Abuko Nature Reserve
|Abuko Nature Reserve|
|Location:||Greater Banjul Area , Gambia|
|Lamin Bolong in February|
The nature reserve, established in 1968, is about three kilometers south of the Kombo-St. Mary Area in the West Coast Region and is easily accessible from the South Bank Road , which continues to Brikama in the south. It is located about twenty kilometers south of the center of Serekunda near the town of Abuko . The site has nearly a rectangular base and runs, from the entrance, to the southwest to near the airport Banjul International Airport .
The approximately one hundred hectare nature reserve (the information varies) lies on both sides of the banks of the small river Lamin Bolong , which is a tributary of the Gambia River . Through several smaller barrages, which thereby form ponds, it flows in a north-easterly direction to the mangrove forests . Due to the periods within the year, between the rainy season and the dry season , the size of the lamin also fluctuates. In the dry season, the river bed dries up completely and the pond, the Bambo Pool (Bambo means crocodile in the Mandinka language ), loses its area significantly.
The nature reserve can only be explored on foot; On the signposted tour, which is about three kilometers long, there are a few observation points where you can hide the animals in peace and watch and take photos.
The nature reserve was created at the source of Abuko, which later becomes the small river Lamin. The enclosure for water production in 1916 thickened the gallery forest and the game population increased noticeably. Local residents secretly used the site and gained access through the fence. They grazed their cattle, won palm wine and poached . When a big cat also took part in the hunt in 1967, the residents hoped for help from forest clerk Eddie Brewer . The officer got a picture of the site and was thrilled to find this piece of tropical rainforest in the surrounding savannah landscape .
With the support of Brewer, who was later appointed director of nature conservation, the Gambian government actually classified the area as a nature reserve in March 1968. In 1978 the area was expanded from 73 hectares to 102 hectares and with the help of the international nature conservation organization World Wildlife Fund (WWF) the park was protected by a fence up to three meters high.
The fence was renewed in 2007 with an investment of 8.9 million Dalasi (around 254,000 euros). In the past, animals have fled the area and have been sighted in nearby locations.
The flora consists of a typical savannah landscape and gallery forest, which makes up a third of the area. The nature reserve is the most botanically extensive example in the whole country. Typical trees that can grow up to thirty meters high are: African oil palm ( Elaeis guineensis ), African mahogany ( Khaya senegalensis ), tali ( Erythrophleum guineense ), iroko ( Chlorophora regia ) and Anthocleista djalonensis . The liana ( Saba senegalensis ) has covered a dense green carpet over dead trees . The Mandinkas call them Kaba and their fruits are edible.
At one end of the site there are several enclosures that serve as an orphanage for animals in need. This also includes an enclosure in which a pack of hyenas ( Crocuta crocuta ) is kept. They are fed for the visitor, and they then have to fight over the prey with the vultures . In another enclosure you can see lions up close , but they are no longer found in the wild in the Gambia. Chimpanzees that were previously raised on the reserve are now released on Baboon Island . You can also see bushbucks, various species of monkeys and tortoises.
The reserve itself is often monkeys , for example, monkeys and Patas monkeys , meet. There are also porcupines , bushbuck ( Tragelaphus scriptus ), duiker , Galagos ( Galago senegalensis ) and Nile crocodiles ( Crocodylus niloticus ) and several species of snakes .
The West African region of Senegal and Gambia is known for a very species-rich occurrence of numerous birds . About 270 different species can be observed here, BirdLife International lists the following birds for this habitat :
- Rotschenkelsperber ( Accipiter erythropus ) Ahantafrankolin ( Francolinus ahantensis ), white spot Ralle ( Sarothrura pulchra ) Guineaturako ( Tauraco persian ), African Pied Hornbill ( Tockus fasciatus ), termites Specht ( Campethera nivosa ), scissors tail Schwalbe ( Psalidoprocne obscura ), sump Greenbul ( Thescelocichla leucopleura ) Uferbülbül ( Pyrrhurus scandens ) Graukopfbleda ( Bleda canicapillus ) Graukehl-Nicator ( Nicator chloris ), Olive-Camaroptera ( Camaroptera chloronota ) Greencoat-Sylvietta ( Sylvietta virens ), Grünhylia ( Hylia prasina ) Schäpperwürger ( Megabyas flammulatus ) Senegalparadiesschnäpper ( Terpsiphone rufiventer ), red-bellied Nektarvogel ( Nectarinia coccinigaster ), chestnut-breasted nigrita ( Nigrita bicolor ), western bluebill ( Spermophaga haematina ) and Rotkehlweber ( Malimbus nitens ).
The Abuko nature reserve is a big draw for tourists . Of the more than 100,000 tourists who visit the country each year, around a third also visit this nature reserve. A moderate admission price is required for entry into the nature reserve, although there is a significant discount for the local population.
There is a small natural history exhibit on the reserve at Darwin Field Station , about 300 meters from the entrance. The building was completely refurbished in 2004 after the 30-year-old building needed numerous repairs. The building also forms the headquarters of the Makasutu Wildlife Trust .
The reserve with the Darwin Field Station is also the destination of numerous local school classes. The Gambia's youth learn how important nature conservation is.
The BBC - documentation from 1989 Jewel in the Sun ( German title: The Jewel in the Savannah ) addressed in the 30-minute compilation the flora and fauna of the Gambia and to a large extent the Abuko Nature Reserve.
- New Park Fence Inaugurated. ( Memento of September 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) In: The Gambia Journal . July 25, 2007.