Banjul is the second largest city in and capital of Gambia. The city is on an island, which has constrained its size - population is only 40,000. Consequently much of the population now is based on the mainland between the airport and the city. The main tourist and business centres are around Bakau, Fajara, Kotu and Serrekunda.
Banjul is on St Mary's Island (Banjul Island), where the Gambia River enters the Atlantic Ocean. The population of the city proper is 31,301, with the Greater Banjul Area, which includes the City of Banjul and the Kanifing Municipal Council, at a population of 413,397 (2013 census). The island is connected to the mainland to the west and the rest of Greater Banjul Area via bridges. There are also ferries linking Banjul to the mainland at the other side of the river. Banjul takes its name from the Mandé people who gathered specific fibres on the island, which were used in the manufacture of ropes. Bang julo is the Mandinka (Mande) word for rope fibre. In 1651 Banjul was leased by The Duke of Courland and Semigallia (German: Herzog von Kurland und Semgallen) from the King of Kombo, as part of the Couronian colonization. On 23 April 1816, the King of Kombo ceded Banjul Island to Alexander Grant, the British commandant.