Flights to Bakau Bakau is a town in the Gambia not far from the capital city of Banjul. Bakau is actually quite a bit larger than Banjul and virtually continuous with the city of Serrekunda to the south.
Banjul International Airport (airport code: BJL) serves flights to Bakau, and is only about 10km away. You can get international flights to Bakau but they are very limited when coming from South Africa. Arik Air has the only one-stop flight, and it has a connection in Lagos. You can also fly with Lufthansa and go another route. They have transfers in Frankfurt and then again in Brussels. The total flight will be at least 30 hours long.
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The Tourist Attractions of Bakau:
Most people visit the various nature parks when they want to see some of the great outdoors, but the groomed botanical gardens in Bakau is a beautiful spot for some leisurely walking as well, and a look at the local plantlife.
You should try to visit both of the main markets at the north end of Bakau. They are not far from the Botanical Gardens so you should be able to see both easily. The craft market is filled with hand-made souvenirs and fresh produce, and the other market offers freshly caught fish.
Kachikally Crocodile Pool
Kachikally Crocodile Pool is actually a sacred place where nearly a hundred crocodiles roam free, and are considered tame enough to walk near and even touch, if you dare! There are trails for walking through the grounds, and also a small museum and gift shop.
Niumi National Park
The narrow coastal Niumi National Park is just across the mouth of the river from Bakau, and it reaches north to the coast of Senegal. The area is filled with thick mangrove forests and salt water marshes. Manatees are common in the water though they are timid of people and are not often seen. Most visitors go for the views and the large populations of birds that are both in the water and the trees. For animals, you may see large African otters, crocodiles, dolphins and small antelope.
Kiang West National Park
You will have to drive farther into the Gambia along the river from Bakau to get to the Kiang West National Park, but the trip shouldn’t take more than 2 hours. There are some wetlands here though most of the park is either dry forest or grassland. Various reptiles and snakes are very common in the park, and you can also see smaller wild cats, antelope, warthogs, crocodiles and manatees.
Tanji Bird Reserve
For something a little closer to town, the Tanji Bird Reserve is just on the southern outskirts of Bakau. Though you can see dolphins and turtles along the shore, people come to this park for the ocean birds that flock in great numbers here.
When Should You Visit?:
Even though it is located on the coast, the weather is consistently hot in Bakau. The coolest month is August which is the only time it dips below 30C (86F). It will reach 34C (93F) in March and that is typically as hot as it gets. Ironically the hotter months of March and April are also the ones where it cools off the most in the evenings. You should also keep in mind that it rains mostly in August though it is not a daily occurrence.