Bakau[1] is a town on the Atlantic coast of Gambia, west of Gambia's capital city of Banjul. It is known for its botanical gardens, its crocodile pool Bakau Kachikally and for the beaches at Cape Point. Bakau is the first major suburb outside Banjul and the most developed town in the Gambia. Close to Bakau and Banjul is Gambia's largest city, Serekunda.

Location in the Gambia
Coordinates: 13°29′N 16°41′W
CountryThe Gambia
DivisionKombo Saint Mary's
Time zoneUTC+0 (GMT)


Legend has it that Bakau grew up around the holy crocodile pool in Kachikally, the central district of Bakau. 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. 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 sprang around the old village, acquiring new names in the process. What were farms of the local population became well planned suburbs filled with bungalows, such as Fajara, New Town, Cape Point, Mile7 and Farrowkono (formerly used as gardens by the locals)


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. In town there are a few guest houses. 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.

Gardening is also another major business activity in which the local women are mostly engaged on for livehood. The town has lots of shops, selling different types of products and services along the Sait Matty Road.

Afrinat International Airlines had its head office in Bakau.[2]

  • Bakau Primary School
  • NewTown Primary School
  • Marina International Scholl
  • West African International School
  • Gambia Methodist Academy
  • American International School
  • Glory Baptist Senior Secondary School
  • Bakau Upper Basic School
  • Presidents' Awards Scheme
  • Katchikally Nursery School


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 and a few guest houses. The only national Stadium, The Independence Stadium, is located here. The national broadcaster, Radio Gambia, is located in Bakau at its Mile 7 studios.UN country headquarters is also located here with different foreign embassies. There is also a large military camp, a police barracks and a fire brigade.


  • Kachikally Museum and Crocodile Pool
  • Botanical Gardens
  • Fajara Hotel
  • Ocean bay Hotel
  • African Village Hotel
  • Cape Point Hotel
  • SunBeach Hotel
  • The Garden Guest House
  • Bakau Basketball Academy
  • Swedish and Norwegian Councillor
  • Independence Stadium
  • Rock Heights

Notable people


  1. "Bakau". Retrieved 17 November 2010.
  2. "Contacts Archived 26 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine." Afrinat International Airlines. Retrieved on 26 February 2010. "Afrinat International Airlines 6 Garba Jahumpa Road Bakau Banjul-The Gambia"

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