Experience Rare Forests in The Gambia

October 03, 2011
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Just a strip carved out of Senegal, The Gambia may seem like it does not have much to offer. However, for those seeking nature travel experiences in this remote part of Africa, The Gambia hosts some of the continent's finest treasures. In fact, the nation has been dedicated to preserving the natural environment ever since the 1977 Banjul Declaration, which states the country's commitment to conservation.

The Abuko Nature Reserve is one of the country's last surviving examples of tropical riverine forests, or gallery forests. A gallery forest is one that grows along a watercourse in an otherwise treeless region. The Abuko Nature Reserve is similar in structure to a rainforest, only instead of maintaining moisture from precipitation, it relies on surface water to stay wet.

Abuko springs up just outside the village of Lamin in the Kombo North District, and is centered on the Lamin stream. The middle of the reserve is the gallery forest, surrounding a chain of three pools. The forest is composed of evergreens, with a closed canopy but an open understory. The river waters also make way for brackish mangroves, which provides a habitat for colobus monkeys, dwarf crocodiles, green touraco and other species.


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