Baobolong Wetland Reserve

Baobolong Wetland Reserve

Baobolong Wetland Reserve is located in the Gambia and covers an area of about 10,000 hectares. It was established in 1996 and designated as a Ramsar site in 1997. The reserve is managed by the Gambia Department of Parks and Wildlife Management in collaboration with local communities.

The wetland reserve is known for its diverse birdlife, with over 300 species recorded, including many migratory species. It also supports a range of other wildlife, such as hippos, crocodiles, and monkeys. Visitors can explore the reserve by boat, taking in the scenery and wildlife, or by taking a guided walk through the forest.

In addition to birding and wildlife watching, visitors can also learn about local culture and traditional practices through interactions with the communities that live in and around the reserve. The reserve also offers opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and canoeing.

Visitors are advised to bring appropriate clothing and footwear for outdoor activities, as well as sunscreen, insect repellent, and plenty of water. It is recommended to book guided tours in advance to ensure availability and to maximize the experience.

Who is the founder

The Baobolong Wetland Reserve was founded by the Gambia Birdwatchers Association in collaboration with the local communities and the government of The Gambia.

How to get there?

Reserve is located in the Gambia and can be accessed by road or waterway. If traveling by road, you can take a taxi or private vehicle from Banjul or other major cities in the Gambia. The reserve is approximately 150km from Banjul, and the journey takes about 3 hours.

Alternatively, you can take a boat from Banjul to Kuntaur, which is a town located near the reserve. From Kuntaur, you can then take a taxi or hire a boat to the reserve.

What time to visit

The reserve is open to visitors from sunrise to sunset. The best time to visit is during the dry season, which runs from November to May, as water levels are lower, making it easier to spot wildlife.

What are the opening hours for The Baobolong Wetland Reserve?

The reserve is open daily from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. However, it’s always a good idea to confirm the opening hours ahead of time as they may be subject to change.

Here are some interesting facts about Baobolong Wetland Reserve:

  1. Baobolong Wetland Reserve is the largest freshwater body in The Gambia.
  2. The reserve covers an area of approximately 220 square kilometers.
  3. The wetlands support a diverse range of birdlife, with over 300 species recorded.
  4. Some of the birds that can be spotted at Baobolong include African fish eagles, pelicans, and various types of herons and egrets.
  5. Baobolong Wetland Reserve is also home to several species of primates, including baboons and vervet monkeys.
  6. The reserve is an important breeding ground for several species of fish, including Nile tilapia, catfish, and mudfish.
  7. The wetlands are used by local communities for fishing, farming, and gathering of non-timber forest products.
  8. Baobolong Wetland Reserve is part of the Transboundary Ramsar Site of the Senegal River Delta, which is recognized as a Wetland of International Importance.

What are the Food choices?

There are no restaurants or food vendors at Baobolong Wetland Reserve, so it is advisable to bring your own food and drinks. There are picnic areas available where you can enjoy your food. Be sure to pack enough food and water for the duration of your visit, as there may not be any nearby places to purchase supplies.

What to bring?

If you’re planning to visit Baobolong Wetland Reserve, here are some items that you might want to bring with you:

  1. Binoculars: A good pair of binoculars will come in handy for spotting birds and other wildlife.
  2. Camera: Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning views and wildlife sightings.
  3. Sunscreen: The Gambia is a sunny country, and the sun can be quite strong. Bring some sunscreen to protect your skin.
  4. Insect repellent: Mosquitoes and other insects can be a nuisance, so bring some insect repellent to keep them at bay.
  5. Hat and sunglasses: A hat and sunglasses will protect you from the sun’s rays and make your trip more comfortable.
  6. Water bottle: Staying hydrated is important, so bring a water bottle to refill as needed.
  7. Comfortable shoes: You’ll be walking on uneven terrain, so wear comfortable shoes that can handle a bit of mud and water.
  8. Light jacket: The weather can be cooler in the mornings and evenings, so bring a light jacket to stay warm.
  9. Snacks: There are no restaurants or food vendors in the reserve, so bring some snacks to keep you energized during your visit.
  10. Cash: There is an entrance fee to the reserve, and you may want to tip your guide or boat driver. Bring some cash with you to cover these costs.

What will you learn?

Visiting the various nature reserves and parks in the Gambia can provide you with an opportunity to learn about the country’s diverse flora and fauna, as well as the local culture and traditions. You can learn about the different bird species that inhabit the wetlands and forests, and the various types of monkeys and other wildlife that can be found there. Additionally, you can learn about the history of these reserves, including who established them and why, as well as the efforts being made to preserve them for future generations. You can also learn about the importance of eco-tourism in promoting sustainable development in the region, and how your visit can contribute to these efforts.