Bakau Gambia

Keywords: Bakau Gambia
Description: Bakau is a town on the Atlantic Ocean’s coast of The Gambia, lying west of the county’s capital Banjul. It is known for its botanical gardens, its crocodile pool, Bakau Kachikally and for the

Bakau is a town on the Atlantic Ocean’s coast of The Gambia, lying west of the county’s capital Banjul. It is known for its botanical gardens, its crocodile pool, Bakau Kachikally and for the Atlantic Ocean front beaches at Cape Point. It is the first major suburb outside Banjul and the most developed town in The Gambia. Close to Bakau and Banjul is Serrekunda. Bakau Guest House is actually situated in one of the tallest buildings in Bakau, and it overlooks the Atlantic just beside the mouth of the River Gambia.

Legend has it that Bakau grew up around the holy crocodile pool in the central district of Bakau, Kachikally. Bakau itself was a small village at the turn of the 19th century and grew in importance as it became a favourite place for private residences of colonial administrators especially along the beautiful palm fringed beaches. Despite being a major town, the old village still exists and is run like any other in The Gambia with an ‘Alkali’ (similar to ‘Mayor’) and divided into Kabilos .Interestingly, there exists a much smaller village within the old village called Bakau Wasulung Kunda, indicating the migrant origins of its inhabitants. As people began to move out of Banjul government allocated residential areas quickly sprung around the old village, acquiring new names in the process. What were once the farms of the local population became well planned suburbs filled with bungalows such as Fajara, New Town and Cape Point.

Tourism is the most important business activity in Bakau providing a lot of employment, as well as income for the municipal authority. At Cape Point there are a few hotels on a beach, arguably superior to the main Atlantic ocean beach, which is home to most of the hotels in the country. There is also a major market along the main road famous for its fruit and vegetables. Most banks have branches there and several companies also maintain offices there.

Fishing is also another major business activity and there is a fishing port by the town beach together with a wharf where a market attracts many visitors. One of the few ice plants in the country is located there. Bakau Primary school, established in 1947, is one of the oldest schools in the country. Today there are other lower basic schools as well a several high schools, both public and private.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) which is arguably the largest private employer of labour in the Gambia and is located nearby, within a fenced complex. The MRC has a long history in The Gambia and is a leading global centre of excellence in malaria research.

Bakau is perhaps the most developed settlement in The Gambia with excellent communication facilities. Only the major roads are paved and the rate of electricity connection is almost universal. There are several hotels, a few other guest houses, besides Bakau Guest House, whilst the only national Stadium, The Independence Stadium, is located here, within walking distance of the centrally placed Bakau Guest House.

The national broadcaster, Radio Gambia, is located in Bakau at its Mile 7 studios. There is also a large military camp, a police barracks and a fire brigade. (

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