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“Lovely nature reserve (its not a zoo!)”

Abuko Nature Reserve
Ranked #4 of 20 things to do in Banjul
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: This comparatively small and easily accessible wildlife reserve is home to a number of indigenous African birds.
Brockenhurst, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Lovely nature reserve (its not a zoo!)”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2013

Abuko is a wonderfully intact piece of tropical forest, amongst the otherwise heavily populated Serrekunda area. Some reviewers seem to be under the impression this a zoo, it's not! There is a small animal orphanage at one end of the reserve but its a desperately sad place and not a reason to visit.

I enjoyed wandering the narrow paths seeing birds, lizards and monkeys (you will see them if you walk slowly and quietly). The Darwin field centre is an excellent vantage point to see lots of wading birds and birds of prey as well as Nile Crocodiles.

The guides are knowledgeable and well worth taking along on an initial visit. I agree with the previous reviewer who advised taking water with you, it's quite a long way to do the full reserve circuit and the heat is sapping. The reserve doesn't get much funding so facilities are basic, but I loved it for being so quiet without lots of other people around.

I would recommend Abuko more to the serious nature lover who will get more from it than someone who expects to be entertained and see an animal every 2 minutes. For me, taking time was rewarded by getting to see amazing species like the Giant Kingfisher close up. I enjoyed it so much I actually went twice during my week in The Gambia.

Visited November 2012
3 Thank HadleyWildlife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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130 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
70 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Good for bird spotters”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2013

A pleasant outing, with lots of opportunities to spot fantastic bird life in the mature undergrowth. Our guide was knowledgeable but a bit uninspiring. We were sorry we didn't see crocs from the lookout point across the pool, and were disappointed and saddened by the dirty-looking 'animal orphanage' - even if they did have hyenas and pelicans. The refreshment point was a bit dull, leaving us exposed to the entreaties of the stallholder nearby.

Visited December 2012
Thank Threeberthcarriage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coventry, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“A cancelled trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2012

I had booked Birds and Breakfast in England before I read a TripAdviser review which said it would be better to go to Abuku with a specialkist guide. The trip was cancelled so I followed advise from TripAdviser and had the most wonderful time using a local professional guide. I also discovered The University of Warwick (probably LifeSciences) have been working at Abuku for some years as part of a research programme. The little booklets are excellent and well worth the money.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank Hale44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloucester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
47 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Take a drink with you”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 28, 2012

It's very hot take some water with you.
Lots to see as you walk with your guide.
Binoculars were a God send.

Visited November 2012
2 Thank AndyB52780759
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“definitely worth a trip but probably just the once is enough...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 10, 2012

we visited abuku in january with our 7 year old son, he loved it once we had actually found where the animals were, they keep the animals quite far from the entrance to the park, we declined the guide and walked a massive circle for nearly an hour to arrive back at the entrance having found nothing, we got our directions then took another 20 minute walk into the bush (get the guide at the entrance its worth it) we eventually came to 2 large enclosures one with lots of baboons going wild for the nuts we had purchased to feed them and another breed of monkey in the other and green monkeys all around us roaming free with the escapee (a baby baboon that refused to go back into the enclosure) i think there was around 5 different species of monkey/baboons in total as well as a monitor lizard we had passed on the way in.. after our talk from the keeper she guided us over to the final enclosure where the hyenas were having an afternoon nap, they were huge and there was also vultures in the enclosure, my boy was mesmerised,....... after a rest stop at the tuck shop for ice cold drinks we haggled ourselves a nice bargain on a wood carved ornament and headed our way to the exit... all in all was a very memorable day and so glad we went however it is not very interesting until the final moments of the park when u reach the animals.... am i glad i went? yes definitely and would recommend it too, but only once! so will i be returning? in a word,,, no.

Visited January 2012
1 Thank lee s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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