Special flights are being organized to evacuate British tourists from Gambia where the threat of a military intervention looms.

Incumbent leader Yahya Jammeh declared a state of emergency Tuesday, just two days before he is supposed to step aside after losing the December presidential election.

Jammeh refuses, citing voting irregularities, and the West African regional bloc known as ECOWAS has threatened to force him out.

Travel group Thomas Cook says it plans to bring home nearly 1,000 vacationers, and four more flights were being added for Wednesday.

The evacuation is not mandatory, but offers those who want to leave the option. Many tourists here seemed unaware and continued to enjoy lying on the beach.

The state of emergency bans people from "any acts of disobedience" or violence.