The Republic of The Gambia is a country in West Africa, the smallest country within mainland Africa and the oldest of the British colonies. Gambia is situated on both sides of the lower reaches of the Gambia River, the nation’s namesake, which flows through the county’s centre. It has an area of 10,689 square kilometres with a population of 1,857,181 as of the April 2013 census. Banjul is the Gambian capital and the country’s largest metropolitan area. The largest cities are Serekunda and Brikama. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to enter the Gambian region in 1455, but they never established important trade there. In 1765, Gambia was made a part of the British Empire by the establishment of the Gambia Colony and Protectorate. In 1965, Gambia gained Independence under the leadership of Dawda Kairaba Jawara, who ruled until Yahya Jammeh seized power in a bloodless 1994 coup. Adama Barrow became the Gambia’s third president in January 2017 after defeating Jammeh in the December 2016 elections. Jammeh initially accepted the results then refused to accept them, which triggered a constitutional crisis and military intervention by the Economic Community of West African States, which resulted in his exile. Gambia’s economy is dominated by farming, fishing, and tourism. In 2015 48.6% of the population lived in poverty. In rural areas poverty is even more widespread at almost 70%.
Fun fact: Gambia is the smallest country in mainland Africa, making it smaller than Yorkshire. Gambia also holds a sacred crocodile pool called Kachikally, which holds around 100 species of crocodiles.