The laterite rock columns of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wassu Stone Circles

The laterite rock columns of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wassu Stone Circles

The Gambia is perhaps more famous for its watery attractions – the fine powder of its beaches, the luxuriant riverscape – but the land holds pleasures too, not least the hundreds of stone circles that embellish it. The most impressive of these are the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wassu Stones, a collection of laterite and sand domes, up to three metres tall, said to be the ancient burial mounds of kings and chiefs, some 1,200 years old. They make for an atmospheric, arresting sight, and a vivid reminder that the region’s history rolls back for centuries before the arrival of colonialists.