However,
in the southern part of the country there are several forests with
fruit trees such as citrus trees. In the drier northern part of Africa
the characteristic baobab tree can be found, also known as the monkey
bread tree. Along the Gambia River the landscape is swampy. The river
causes typical mangrove overgrowth with the accompanying animal and
Climate information of places and areas in the Gambia
The climate information given on this page is only brief. Specific
information on weather and climate can be found on the pages per
region or city. The following climate information is available for
Tropical daytime temperatures of 31-38 degrees Celsius can be recorded
all year round in Gambia. Along the coast temperatures may be slightly
tempered. However, the difference in temperatures between the
coastline and the interior is often not more than 1-2 degrees Celsius;
because of a sea breeze it may feel much more pleasant along the
coast. During the summer temperatures only slowly drop during the
evening. At the end of the night temperatures are 23-24 degrees
Celsius after which they rapidly rise to figures above 30 degrees
Celsius. During the winter night time temperatures are lower; minimum
temperatures of 18-20 degrees Celsius on average can be recorded
during the night.
Gambia has two distinct seasons. A very dry season and a distinct
rainy season. From the end of October till the beginning of June it is
very dry in Gambia. During this period it hardly ever rains; when it
does rain figures are very low. During the dry period heavy tropical
showers are uncommon. In the second or third week of June the weather
changes. Humidity figures rise and chances of rain increase rapidly.
During the rainy period from the second part of June till the second
part of October one in every two days is a rainy day on average.
Precipitation almost always falls in the form of (sometimes heavy)
showers. These showers mainly occur during the end of the day or after
sunset. Almost all the rain that falls in Gambia falls during the
rainy season. The interior gets 1,000 millimeters of annual rain on
average, the capital Banjul about 1,400 millimeters of annual rain.
However, they may be a difference of several of hundreds of
millimeters of precipitation between different years.
March, April and May are the warmest and most sunny months in Gambia.
During this period temperatures may easily rise up to 40 degrees
Celsius. This is caused by the Harmattan, a desert wind that comes
from the north east. As soon as the rainy season starts daytime
temperatures are slightly lower. However, minimum temperatures rise.
Because of rising humidity figures it still feels warm or even muggy.
Very pleasant winters
December, January and February are the most pleasant months to go on
vacation in Gambia. Humidity figures are lower during this period and
temperatures are much more bearable. It is still warm without getting
too hot. Especially on the beach or at the swimming pool you can enjoy
the sunshine. Because chances of rain are almost nil Gambia is seen as
one of the best places for a winter sun vacation. From March
temperatures start to rise to 34 degrees Celsius which may be a bit
too warm for most of us.
UV-index figures are high in Gambia. The maximum value of 11 can be
recorded almost all year round, with the exception of November,
December and January when a maximum figure of 10 can be recorded.
During cloudy days there is also a high risk of skin burn. If you
expose your skin to the sun for a longer period of time there is also
a serious risk of skin cancer. We advise you to wear protective
clothes (also against mosquitoes) and to apply sunscreen with a high
The figures below are based on long term weather and climate
records. They are an average for Gambia. Local deviations may occur.
During the day it is slightly warmer in the interior than along the
coast. The western part of Gambia gets slightly more rain. Please,
visit the individual climate pages for climate information on specific
places and regions in Gambia.
More climate information
Climate tables are useful but they don’t give an overall picture of
the climate and possible weather conditions during a period of time.
How high the chances are of hot or cold weather or hurricanes can
often not be found in these tables. This is why we offer extra climate
information per month. The figures below can be seen as an average for
The information at this site was carefully composed from climate data collected by meteorological services, meteorological offices, climate experts and other sources. “More climate info” is based on statistics, climate data and personal experience. No rights can be derived from this site. Weather has no memory and gives no guaranties. Nothing is as changeable and unpredictable as the weather. The authors of this site feel in no way responsible for any damages caused by misinterpretation or other circumstances that may influence your holiday or trip to a certain destination. We provide information, it’s up to the reader to use it to it’s benefit.