A map of GambiaGambia (usually called the Gambia) is made up of a narrow strip of land running either side of the River Gambia. Apart from its short Atlantic coast, it is completely surrounded by Senegal. The River Gambia flows through savanna grasslands, before reaching mangrove swamps near its mouth. The Gambia has a hot, tropical climate, with a rainy season between June and November.
The Gambia is home to many different ethnic groups, including the Mandinka, Fulani, Wolof and Jola peoples. Each have their own language and traditions. The largest group, the Mandinka, are a mainly Muslim people whose ancestors originate in Mali. Mandinka families traditionally live together in groups of linked houses called compounds. The villages, made up of these compounds, are each ruled by group of elders. Islam is the major religion in the Gambia; it was introduced by Arab traders in the 10th century.
The Gambia is the smallest country on the African mainland.
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