Bao Bolon Wetland Reserve – Gambia

A Bao Bolon Wetland Reserve tour can be an exciting adventure. Its diverse flora and fauna makes it one of the most interesting places to visit in Gambia.


The park can be found at the River Gambia north bank. It is 52 nautical miles / 100 km from the mouth of the river. It goes from the River Gambia up to the Senegalese border by the Baobolon tributary.

What to See

32 mammals are known to live here. One of the most frequently seen is the Clawless Otter. Warthogs and numerous types of antelopes are in the reserve. There are also leopards and spotted hyenas. Primates in the reserve include the the Senegal Bushbaby, Guinea Baboon and green monkeys.

A Bao Bolon Wetland Reserve tour will show there are 540 bird species here. Some of the water birds are the Garganey, White-faced Whistling Duck and Spur-winged Goose. Other birds seen in the reserve are the Little Egret and Western Reef Heron.

The reserve is 9 km wide and 22 km long. Majority of the reserve is composed of the River Bao Bolong estuary. Other rivers are the Katchang, Tanku, Duntu Malang and Mndon Bolong. Many types of fish can also be seen in the area.


The area was declared a reserve on 1 January 1993. It covered an area measuring 35 sq km. On 16 September 1996, the coverage was expanded and covered 200 sq km. It became the first wetland in the country that was worthy of preservation. Since this came into effect, there have been ongoing efforts to maintain the integrity of
the site.

Since the declaration is still new, it is not yet widely known by tourists. Most of the tourism activity is done via boat tours. However, there are now plans to develop the area so it can accommodate tourists and visitors.


The cost of a trip to Gambia will be around 500 USD. A single entry visa costs 100 USD. There are many tour operators, so compare the prices.

Other Info

The mangroves at the reserve have been known to scale heights of 20 meters. The salt marshes are the home of Paspalum vaginatum and Sporobolus spicatus grasses. The Echinochloa pyramidalis and Phragmites karka can be found in the reserve.

When on a Bao Bolon Wetland Reserve tour, you may be able to see the Rose-ringed Parakeet and the Senegal Parrot. The waters are also frequented by the darters and pelicans.