British holidaymakers returning from The Gambia have spoken of the "chaotic scramble" to get them on flights out of Africa.
The first UK tourists arrived at Manchester Airport overnight.
Sara Wilkins was on holiday in the crisis-torn country with her husband and said: "We weren't told anything, every day they were like, everything's fine, don't worry about it.
"But it was a nightmare at the airport, people were crying and panicking. It was just chaos."
Ralph Newton, from Nottingham, said: "We didn't get communication until this morning, 9am, you've got to leave. The coaches came and then it was just a bit of chaos, but they did their best at the airport."
Some 3,500 UK tourists are believed to be in the country with the international airport in the capital Banjul in danger of closing "at short notice".