Abuko Nature Reserve, Gambia

Abuko is rare among African wildlife reserves: it’s tiny, it’s easy to reach, you don’t need a car to go in, and it’s well managed, with an amazing diversity of vegetation and animals-and it is possibly the mightiest of Gambia’s national parks. More than 250 bird species have been recorded in its environs, making it one of the region’s best bird-watching haunts.

Among the 52 mammal species calling Abuko home are bushbucks, duikers, porcupines, bush babies and ground squirrels as well as three monkey types: green or vervet monkeys, endangered western red colobus monkeys and patas monkeys.

The reserve is particularly famous for its Nile crocodiles and other slithering types such as pythons, puff adders, green mambas and forest cobras. The compact area of Abuko teems with birds including sunbirds, green hylias, African goshawks, oriole warblers, yellowbills and leafloves. Abuko is about the only place in Gambia where you can observe green and violet turacos, white-spotted flufftails, ahanta francolins and western bluebills.


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