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Jinack Island & Niumi National Park

 
Hotels & Lodges Map (see north bank)

Jinack Island (also spelt Jenack, Ginak & sometimes known as Paradise Island) is located off the north bank of the estuary of The Gambia River, separated from the mainland by the Niji Bolon and is part of the National Park of Niumi which is a marine protected delta area and is aiming to be an eco-tourist holiday destination.

The park was established in 1986 and has an area of just over 4,900 hectares (49 sq. km) with (geographical coordinates: 13.30N 16.30W) and its boundaries start from Barra Point right up to the Senegalese border at the National Park of Saloum in Senegal  then east to the tributary of Masarinko Bolon. The island itself has over 11 kilometres of unspoilt, fairly shallow beaches which are often visited by dolphins.

To get to the island you take a ferry from the port of Banjul to Barra which costs less than 50 pence. From Barra you then take a local taxi heading towards Fass then go left at Kanuma into the park. There are a couple of villages in the area: Jinack Kajata and Niji. It is possible to make a day-trip excursion there from Kololi resort if you set out fairly early in the morning.

A major part of the park encompasses several habitat types such as dry savannah grasslands, coastal scrub, and woodland which is on an elevated rocky plateau which has the Masarinko . Bolon tributary dividing it. The park itself is riddled with wetlands, thick vegetation, fresh-water marshland, tidal mud flats, mangrove swamps, farmland and lagoons.

Fauna
The resident wildlife in the area includes hump-backed and bottle-nose dolphins, green turtle, Nile crocodile, West African manatee, hyenas, primates, duiker, snakes and lizards.

Bird Life:
There has been over 290 woodland and wetland bird species have been recorded here such as the painted snipe, green pigeon, warblers, banded snake eagle and the white fronted plover. There are also European migrant species who use Jinack's feeding grounds before heading south to other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Travel Information Guide:
Go with plenty of personal supplies.

Places to Eat:
Camara Sambou Beach Bar - Tel: 7789295

Note:
Another name for Jinack is "Treasure Island".



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