Abuko Nature Reserve

Gambia Monitor Lizard

Travel to Abuko Nature Reserve – Nearest Tropical Forest to Europe

Abuko Nature Reserve is one of the last surviving examples of tropical riverine forests in the country. The reserve provides a good introduction to the flora, fauna and avi-fauna of Gambia.

Its unique nature allows visitors to gain an insight into the biodiversity of the country, both present and past. The reserve offers its visitors a wide range of creatures including birds, fish, reptiles, and mammals.

Today, Abuko is the Gambia’s most visited tourist attraction receiving approximately 33,000 visitors per year. One interesting fact is that it is the nearest tropical forest to Europe.

Abuko Nature Reserve is situated 25 kilometres from Banjul, outside the village of Lamin in the Kombo North District. The Reserve has been protected as a water catchment area since 1916. It was officially declared a Nature Reserve in 1968. The reserve is approximately 105 hectares.

The central portion of the reserve is composed of ground-water or gallery forest which surrounds a chain of 3 pools. This dense evergreen forest progressively gives way to Guinea Savannah the further one moves away from the water course, which has a grass and herb dominated understorey.

Within the extension to the reserve is grassland and orchard Savannah much enjoyed by many Savannah bird species and mammals. Despite its small area, the reserve is also home to a wide diversity of mammals, birds and invertebrates. This is due primarily to its variety of habitat types coupled with the fact that the area was protected relatively intact.

Visitors to Abuko Nature Reserve can explore the different pools available within the reserve. The pools in the northeast end of the reserve hold a substantial population of Nile crocodiles, and attract a wide variety of birds and mammals, especially during the dry season. The pools also contain quite a variety of fish species. The education centre overlooks the crocodile pool and offers a splendid view of the pool and its surroundings.

Pick up a bush taxi from Westfield Junction that is going to Lamin Village on the main Serrekunda to Brikama road. Consider wearing thick sturdy boots and using mosquito repellant.

  • Discover the wildlife and biodiversity of the reserve.
  • Explore the chain of freshwater pools located close to the Darwin Field Station.
  • Enjoy a very peaceful place where you can spend a relaxed day.

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