The 10 Best Museums in Banjul

Banjul, the vibrant capital of The Gambia, is a treasure trove of culture and history. Nestled at the mouth of the majestic River Gambia, this city might be one of the smallest capitals in Africa, but it packs a punch with its rich tapestry of museums. As someone who’s always on the lookout for a deep dive into the local culture, I’ve found that Banjul’s museums offer a unique glimpse into the heart and soul of Gambian heritage. Let’s embark on a journey through the top 10 museums that are a must-visit for any culture enthusiast.

1. The Gambia National Museum

Right at the heart of Banjul, The Gambia National Museum stands as a sentinel of the nation’s history. It’s a place where you can spend hours marveling at artifacts that span centuries. From colonial relics to traditional musical instruments, the museum offers a narrative of The Gambia’s past and present. The stories behind each exhibit are as captivating as the items themselves.

2. African Heritage Museum

Just a stone’s throw away from the bustling markets, the African Heritage Museum is a hidden gem. It’s home to an impressive collection of African art, including sculptures, textiles, and masks. The museum not only showcases the artistic prowess of the Gambian people but also tells the story of the continent’s diverse cultures.

3. Arch 22 Museum

Arch 22, towering above the city, is more than just an architectural landmark. Inside, a museum awaits, chronicling the 1994 coup that shaped modern Gambia. The panoramic view from the top is breathtaking, offering a bird’s eye view of Banjul’s colorful tapestry.

4. The War Memorial and Relics Museum

History buffs, take note! The War Memorial and Relics Museum, situated at the heart of the city, is a poignant reminder of The Gambia’s role in global conflicts. From World War Ii to the West African Frontier Force, the museum pays homage to the brave soldiers with its collection of uniforms, medals, and photographs.

5. The Kachikally Museum and Crocodile Pool

Combining nature and culture, the Kachikally Museum and Crocodile Pool is an experience like no other. Located in nearby Bakau, it’s a sanctuary for crocodiles, considered sacred by locals. The museum portion provides insight into Gambian folklore and traditions, making it a fascinating cultural pitstop.

6. The Money and Central Bank Museum

Ever wondered about the evolution of currency? The Money and Central Bank Museum offers a detailed history of Gambian dalasi and banking. It’s a unique museum that delves into the economic journey of the nation, complete with old notes, coins, and financial documents.

7. Fort Bullen

Fort Bullen, located across the river in Barra, is a historical site turned museum. It stands as a testament to the abolition of the slave trade. The fort’s cannons, still overlooking the river, and the museum’s exhibits tell a powerful story of resilience and liberation.

8. The Bijilo Forest Park Museum

While primarily a nature Reserve, Bijilo Forest Park also features a small museum. It’s dedicated to the country’s Flora and fauna. Here, you can learn about the park’s ecosystem before venturing out to meet its inhabitants, including monkeys and a variety of bird species.

9. The Juffureh Slavery Museum

Located in the historic village of Juffureh, this museum is dedicated to the dark history of the transatlantic slave trade. It’s a sobering educational experience that connects visitors with the ancestral stories of many African Americans, including Alex Haley’s ‘Roots’.

10. The Brikama Wood Carving Museum

Brikama, known for its skilled woodcarvers, boasts a museum that celebrates this craft. The Wood Carving Museum displays intricate works and offers insights into the techniques and symbolism behind each piece. It’s a testament to the artistic spirit of The Gambia.


  • What are the opening hours for the museums in Banjul?

    Most museums in Banjul are open from 9 am to 5 pm, but it’s best to check ahead as times can vary, especially on weekends and public holidays.

  • Is photography allowed inside the museums?

    Photography policies differ from museum to museum. Some allow it freely, while others may charge a fee or prohibit it altogether. Always ask for permission before snapping pictures.

  • Are there guided tours available?

    Yes, several museums offer guided tours. These can provide a richer understanding of the exhibits, as guides often share fascinating stories and lesser-known facts.


Banjul’s museums are a testament to the city’s layered history and vibrant culture. From the comprehensive narrative at The Gambia National Museum to the artistic displays at the Brikama Wood Carving Museum, each institution offers a unique window into the soul of The Gambia. Whether you’re a history aficionado or an art lover, these museums provide an enriching experience that goes beyond the surface. They’re not just places to visit; they’re stories to be lived and memories to be made. So next time you’re in Banjul, make sure to carve out time for these cultural havens – they’re sure to leave an indelible mark on your understanding of this fascinating corner of the world.

For those seeking to explore the rich tapestry of Banjul’s history and culture, these museums offer an unparalleled journey through time and tradition. They stand as proud narrators of The Gambia’s past, present, and future, inviting visitors from around the globe to discover and learn. So, if you’re ever in this charming city, don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the stories etched within the walls of Banjul’s finest museums.

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