ABUKO NATURE RESERVE
Abuko Nature Reserve was the Gambia’s first protected area, gazetted as a reserve in the 1960’s. Rich in flora and fauna, under two square kilometres, which enables you to explore it on foot in a couple of hours. There are three-hundred-odd bird species and dozens of varieties of small mammals and reptiles. There are four primate species: green vervet monkeys, red colobus, bush baby and patas monkeys. Small mammals include squirrel, porcupine, African palm civets, mongooses, galagos and several types of rodents, including cane rats. Among the reptiles are monitor lizard, Nile crocodile, dwarf crocodile and some snakes. There are also numerous butterflies and moths.
At one end of the site are several enclosures which serve as an orphanage for needy animals, including hyenas and cheetah.
If you want to organize a school trip to Abuko, you need to arrange it in advance.
Botanical garden was established in 1894. It is s small and rather beautiful hideaway, often missed by tourists as it looks like someone’s private front garden. It’s naturally greenest and most impressive after the rains. There is a nature trail meandering around the trees as well as a grass shaded seating area called a Bantaba. Particularly worth noting are the fairy-tale teak tree, the prehistoric cycads and young silk cotton trees. Only some of the shrubs and trees are indigenous, such as the rhun palms, and some need urgent pruning and care. If you come with a pair of binoculars you might be able to spot a number of bird species such as the red-cheeked cordon bleu, bronze mannikins or the odd bulbuls. It’s a nice place to visit!