Insights into Living Costs in The Gambia

On the whole prices of everyday products are cheaper than in Europe, but some items, particularly imported supermarket products, can be higher.

low living costs gambia

Known as the “Smiling Coast of Africa,” The Gambia is admired for its diverse culture, welcoming locals, and pristine beaches. For those contemplating moving to The Gambia, understanding the cost of living is crucial. This article offers a thorough look at the living costs in The Gambia, providing valuable insights and price indications to help future residents plan accordingly.

1. Food and Groceries

The Gambia boasts a plethora of local produce, with markets offering fresh fruits, vegetables, and staples like rice and fish. Generally, food costs are affordable, with a monthly grocery bill for a single person estimated around $50 – $100. However, those who prefer imported goods and frequent upscale restaurants should anticipate higher expenses. Dining in a mid-range restaurant may cost around $20 – $30 per meal.

2. Housing and Utilities

The cost of renting a house or apartment in The Gambia varies significantly, depending on the location, size, and amenities. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre can range from $300 to $500 per month, while outside the city centre, it may be around $200 – $350. Utility bills, including electricity, water, and garbage, typically cost between $30 and $50 per month.

3. Transportation

Public transportation in The Gambia is widely accessible and cost-effective. Shared taxis and mini-buses are common modes of transport, costing around $0.50 – $1.50 per trip depending on the distance. However, those preferring private taxis or owning a vehicle will incur higher costs, with petrol prices around $1.10 per litre.

4. Education

International schools are available for expatriates, but they come with a hefty price tag, averaging around $6,000 – $12,000 per annum. Local schools are substantially more affordable, making them a viable option for those looking to economize.

5. Healthcare

Healthcare in The Gambia is relatively inexpensive, but the quality of medical services may not match Western standards. A visit to a general practitioner may cost around $20 – $30, while a visit to a specialist can cost approximately $30 – $50. It is advisable to have comprehensive health insurance to cover potential medical expenses, especially those requiring medical evacuation.

6. Entertainment and Lifestyle

The Gambia offers diverse entertainment options, from vibrant nightlife to serene beaches. A movie ticket costs around $5, while a night out can range from $20 to $50, depending on the choice of venue and beverages. Gym memberships are available from $20 to $50 per month, and a day at a spa can cost around $30 – $60.

7. Miscellaneous Expenses

Internet services are usually around $30 per month for unlimited data, and mobile services cost approximately $0.10 per minute for local calls. Personal care items and clothing can be relatively inexpensive, especially when purchased from local markets, but imported brands may have a higher price tag.


Living in The Gambia can be a fulfilling experience, offering a blend of cultural richness and scenic beauty. While the cost of living is generally lower compared to Western countries, it is essential to budget and plan effectively, considering individual lifestyle preferences and needs. By understanding the various living costs and managing finances wisely, expatriates can truly savour the essence of life in the Smiling Coast.

This guide offers a glimpse into the potential costs one might incur while living in The Gambia, but it is always advisable to conduct more in-depth research and consider individual needs and preferences when budgeting for life in a new country.

cost of living in Gambia