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The Gambia lures birders and nature lovers with new park infrastructure and camping facilities

15-Oct-2008

New camp site and visitor facilities being built at the Niumi National Park by the Gambian Department of Parks and Wildlife Management.Barra, The Gambia, 10 Ocotber 2008 - There will be plenty more places to go birding in The Gambia with the recent announcement by Niumi National Park - administered by the Gambian Department of Parks and Wildlife Management - that it is creating a new camp site and visitor facilities at its Headquarters just outside the town of Barra to the northern border with Senegal.

 

North of the River Gambia and just half a kilometre or so off the Gambian coastline lies one of the country's most intriguing wilderness areas. Niumi National Park, gazetted in 1987, is relatively unexplored and rich in many bird species. The forty-nine square metres of parkland contain a remarkable range of habitats including dunes, lagoons and shallow waters. Niumi adjoins the Parc National du Delta du Saloum in Senegal, and together the parks protect one of the last remaining untouched swathes of mangroves in West Africa.

Recognising the tremendous potential for ecotourism and nature conservation within the region, the Wings Over Wetlands Project is supporting the Gambian and Senegalese park authorities to manage Niumi and Saloum National Parks as one transboundary ecological system. The project will include joint management, environmental monitoring and training to local groups.

The first camp site, unveiled in early October 2008, will also be used to promote environmental education and awareness raising together with local communities. Once trained, these local environmental stewards will be able to offer endless recreational opportunities to overseas visitors such as nature guiding, birdwatching, angling, boating and camping.

“Niumi National Park is a special place, with many landscapes and superb wildlife where many rare native species can be found. Camping is a very popular option and the new camping facilities will allow local tour guides to take overseas visitors to places rarely discovered by everyday tourists." said Lamin Sanyang, from the WOW Deomonstration Project in The Gambia.

For more information on nature excursions with local guides in The Gambia please visit: www.gambiaguide.co.uk

For more information on the WOW Demonstration Project in The Gambia & Senegal please visit the demo sites webpage on the WOW Website.

*This news has been brought to you by Camillo Ponziani, from the WOW Project Coordination Unit (PCU) following a recent visit to the demonstration project site in The Gambia and Senegal.

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