Makasutu Culture Forest

The Gambia

Like a snapshot of The Gambia, Makasutu Culture Forest bundles the country's array of landscapes into a dazzling 1000-hectare package. The setting is stunning, comprising palm groves, wetlands, mangroves and savannah plains, all inhabited by plenty of animals, including baboons, monitor lizards and hundreds of bird species.

A day in the forest includes a mangrove tour by pirogue; guided walks through a range of habitats, including a palm forest where you can watch palm sap being tapped; a visit to a crafts centre; and demonstrations of traditional dancing. The tours are well organised and run by excellent staff. This is a great day out, especially for families seeking a taste of nature away from the beaches and without the hassle of braving the roads upcountry. You can sometimes negotiate discount prices during the off season (especially if you're not travelling solo).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Gambia attractions

1. Wide Open Walls

0.37 MILES

Two huge ibex grazing amid swirling waves, a blue tattooed lion, and a lovestruck blacksmith are just a few of the striking images awaiting visitors who…

2. Abuko Nature Reserve

6.06 MILES

Abuko is rare among African wildlife reserves: it's tiny, it's easy to reach and you don't need a car to go in. With amazing diversity of vegetation and…

3. Old Town

9.14 MILES

West from the ferry terminal towards the wide Ma Cumba Jallow St (Dobson St) is a chaotic assembly of decrepit colonial buildings and Krio-style clapboard…

5. July 22 Square

9.54 MILES

The quadrangular July 22 Square contains a World War I memorial and a fountain dating from the 1930s.

6. Albert Market

9.58 MILES

Since its founding in the mid-19th century, the Albert Market, an area of frenzied buying, bartering and bargaining, has been Banjul's main hub of…

7. National Museum

9.64 MILES

Well-presented, if slightly dusty, displays of historical and cultural artefacts, including musical instruments, agricultural tools and ethnographic items…

8. Arch 22

9.89 MILES

This massive 36m-high gateway, built to celebrate the military coup of 22 July 1994, grants excellent views. There's also a cafe and a small museum that…