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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Kotu Beach

Kotu Beach Holidays

Located on the west coast of Gambia, Kotu Beach is a relaxed seaside resort with wide sandy beaches. There's lots of space to stretch out and shallow water at the shoreline making it ideal for families as well as couples. Its untouched landscape also offers plenty of wildlife to explore.

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Spacious beaches and a laid-back pace on the Gambian coast

Kotu Beach lies along the western coastline of Gambia overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and offers a laid-back atmosphere with quiet sandy beaches fringed with coconut palms. Its subtropical climate means hot weather with clear skies from June to October, making it ideal for sun-soaked Gambia beach holidays.

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Enjoy a relaxing swim or some exciting watersports

Kotu's coast has several stretches of sand dotted with parasols and sunloungers. The sea is shallow at the shoreline and stays that way for about 25 metres, so you and your little ones can paddle and play.

After that there's a steep drop into deeper water, so when sea conditions are calm this is the place for swimming. You'll also find a good selection of watersports such as windsurfing, jet-skiing and paragliding.

The busiest areas of beach are located close to the resort hotels but Kotu's Beach is spacious enough to find your own perfect place to relax. At the centre there's a quiet buzz of activity with laid-back beachside bars and places to eat. Stroll a little further and you'll spot crabs on the sand and fishermen working their nets.

Browse for local handicrafts and sample some Gambian cuisine

Just off the beachfront is the shopping hub of Kotu Craft Market. With around 42 shops and stalls to explore during your Gambia holidays there's plenty of browsing to be done. You'll find hand-carved traditional masks, beautiful batik-work fabrics, leather goods, jewellery and fresh fruit for sale – and in the evenings there's free live music and entertainment from 9pm to midnight.

Kotu Beach has a good selection of restaurants and bars to try, with many venues lying right on the beach. You'll find local Gambian specialities that feature ingredients such as freshly caught fish and seafood, rice, peanuts, black eyed peas and cassava. You can also try the local non-alcoholic baobab juice made from the delicious fruit of the baobab tree.

If you're looking for more familiar meal options there are also restaurants serving European and international favourites.

Have fun in the village, enjoy the wildlife or play some golf

Between snoozing in the sun and trying out the delicacies there's lots to see and do in and around Kotu Beach. Have fun learning how to play the traditional djembe drum, or take a cooking class using local ingredients from the market so you can enjoy some Gambian style food when you get home.

A few minutes' walk from the beach is Kotu stream which offers an amazing opportunity to spot a wide variety of bird life. You can take a guided tour, or simply sit and watch the wild kingfishers, various species of ducks and river waders.

If you're a golf fan there are several good courses within a 10-minute taxi ride from Kotu Beach. Kololi Golf Course has 18 holes suitable for both experienced golfers and beginners. There's also the locally renowned Fajara Golf Club which is the oldest in Gambia, where you can enjoy your game in a beachside setting surrounded by exotic birds.

If golf isn't your thing, you can always make use of the club's tennis courts, snooker halls and a swimming pool – the whole family can enjoy a day out here.

Take a trip to amazing Fathala Wildlife Park

If you'd like to see some of the most iconic African wildlife you can take a day trip out to Fathala Wildlife Park in neighbouring Senegal. This is just a 90-minute drive away, which you can do by taxi or with a tour directly from Kotu Beach.

You'll be able to spot wild lions, giraffe, rhinos and zebras, which is sure to make for some unforgettable holiday memories and photos.

Explore the history and architecture of Banjul

Gambia's compact capital city Banjul is only 25 minutes' away by taxi and is well worth a day trip. Explore the fascinating history of Gambia at the Gambian National Museum and the African Heritage Museum, or explore the stalls in Albert Market.

There are also several architectural delights in Banjul, including the ornate Arch 22 which lies at the entrance to the city, and the stunning King Fahd Mosque.