Read all about one family's very special Gambia Experience.
In February 2016, the Warringer family spent a week exploring The Gambia. As part of their holiday they went to explore Abuko Nature Reserve and Lamin Lodge, and here is a wonderful account of their visit…
"After a day on the beach we decided to venture out and explore more of this extraordinary country. Top of our list today was a visit to the Abuko Nature Reserve – and what a treat it was!
We had teamed up with another family from our hotel, the children had made friends on the first day of our holiday, and rented an 8 man open-top jeep (definitely the way to travel).
Along with our local guide we headed off at around 9:30am. The Nature Reserve is about only 12 miles or so away and took just 25 minutes, passing some incredible sites along the way including the famous Serrakunda Market, another must do!
Abuko Nature Reserve itself is beautiful. You really feel as though you’re exploring out into the wild. The well-kept paths offered easy access for both adults and children and it wasn’t long before we spotted our first wildlife in the form of a 3.5m Royal Python. As we explored further we encountered crocodiles at the Bamboo Pool and both Green Vervet and Red Colobus Monkeys. The variety of birds swooping overhead is countless and provided constant whoops from the children as they spotted new species.
After 90 minutes of gentle walking we arrived at the top of the trail. There is a small shop offering refreshments and an Animal Orphanage which housed an array of animals including Hyenas, Baboons and Vultures. We bought cold drinks all-round and peanuts for the children who delighted in feeding the monkeys (please note that The Gambia Experience only recommend feeding the monkeys when at a reputable premises and suitable food can be purchased).
Our return journey was just as tranquil with wildlife popping up here and there, a truly enjoyable experience.
It was now time for lunch, so we headed off to Lamin Lodge. The restaurant is situated in the Mangrove Forests on a tributary of the Gambia River - it didn’t disappoint! The Lodge is accessed via a long bridge through the mangroves and is held up on poles over the water. The scenery is stunning, especially from the second floor where we had been seated. You will definitely want to explore further into the River once you have seen it.
The service was good and the traditional Gambian food was superb. After lunch the wildlife once again took centre stage with a monkey visiting our balcony and pinching a lollypop from the table. He sat next to us and sucked on his lolly as though it was the most natural thing in the world.
After a 30 minute drive back to the hotel it was time to dive into the sea and laze in the sun. A fantastic day was had by everyone." - The Warringer family, Feb 2016.
If you’re feeling inspired by a family holiday to The Gambia, visit Gambia.co.uk/family-holidays.
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