Banjul (Arabic: بانجول), officially the City of Banjul and formerly known as Bathurst, is the capital of the Gambia and is in a division of the same name. The population of the city proper is only 34,828, with the Greater Banjul Area, which includes the City of Banjul and the Kanifing Municipal Council, at a population of 357,238 (2003 census). Banjul is on St Mary's Island (Banjul Island), where the Gambia River enters the Atlantic Ocean. 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. The mispronunciation led to the word Banjul.
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.