The Bijilo Park in the Gambia, in the district of Kololi, is located in the coastal area of the country, specifically in Senegambia. The national park of Bijilo is a forest of palms and vegetation typical of the subtropical climate of Gambia
A forest rich in animal species and vegetation located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean of the smallest country in Africa.
It covers about 51.3 hectares (approximately half a square kilometer) at the southern end of the Senegambia area, on the smiling coast of Africa. The park is composed mainly of Aethiopum Borassus palms.
These are tall palm trees, capable of growing up to 30 meters high. The leaves are long, fan-shaped, 2 to 3 meters long.
The protected natural reserve consists mainly of a closed canopy forest with a significant number of palm trees, and a relatively thin strip of herbaceous dune vegetation.
A canopy is the union of the tops of the trees that come together with each other to form the roof of the forests. In subtropical climate zones, such as the Gambia, most plants and animal life are found on the heights.
In the palm forest of the Bijilo National Park, the canopy houses an diversity of animal and plant species.
The ‘Natural Trail’ or forest park’s natural path is more than 4.5 km of signposted meandering trails. There is also a straight path that crosses the thicket and the forest near the beach called ‘ornithological path’. This trail offers good opportunities for sighting birds that inhabit the park and is the preferred route for birdwatchers.
Gambia is a paradise for ornithologists, with more than 500 different species of birds.
The Bijilo Park in the Gambia
It has a diverse fauna of invertebrates, reptiles and mammals. The park is known as the monkey park because there are communities of green monkeys, western red colobus and others.
The green monkeys are mainly vegetarian, eat mostly leaves and tender roots, as well as bark, flowers, fruits, bulbs and herbal seeds. In addition, they eat all kinds of insects and other invertebrates, bird nests and occasionally small mammals.
Red colobus monkeys live in family groups, consisting of one male and several females with their young. The red colobus makes spectacular jumps between the branches while looking for fruits, leaves and flowers to eat.
There are signs that ask locals and tourists not to feed the monkeys, as this will reduce their fear of humans. And affect their natural behavior, increasing the danger of theft or damage of small primates. There is also the problem of garbage enclosed by such food containers.
Despite this, the monkeys approach visitors and eat peanuts and other foods. They even approach the Senegambia hotel zone and approach the open spaces such as gardens and terraces. The area of Senegambia is the most tourist area of the country. In Senegambia where in two streets there is a diversity of restaurants, nightclubs and , of course, monkeys without fear!
The visit to this charming Natural Park of Bijilo on the coast is essential to discover local vegetation and fauna, as well as surprise us with the behavior of the monkeys. The fun it served !!!
That yes, we do not forget the respect, preservation and the noninterference in the vegetation and local fauna.
Always common sense, we travel with responsibility … to leaving the smallest negative effects.