Flights to Farafenni The small city of Farafenni is in central Gambia, near the northern border with Senegal. It is mostly a market town that supplies most of the commercial industry for the area. There are many shopping outlets and other services for travellers though the city doesn’t have many luxuries.
The closest airport for flights to Farafenni is the Banjul International Airport (airport code: BJL) which is 120km away. When departing from Johannesburg, you will have only a few options for getting a flight to Farafenni. Arik Air has a one-stop flight that travels through Lagos, and Lufthansa is the other option with connections in Frankfurt and Brussels. Either way, the flight will be long. You will be travelling for at least 30 hours, and possibly as long as 46.
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The Tourist Attractions of Farafenni:
Kiang West National Park
The Kiang West National park is not far from Farafenni to the west, though you will have to cross the river to get there. This park is a mix of ecosystems that include wetlands, the Gambia River, forests and open grasslands. It is an excellent park to see reptiles but aside from the many crocodiles, you can also see warthogs, antelope, wild cats and manatees.
River Gambia National Park
You will have to travel farther inland to get to the River Gambia National Park but there is a main road heading there from Farafenni so the trip should be relatively smooth. The park is made up of five large islands in a tight bend of the river. Part of the park is made up of a protected primate reserve and has no access for tourists. But you can stop at the chimp rehab centre on the mainland or take a boat cruise around the islands to see the animals from the water. Aside from the plentiful chimpanzees, you can also see crocodiles, hippos, colobus monkeys, aardvarks, and the occasional river porpoise.
Lumo Market is the weekly outdoor market in Farafenni where many of the local residents go for fresh produce and other goods. It’s on the outskirts of town, near the stadium and is a great place to do some browsing and see some authentic Gambian lifestyle.
Niumi National Park
If you are heading back to the west toward the coast, you should stop at the Niumi National Park, which is just across the mouth of the river from Bakau and Banjul. It is a wetlands park filled with mangrove forests and marshes. Bird-watching is very popular throughout the park, and you may also see dolphins, manatees, crocodiles, otters and herds of small forest antelope.
When Should You Visit?:
Rain is very minimal in Farafenni and most months are very comfortable in terms of temperature. The heat is highest in March and April when it reaches 28C (82F) in the daytime. Cooler weather sets in around November, and it gets the coldest in February when daytime highs are only 13C (55F). September through December is usually the best time as it is comfortable enough to walk around without a coat.