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Abuko Nature Reserve

Situated half hour away from the main tourist area, Abuko Nature Reserve was established in 1968 as The Gambia’s first protected area and provides a good introduction to the country’s plants and animals. The pools in the reserve hold a substantial population of Nile crocodiles and attract a wide variety of birds, mammals and reptiles. The education centre overlooks the pool and gives an interpretation of the ecology and Abuko is home to more than 270 species of birds, including the green turaco, kingfisher, little greenbul and red-bellied paradise flycatcher. Mammals in the reserve include bushbuck, Maxwell’s duiker, Gambian redlegged sun squirrel and crested porcupine.

The park contains monitor lizards and several species of snakes, and visitors will also encounter colourful butterflies and dragonflies. The animal orphanage hosts

spotted hyenas, baboons, parrots, turtles and three species of monkeys. There are also several photo hides along the trail which provide excellent conditions for spotting wildlife. A refreshment kiosk provides drinks and snacks and a craft market, located at the exit, features items made by local artisans. Guides are available at the entrance to provide expert interpretations of the reserve’s ecology and assist in spotting

wildlife. To reach Abuko, hire any taxi or take public transport from Westfield car park toward Lamin

village. Ask to be dropped at the reserve entrance.


Tanji Bird Reserve

Tanji Bird Reserve is comprised of the Tanji river estuary and the Bijol Islands. It is located a short drive away from the tourist development area, making it a perfect day trip for nature enthusiasts. The reserve is an important bird nesting site for terns and gulls and is home to more than 250 species of birds, including several European migrants and 34 types of raptors. Visitors to Tanji may also see the Western red colobus,

callithrix and patas monkeys, as well as bushbuck, porcupines and the rare Mediterranean monk seal. On moonless nights from May to July, green sea turtles come to the islands to dig nests for their eggs.

 To get the most out of your visit, hire an experienced bird guide or participate in the tours provided by the park headquarters, offered twice a week from January to August, and daily from September to December. Tourists can board a boat to the Bijol Islands at the headquarters. Prices for the boat trip are 350 Dalasis per person for a group, or 500 Dalasis for individuals. To reach Tanji Bird Reserve, hire any taxi or take public transportation to the Turntable area. At Turntable, board a vehicle to Tanji and drop at the signboard

for the park posted on the highway.

Tanbi Wetlands National Park

A half hour away from the beach resorts, Tanbi Wetlands National Park provides excellent boating, fishing, birdwatching and wildlife viewing opportunities. Tanbi is internationally recognized for its ecological value and includes coastal lagoons, mudflast, gallery forests, marshes and mangrove forests. It contains more than 350 species of birds, including the African fish eagle, pelican, osprey and many migratory species. Visitors may also encounter the West African manatee, African clawless otter, bushbuck, marsh  mongoose, Atlantic humpbacked dolphin and Nile crocodile. Fishing trips through the mangroves yield catches of butterfish, barracuda, ladyfish and red snapper. You may also encounter local women

harvesting oysters from the mangroves.

The best way to experience the park is by taking a peaceful boat trip through the wilderness of mangroves. Boat tours and fishing trips are available at Lamin Lodge (look for the signs along the Banjul-Brikama highway in Lamin Village, or hire any taxi), or with the professional outfitters and local boat operators next to Denton Bridge on the highway to Banjul.

Niumi National Park

Featuring one of the last untouched mangrove stands in West Africa and located just across the river from Banjul, Niumi National Park will please nature enthusiasts and beach lovers alike. Birdwatchers will appreciate the abundance of migratory and resident species, including terns, harriers, and warblers. The

spotted hyena, green turtle, West African manatee, leopard, African clawless otter and bush duiker are also present, and swimmers on the beautiful beach at Jinack Island may sight dolphins playing offshore.

Lodging is available at Madiyana Safari Lodge on Jinack Island, and the park HQ is expected to have

tents available by the end of 2009. Visitors can also stay in nearby Jinack Niji at Camara Sambou Beach Bar or Coconut Lodge. To reach Niumi National Park headquarters, take the ferry from Banjul to Barra and board a car to the headquarters at Kanuma village. Many beach resorts also offer excursions to Jinack Island.


Kiang West National Park

Kiang West National Park is the foremost wildlife reserve in The Gambia. It is composed mainly of Guinea savannah and woodland and is an excellent place for hiking. The escarpment running through the park provides beautiful views.

Species of birds, many of which are difficult to observe anywhere else. Warthog, bushbuck, Guinea

baboon, Senegal bushbaby, marsh mongoose, roan antelope and manatee also reside in the park.

Tours are available at the park HQ, and visitors can stay at nearby Tendaba Camp. Kiang West is located 135 km from the beach resorts. To reach the headquarters, take public transport to Brikama car park and

ask for a vehicle to Dumbuto; park HQ is one kilometre from the sign on the highway at Dumbuto.

Organized trips are also available through some coastal resorts.

Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve

Directly across from kiang West National Park on the North Bank of the country lies Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve. It features six major bolongs (creeks) that provide excellent opportunities for boating and birding.

The pristine reserve is home to several rare and migratory birds, including the African finfoot, Pel’s fishing owl, ibis and brownnecked parrot. Visitors may also see the African clawless otter, West African manatee, baboon and Nile crocodile. Jackals, hyenas and warthogs are found in the dry areas.

Guests can explore the creeks on boat trips operated by Tendaba Camp, which provides lodging, Land access is available on the North Bank at Konte Kunda Njii, Katchang, Salikene, and Njaba Kunda.

A locally-run camp in Duntu Mallang (turn south off the main road at No Kunda) is expected to be perational by late 2009.

River Gambia National Park

Located near the ancient stone circles at Wassu, River Gambia National Park encompasses five small islands dominated by gallery forest, seasonal swamp and savannah. Visitors may be lucky to spot the endangered hippopotamus, the largest remaining mammal in The Gambia. The park also hosts the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Association (CRA), which protects chimps rescued from around the world. The original group of 17 chimps has expanded to more than 80, with the third island-born generation expected soon.

Boat tours of the park give visitors a chance to view the chimpanzees and are included in a stay at the CRA’s visitor facility, Badi Mayo; bookings must be made well in advance by calling 994 7430.Other tours which offer a more distant view of the islands from the main channel are available at nearby Janjanbureh through Bird Safari Camp and Janjanbureh Camp, which also offer reasonably priced accommodations.

Residents of nearby in Kuntaur may also be able to take visitors through the channel. To reach the park, board the ferry from Banjul to Barra. At Barra car park, take a vehicle to Wassu and proceed to Kuntaur. If heading to Janjanbureh, board a vehicle heading directly to the town at Barra car park



Interested participants wishing to attend the 2016 Roots Festival  can reigister and also access the Official Roots Programme on The Gambia Roots website; Read more about ONLINE REGISTRATION OF THE 12TH EDITION OF ROOTS HOME COMMING FESTIVAL 2016

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