Abuko Nature Reserve was the Gambia’s first protected area, gazetted as a reserve in the 1960’s. Rich in flora and fauna, under two square kilometres, which enables you to explore it on foot in a couple of hours. There are three-hundred-odd bird species and dozens of varieties of small mammals and reptiles. There are four primate species: green vervet monkeys, red colobus, bush baby and patas monkeys. Small mammals include squirrel, porcupine, African palm civets, mongooses, galagos and several types of rodents, including cane rats. Among the reptiles are monitor lizard, Nile crocodile, dwarf crocodile and some snakes. There are also numerous butterflies and moths.
At one end of the site are several enclosures which serve as an orphanage for needy animals, including hyenas and cheetah.
As there are almost three-hundred bird species recorded here, Abuko Nature Reserve is one of the best locations for birdwatching. Among the birds are Pied Kingfishers, African paradise flycatcher, Willow Warblers, waxbills, western bluebill , manikins, doves, lily trotters, giant kingfisher C. maxima, palm nut vultures, hammerkop Scopus umbretta, Ceryle rudis, grey headed bristle bill, white crowned robin chat, grey backed camaroptera, lanner falcon, pygmy kingfisher, violet turacoes, African thrush, fork tailed drongo, black Herons, squacco heron, oriole warbler, Black crake, red bellied fly catchers, little greenbul, yellow breasted apalis, cattle egrets, Abyssinian roller, purple glossy starling and the Green Touraco.