Abuko Nature Reserve Gambia
Abuko has always been counted among the best reserves in the nation of Gambia due to the fact that it is seen to be the first reserve that existed in this country. Way back like in 1916, the main source to the Lamin River was enclosed and the intention was to create a water collection point hence the Abuko reserve was partially agreed a figure of the ‘protected status’
Eddie Brewer the wild life officer who was acting in 1967 after being alerted by some farmer (Kalilu) that the leopard was eating all their pigs illegally, he was escorted by his daughter to that site to shoot the leopard and here he got an opportunity to evidence the purpose of the conservation of that river crossing through Abuko after viewing the beautiful wealth that is in Gambia’s wild life from where the government made a declaration of a nature reserve after this officer had made an alarm to the government that this reserve needed protection and in 1968
Abuko nature reserve is in a rectangle form and it was put in a fence that is 2.5 meters since its size had been increased to 259 from 188 acres in 1978. This was all with the help of WWF and this so far among the most protected wildlife parks. In an act of preventing encroachment by these local people, very many trees were planted during the development of this reserve.
Abuko has got a strategic location, it is accessible by the Europeans and that is the reason as to why this reserve it seen to be the best source tourist attraction year per year. .
The total area is occupied partially by the ever green forest and they are next to the lamin River. There a lot of effort that have been put forward in prevention local encroachment for example, to avoid the of the local people and cattle, boundaries were established and has so far brought about protect in the area.
In case one wants to view the crocodiles easily, one can may stand in and along the fresh water pond that is located in the reserve.
Those who are interested in bird watching, the best time is early morning and may be late in the afternoon because during this time the sites are not so crowded like in the late morning and early in the after noon. In case there is no Tour guide available, you may opt for a bush taxi of reasonable costs and it will take you from Westfield junction and join the village of Lamin and the taxi will put you at the entrance.
In case one is with a tour operator, for a day tour the entrance fee will be around D100 and in case one needs a fully guided tour, it will cost £20 including transfers of the hotel.
Travelers are advised to put on very strong and thick boots on coming this side and to always carry their mosquito nets, in repellents.
Abuko National park is often referred to as only a nature reserve in Gambia. The park is located south of Abuko town from which the park was named also called Serekunda. Serekunda is also the biggest town in Gambia.
This Gambia National park is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country since it was gazetted in 1968. The Lamin stream flows through the reserves making a lush habitat for birds and wild animals a like. A long the river are a some endemic tree species such as mahogany, oil palm, iroko and many others while other parts of the parka re dotted with savannah grasses and a few woodlands.
There are several species of animals in the park but the most popular sights are primates such as red colobus monkeys, patas monkey, baboon and the black faced vervet monkey. Other animals in the park include hyena, giant turtles, python, cobra, bushbuck, squirrel, sitatunga, duiker skinks, agama lizard, African palm civets, mongoose, galagos, porcupine, rodents, cane rats, crocodiles, monitor lizard and green mamba snake among others.
More than 250 birds are found in the park and some of the popular sights include eagle owl, grey crested Turaco, little green bulbul, yellow chested apalis and African fish eagles among others . Hiking is an excellent way to discover the wide variety of birds and animals in this park. The wet season floods the river stream and attracts thousands of birds for June to October although the best time to see the wild animals is in the dry season when the grass dries and animals congregate along the stream bed.
Hotel and Accommodation
The education centre overlooks the crocodile pool and offers a splendid view of the pool and its surroundings. The centre is a two-storey structure which houses the environmental education programme. Here school children are shown the importance of conserving their environment through posters, displays and audio visual shows.
Some of the hotels near Abuko National park include Kombo beach hotel, Wavecrest Hotel Gambia, Senegambia Beach Hotel and Golden beach hotel among many others.