Bijilo National Park, Serekunda, Gambia 

Bijilo Forest Park & Nature Trail lies in the coastal zone, next to the beach, about 11km west of Banjul capital, in the Kombo Saint Mary District, of The Gambia in West Africa. The species rich, fenced woodland was gazetted in 1952 and covers an area of 51.3 hectares, and is on the Atlantic Ocean beach at the southern end of the Senegambia area of Kololi. It has a total length of 1,500 meters parallel to the coast and width of 350 meters, and the soils are deep and well drained. The protected nature reserve is comprised primarily of a closed canopy forest with a significant number of rhun palms, and with a relatively thin strip of herbaceous dune vegetation.

Between 1951 to 1956 the only land management activity implemented was the clearing of fire lines along the boundaries on both sides of the fence. In 1977 the park was re-surveyed by the Department of Forestry and again in 1982, this was followed by an inventory of the park. A nature trail was created by the Gambian-German Forestry Project in 1991, when the area was made open to the public, and now receives about 23,000 visitors a year.

Epic Gambia Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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