The Gambia River is the major trade and transportation route for the country. It also supports commercial fisheries and the cultivation of rice, millet, and other crops.
Southern Senegal and The Gambia are part of the Sudanian climate zone, which is known for dense woodlands, savannas, and wetlands. These ecosystems are visible to the south of the Gambia River (image left). The region north of the river (right) appears much brighter due to the exposure of bare soil and the dearth of visible vegetation.
This coastal region is densely populated (//www.columbia.edu/~msj42/PeopleandCulture.htm). The capital and port city of Banjul sits on an island where the Gambia River reaches the Atlantic. With an increasing population, the demand for timber (//www.columbia.edu/~msj42/pdfs/ClimateChangeDevelopmentGambia_small.pdf#page=34) for construction has put stress on the mangrove forests.