The national park was established in 1978 and is made up of a complex of 5 islands that lie on the downstream of Janjangbureh, Georgetown. The 5 island are collectively known as Baboon Islands which cover an area of approximately 1,445 acres (585 ha.) and are relatively flat. It forms one of the last refuges for the very threatened hippopotamus within The Gambia. Their ecological systems range from lush jungle rainforest, reeds, savannah and mangrove swamps.
An interesting place to visit is the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project which lies on the banks of the river and was established in 1969 to rescue orphaned chimps. There are currently about fifty Chimpanzees living on 3 of the larger islands. The population is steadily increasing through births. In addition to reintroducing an indigenous species to the country, the existence of the park's project on Baboon Islands has assisted in protecting the forest and its resources from over exploitation Though it is not possible to land on the islands as it is a conservation project, it possible to see the creatures while on a boat cruise or you could stay at the projects accommodation camp located on the river bank and see them up close. The animal life on this section of the River Gambia National Park includes hippopotamus, Nile crocodiles and monkeys and many species of birds.