The Republic of the Gambia, better known as simply “the Gambia”, is the smallest country on the continent of Africa. Surrounded on three of its four sides by Senegal and offering the fourth to the Atlantic Ocean , this tiny country has a unique beauty and charm. Only measuring about 30 miles at its widest point, the Gambia’s borders mimic the snaking body of the River Gambia that flows through the center of the country. Water is a major part of the Gambia’s composition as about 11.5 percent of the country is covered in it. This strong presence of water combined with the tropical climate of the area makes the Gambia an amazing place for ecological exploration.
Living in the Gambia would provide an opportunity to live in a unique ecological setting amongst a large spread of exotic plants and animals. The Gambia has six national parks that take up 3.7 percent of the country’s land and work to preserve the habitats within their boundaries. While residing in the Gambia you can explore along the river, catching sight of exciting animals such as baboons and hippopotamuses, or go to a creek or lagoon to see a glimpse of a crocodile or dolphin.
Agriculture comprises the largest percentage of the Gambia’s economy, employing about 70 percent of the working population within the country. If working in agriculture does not seem like a desirable profession, tourism is growing in the Gambia, thereby creating more jobs in the service industry. Those two employment options are the most reasonable areas in which a foreigner can hope to find a job within the country, otherwise securing employment from an international company with work in the Gambia is another potential course of action.
Work is a necessary component if a foreign individual wishes to pursue obtaining residence within the Gambia. A non-Gambian must acquire a work/residential permit as well as an alien’s ID card. There are three different categories for these residential permits and the individual should apply for the appropriate one for their purpose. There are also two types of alien’s ID cards and a person should make sure to receive the correct one. If work is hard to come by for a while foreigners can take comfort in the beneficial exchange rate as one U.S. dollar can be exchanged for about 27 Gambian Dalasi.
For native English speakers who might not be interested in learning another language, the Gambia is perfect since its official language is English. For being such a unique place, the Gambia might feel a bit strange at times to foreigners trying to settle there but luckily there are numerous online expatriate groups that provide support networks and communities from other foreigners living abroad.