Bijilo Forest Reserve
The Bijilo Forest Reserve is located on the coast of the Atlantic, far from the capital Banjul. The popularly called “Monkey Park” Park was founded in 1950 and was initially intended for timber production. 1982 Park was converted into a nature reserve and placed under protection. In collaboration with the German GTZ Trails were subsequently set up and opened the reserve for visitors.
Today, visitors can explore the Bijilo Forest Reserve in four different sections hiking on your own or with the help of a guide. The reserve is the last natural coastal forest and in addition to a multi-layered vegetation and many animal species. To admire, there are here with baobabs, cinnamon apple-annonas and Red cotton trees and vultures, eagles, lizards and many species of colorful butterflies. As the name “Monkey Park” suggests, various species of monkeys in the nature reserve are home. Vervet monkeys cavort here with Red colobus and offer visitors the unique opportunity to observe the animals in their natural environment.
Makasutu Cultural Forest
The Makasutu Cultural Forest is one of the flagship projects of the Gambia. In just ten years, two Brits have made it here, from 1000 hectares of mangrove swamps and palm forests to make a nature reserve with visitor center and a 5-star eco-lodge. As one of the most appreciated spots of the Gambia provides Makasutu Cultural Forest, not least because of the new jobs created for the local population is an important factor in the development of the region.
As part of excursions visitors have the opportunity to explore the nature reserve in a day or half day walking tour. These bushwalks you can admire the diverse flora and fauna of the reserve, visit a traditional healer, to participate in a dug-out canoe on the Mandina Bolong, a branch of the Gambia River, or an extensive Gambian buffet lunch with cassava, fried fish and enjoy Beef Domoda , For entertainment during the buffet contribute alongside traditional drum music, the Guinea baboon who always try to steal food from the buffet.
The primeval Gambian adventure continues at the property. In the luxurious Mandina Lodge of the nature reserve, you have a choice of jungle lodges, bungalows on stilts or floating lodges that float gently in the mangrove waters of Mandina bolongs.
Abuko Nature Reserve
The Abuko Nature Reserve is located just half an hour south of the capital Banjul and has an impressive number of plant and animal species. The reserve now live about 270 species of birds, 70 species of butterflies and 37 reptile species. In addition, about 115 different species of plants are located in the nature reserve. It was established since 1968 and due to its biodiversity provides a comprehensive insight into the diverse natural spectacle Gambia.
A trip to the most visited nature reserve Gambia is worthwhile in any case. At the Crocodile Pool turtles, herons, cormorants and various water birds can be admired alongside real crocodiles.
Especially bird lovers come in Abuko Nature Reserve at their expense. In the forests of the reserve, there are some of the most beautiful birds of Africa as Paradiesschnäpper, nectar, kingfishers and Turaco. On the “Extended Bird Walk”, a long tour through the bird sanctuary of the nature reserve, visitors can discover monkeys with a little luck next savannah birds also patas monkey, Red Colobus and Green.
Especially recommended is opened in October 2014 brand new “Eagle Heights Gambia” project.
The Wildlife Conservation Centre in Abuko National Park offers fun and educational encounters with Gambia’s wildlife, especially various raptors, monkeys, reptiles, hyenas and cheetahs. Even safaris can be booked through the center.
The Gambia river in the highlands of Guinea and meanders around 600 km west by Guinea before reaching Gambia. It is the lifeline of the Gambia and flows through the country on more than 500 km, and then flow into the Atlantic. The banks are lined with mangrove swamps downriver. In the river, there are always small islands that bear such illustrious names like Elephant islands, Baboon islands or islands Dog. They have evolved over the years from alluvial silt and offer numerous animals a protected home in the midst of the river.
On his journey towards the Atlantic the Gambia River by numerous tributaries that bolongs fed. So the river is getting wider and extends 150 km before it flows into the Atlantic into a giant funnel that resembles a sea bay. Here you will meet a variety of marine life such as lobsters, barracudas, prawns and squid. Even dolphins are sighted here occasionally.
The Gambia River has a width of 20 km, the widest estuary in the whole of Africa. The bloated Peninsula Banjul, on which the capital of the same name is located, the estuary narrows although to some kilometers – yet the Gambia River one of the mightiest rivers in Africa.
The liner shipping on the Gambia River was set in 1984. In its place today offer several private providers Boat trips on the river to. These include day trips through the mangrove swamps, trips to the former slave island Kunta Kinteh island and multi-day river cruises.
Kiang West Nationalpark
The Kiang West National Park is the largest national park in the Gambia and is about 135 km inland on the Gambia River. On its 115 square kilometers it is home to an abundance of wildlife and ecosystems. Besides savannahs and mangrove forests Visitors will also find brighter gallery forests here. Warthogs and baboons they are located next to the red colobus monkeys, crocodiles and some 250 bird species, of which alone 21 raptor species.
But not only birders come in this National Park at their expense, and other nature lovers will be thrilled with security. While one is no longer sure whether the park still live leopards, but bushbucks, jackals, hyenas and mongooses are here definitely still home.
In addition, the Kiang West National Park is a top secret. Although the Tendaba Camp nearby offers a good, albeit very simple, place to stay and an ideal starting point for game drives or guided walks through the National Park, although the destination is because of its location away from the main tourist spots still idyllic and untouched. This was the original character Gambian wilderness preserved.