Gambia (Africa)Advice for All Destinations Immunisations Malaria Malaria Map Other Health Risks Alerts News
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and travel restrictions being imposed without notice.
Before making travel plans you should check all of the following:
- check the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office website for country specific Travel Advisory Notices (travel restrictions) and entry requirements
- click the 'Alerts' link on the menu above for details of your risk of exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) in this country
- check the GOV.UK website for self-isolation (quarantine) rules for when you return to the UK
- read the information on the COVID-19: Health Considerations for Travel page
Advice for All Destinations
If you're planning to travel outside the UK, your travel health needs will depend on your individual situation, including:
- your destination
- how long you'll stay
- what you’ll be doing
- your general health
Ideally consult with your travel healthcare practitioner 6-8 weeks in advance of travel. If your trip is sooner, contact them anyway, they may still be able to help and its never too late to seek advice.
Many of the health problems experienced by travellers cannot be prevented by vaccinations and other measures need to be taken. These include food and water safety, accident prevention, care with sun exposure, avoiding insect bites and animal bites, and practicing good respiratory hygiene.
If you will be travelling with medication (including over the counter medication) you should check for any restrictions on medications before you travel, you can do this by contacting the embassy of the country you're visiting.
Ensure you have travel insurance and are fully covered for medical emergencies including repatriation. For Travel Safety Advice you should visit the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Officewebsite.
A worldwide list of travel clinics, run by members of the International Society of Travel Medicine is available on their website
If you are unwell on return from travel, seek medical attention and let your healthcare practitioner know where you have been.
- Confirm primary courses and boosters are up to date as recommended for life in Britain - including for example, seasonal flu vaccine (if indicated), MMR, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions.
- Courses or boosters usually advised: Hepatitis A; Tetanus; Yellow Fever.
- Other vaccines to consider: Hepatitis B; Meningococcal Meningitis; Rabies; Typhoid.
- Selectively advised vaccines - only for those individuals at highest risk: Cholera.
Yellow fever vaccination certificate required for travellers aged 9 months or over arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited for more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.
Notes on the diseases mentioned above
spread through consumption of contaminated water and food. It would be unusual for travellers to contract cholera if they take basic precautions with food and water and maintain a good standard of hygiene.
Risk is higher during floods and after natural disasters, in areas with very poor sanitation and lack of clean drinking water.
Risk is highest for humanitarian aid workers; those working in refugee camps or slums; those caring for people with cholera.
spread through consuming contaminated food and water or person to person through the faecal-oral route.
Risk is higher where personal hygiene and sanitation is poor.
Risk is highest for those with underlying medical conditions where there is increased risk of severe disease e.g. chronic liver/kidney disease; haemophiliacs; men who have sex with men; people who inject drugs.
spread through infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles and medical instruments and sexual intercourse.
Risk is higher for long stays, frequent travel and for children (exposed through cuts and scratches), those who may require medical treatment during travel.
Risk is highest for those with underlying medical conditions where there is increased risk of severe disease e.g. chronic liver/kidney disease; haemophiliacs; men who have sex with men; people who change partners frequently; people who inject drugs.
- Meningococcal Meningitis:  spread by droplet infection through close person to person contact. Meningococcal disease is found worldwide but epidemics may occur within this country, particularly during the dry season. Risk is higher for those mixing with locals for extended periods.
- Rabies:  spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, scratch or lick on broken skin. Particularly dogs and related species, and also cats and bats. Risk is higher for those going to remote areas (who may not be able to promptly access appropriate treatment in the event of a bite), long stays, those at higher risk of contact with animals and bats, and children.All travellers should avoid contact with animals (both wild and domestic) particularly dogs and cats. Even when pre-exposure vaccine has been received, urgent medical advice should be sought after any animal or bat bite.
- Tetanus:  spread through contamination of cuts, burns and wounds with tetanus spores. Spores are found in soil worldwide. A total of 5 doses of tetanus vaccine are recommended for life in the UK. Boosters are usually recommended in a country or situation where the correct treatment of an injury may not be readily available.
- Typhoid:  spread mainly through consumption of contaminated food and drink. Risk is higher where access to adequate sanitation and safe water is limited.
- Yellow Fever:  spread by the bite of an infected, day-biting mosquito. The disease is mainly found in rural areas of affected countries but outbreaks in urban areas do occur. Vaccination is usually recommended for all those who travel into risk areas. View yellow fever risk areas here. In addition, certain countries may want to see proof of vaccination on an official yellow fever vaccination certificate - check above under Immunisations.
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease transmitted by mosquitoes.You cannot be vaccinated against malaria.
Malaria precautionsMalaria Map
- Malaria risk is high throughout the year (with a peak in cases between July and September) in all areas.
- Malaria precautions are essential Avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset, using insect repellents on exposed skin and, when necessary, sleeping under a mosquito net.
- Check with your doctor or nurse about suitable antimalarial tablets.
- See malaria map – additional information can be found by clicking on the Regional Information icon below the map.
- High risk areas: atovaquone/proguanil OR doxycycline OR mefloquine is usually advised.
- If you have been travelling in a malarious area and develop a fever seek medical attention promptly. Remember malaria can develop even up to one year after exposure.
- If travelling to an area remote from medical facilities, carrying standby emergency treatment for malaria may be considered.
Other Health Risks
SchistosomiasisA parasitic infection (also known as bilharzia) that is transmitted to humans through contact with fresh water. The parasite enters humans through the skin and prevention is dependant on avoidance of swimming, bathing or paddling in fresh water lakes and streams. For further information see Schistosomiasis.
There is a high risk of exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) in this country.
- You are advised to avoid non-essential travel to this country.