An Abuko Nature Reserve tour is one of the most exciting things you can do when visiting Gambia. It is the first wildlife reserve in the country and remains one of the most popular.
The park is located at the south of Abuko town. This is in the western region of the country.
What to See
There are almost 300 bird species, including the giant kingfisher C. Maxima, lily trotters, manikins, doves and waxbills. You will also find the grey headed bristle bill, Ceryle rudis and African thrush here. Four primate species exist: the Bush Babies, red Patas, Red Colobus monkey and Vervet monkey.
An Abuko Nature Reserve tour will let you see other mammals like savannah antelopes, ground squirrel, Grimms Duiker and Erythrocebus patas. You will also come across the different kinds of rodents such as the Cane Rat.
Other animals in the reserve are the galagos, mongooses and African palm civets. There is also the porcupine, squirrel and spitting cobra. Other types of snakes in the area are the green mamba, puff adder, python and black cobra. There are also dwarf crocodiles and monitor lizards.
The area was first given protection in 1916 with the fencing of the Lamin Stream. This helped boost the flora and fauna in the forest.
In the year 1967, a wildlife officer named Eddie Brewer went to the site along with his daughter. Recognizing the importance of the area, they requested the site be protected. The following year, the Gambia Department of Parks and Wildlife Management set up the
Most of the trips to the park are done with tour operators. The cost is around 20 USD. This will include the cost of the guide.
There are nature trails in the park. Treks will take you to the savanna and into the Bamboo Pool. There is also a wood bridge over a steam. This takes you to a bird hide. There is also a platform where you can see Nile Crocodiles and many kinds of reptiles.
The most opportune time to go birdwatching is the late afternoon or early in the morning. This way you will be able to steer clear from the tourists. If you are trekking, make sure to carry some refreshments. Protection against mosquito bites is also recommended.
If you are going on a Abuko Nature Reserve tour, make sure to check out the tropical trees. There are over 50 variants in the park.