Gambia to soon boast of 5W animals

Jan 8, 2021, 11:16 AM | Article By: Yunus S. Saliu

According to forbes.com, The Gambia is one of the countries that houses an array of wildlife and endemic species that are yet untapped and waiting to be explored.

Therefore, there are hopes that the destination, one of African countries listed among seven underrated countries in the world with incredible potential for wildlife tourism will soon be boasting of 5W animals in its different parks across the country.

During a visit to the Chimpanzees Rehabilitation Centre, the minister of Tourism and Culture, disclosed that it would soon be face to face for tourists that are interested in wildlife tourism as the concerned ministries in partnership with the British Royal South African and British Royal Wild Conservative will soon kick-start a project - The Returns of the Wild Back to Its Origin, to bring 5W animals to the country.

According to Hamat N.K. Bah, the project is called ‘The Returns of the Wild Back to Its Origin’, while disclosing that Kiang, Baboon Island and lots of other places will house some of these animals and other exotic creatures on earth to create more attractions to Destination Gambia.

With full hope, if everything goes well, he said in 2021 “there will be no more going to Fatala, Nyokolokoba as the 5W animals will all be in The Gambia.” He therefore described it as “a good thing that will enrich our tourism.”

Further to that, he said the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center needs to generate revenue so that they can develop more eco-tourism activities for the center in order to generate money to feed the chimpanzees.

Meanwhile, Chimpanzees Rehabilitation Center commonly known as Baboon Islands was established in 1979 and is home to the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project (CRP).

According to Rene Bonang, one of the attendants at the centre, the place was established for the care and reintroduction of orphaned and unwanted chimpanzees.

He noted that wild chimpanzees disappeared from The Gambia in the early 1900s, but as at September 2019, there are now more than 100 chimpanzees living free on 3 islands in 4 separate social groups known as – Dash family, Pooh family, Hesus family and Jumbo family. 

It worth knowing that “there are six islands here and out of them only three have chimps from here (Chimpanzees Rehabilitation Center) to Kuntaur. But in Baboon Island, it is always an unforgettable experience!” Bonang explained.

At this centre there are available some activities which include boat expeditions guide through the river and estuaries where you may have up-close but safe view of chimpanzees, baboons, red colobus monkeys, hippos, crocodiles, manatees, and over 240 species of birds and my other wildlife species. Also, a guided trail hike through the mosaic of gallery, woodland and savanna forests on the mainland. Other activities include variety of boat tours, hikes to different locations, and comfortable accommodations among other things.