Niumi National Park In Gambia
Niumi National Park, located in the Lower Niumi District of the North Bank Division in Gambia, was established in 1986. The park encompasses the island of Jinack and is contiguous with Senegal’s Delta du Saloum National Park and Biosphere Reserve. Although the detailed boundary demarcation survey is pending, the recognition of the park’s international significance prompted Gambia and Senegal to prioritize the protection and management of this ecologically valuable region.
The park supports a diverse array of flora and fauna, making it of great scientific interest. While the terrestrial part of Niumi National Park has sparse wildlife, it features a wide variety of habitat types. The wetland component serves as an important fish breeding ground. The park is renowned for its pristine mangrove swamps, one of the few remaining in West Africa. Other areas within the park resemble a typical river delta. The island, characterized by dry savannah grassland and woodlands, provides a favorable habitat for various wildlife species.
Jinack Island alone boasts more than 200 recorded bird species, including 17 warbler species and European migrants. Birds such as terns, gulls, Harrier eagles, tree pipits, woodchat shrikes, wheatears, pygmy sunbirds, European bee-eaters, ospreys, herons, oystercatchers, brubrus, yellow wagtails, and many others can be observed in the park. The mangroves and tidal flats are particularly rich in waders, many of which are seasonal migrants. The dune fringe serves as a nesting site for birds like the white-fronted sand plover. Harriers are frequently spotted in the area during the European winter months.
The park is also home to various animal species, including spotted hyenas, leopards, reedbucks, oribis, crocodiles, Grimm’s duikers, kobs, and more. Along the coastal areas, visitors can witness humpback dolphins and a breeding ground for green turtles, which come ashore at night to lay their eggs.