The Gambia

Egyptian Plover Pluvianus aegyptius ©Dubi Shapiro Website

The Gambia is a country in West Africa. Geographically, The Gambia is the smallest country in continental Africa; it is surrounded by Senegal, except for its western coast on the Atlantic Ocean. It is situated on both sides of the lower reaches of the Gambia River, which flows through the centre of the country and empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The national namesake river demarcates the elongated shape of the country, which has an area of 11,300 square kilometres (4,400 square miles) and a population of around 2.5 million people in 2024. The capital city is Banjul, which has the most extensive metropolitan area in the country; the second and third cities are Serekunda and Brikama.

The Gambia is less than 50 kilometres (31 miles) wide at its widest point and c.11% of the country is water. The Gambia contains three terrestrial ecoregions: Guinean forest-savanna mosaic, West Sudanian savanna, and Guinean mangroves. It has a tropical savannah climate with a short rainy season that normally lasts from June until September, but from then until May, lower temperatures predominate, with less precipitation. It can reach over 40° C and rarely drops below 15° C.

Birding the Gambia

For the European tourist, The Gambia provides a first-class destination for any birdwatcher. It has the advantage of being only a short flight away (about 5½ hours) and it has a very large bird list with over 600 species recorded. It is situated close to the northern limit of the tropical rain front and The Gambia is right in the middle of the narrow transitional zone between semi dessert and tropical rain forest, consequently, the country’s bird list includes species from both of these areas with the species to be seen varying with the onset of the rainy and dry seasons. Add to the African endemic species the many European migrants that either pass through Gambia or spend the winter there, and one can see why the bird list is so large. Because of the proximity of the rain forest to the south and the desert to the north, there is always the chance of spotting something unusual that has overshot on migration, or on a food-finding tour.

The climate is very pleasant, although it can be perhaps a little hot inland in the period just before and just after the annual summer rains. However, for many, the big attraction about birding in The Gambia is the attitude of the local population that is friendly, and, for the most part, very helpful.

Hotels in The Gambia range from adequate to very good. As in all things, you get what you pay for. The Atlantic Hotel is a little out on a limb being close to the capital Banjul. However, it has its own bird garden and is close to the Bund road. There are several hotels, Kombo Beach, Bungalow Beach and the Badala Park that offer good birding just a short walk from the hotel in the Kotu area. The Senegambia has large grounds with a corresponding large bird population. The Kairaba, a little more expensive than the average is next door. Also nearby is the Kololi Beach Club, time-share, but rooms can be booked here. All these last three are close to and within easy walking distance of the small Bijilo reserve.

Almost anywhere in The Gambia is good for birds, especially if you have never been before. Don’t dismiss your hotel grounds as being too peopled either, you will often get good views of birds such as Gonelek in the grounds whereas outside they are very timid and often hard to see well. The Senegambia in particular is renowned for its bird-garden; has is the Atlantic Hotel and the Kairaba has large grounds that attract many species including Wattled Plover, Wood Hoopoe, Fine-spotted Woodpecker and very tame Whimbrel. In truth, most of the hotels have some grounds around them and you will undoubtedly find birds to enjoy whichever hotel you are staying in. its not unusual to see 70 species in the hotel grounds!

Every little patch of rough ground seems to have its own specialities like the Black-shouldered Kites inhabiting the rough ground between the main road to the Senegambia Hotel and the sea. A damp patch on this same piece of ground has produced in one morning practically every Gambian heron and egret species plus spoonbills.

A good guide can be a great help, especially if you are looking for a particular bird. The problem in The Gambia is that the local enterprise culture has found that a lot of tourists come to The Gambia to watch birds and that there is money to be made as a guide. If you appear outside your hotel with binoculars around your neck, potential guides will soon surround you. Some are good and really know their stuff, but others know little about bird recognition or where best to find birds. The very best ones, do not hang about outside hotels, you will need to contact them. All the hotels run special birdwatching excursions, and if you are on your first visit to The Gambia, then for your first couple of outings you won’t regret using these as a springboard to your own travels. A very popular one is called ‘Birds & Breakfast’ where you join a dawn boat journey up the river and end the excursion with coffee and breakfast.

Sunrise on the Gambia River – ©NoahElhardt CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

However, for trips up-river (especially for Egyptian Plover) and away from the coastal regions, until you have a little experience of the country it is recommend to take a guided tour. Not just for safety reasons, but because it would be just too easy to spend your valuable time searching for the best sites instead of birdwatching, which is after all, what you are thinking of visiting The Gambia for, isn’t it?

There are plenty of good sites within easy reach of the hotels. You could walk to many of them from the hotel but, apart from those that are right next to the hotel, it would mean a hot and dusty walk along busy roads. However, with taxis relatively cheap it’s not worth the hassle. Remember to bargain with your taxi driver, you will usually be able to negotiate a reasonable rate for there and back with a couple of hours waiting. But do agree the price before you start. If you are a really hard nut you can probably get your ride very cheap. I personally like to settle on a price that I think is reasonable for the journey, I get no pleasure in squeezing the last ounce out of someone who is already making do on a minimal income. (Often the driver is in a vehicle owned by someone else and has to queue – up to a week – for a fare! He may be supporting a very extended family. Hiring a taxi for a week can be at a rate less than half the cost of a self-drive car in Europe. You can then give a large, much appreciated, tip at the end of the week.)

While the list of coastal sites will be enough to keep many birdwatchers happy for a fortnight’s holiday, to see the bigger raptors it is best to travel inland. Whilst the distances are not great, the poor state of the roads means that what would be a short 2-3 hour journey within Europe, will take all day in the Gambia and the follow-on from this is that you will need overnight accommodation. Therefore, if you are new to The Gambia then you are better taking an organised tour to the inland sites and let someone else look after the admin.

Finally, a few words of advice. The Gambia is a mainly Moslem country. Ladies, when away from the beaches, should keep their thighs covered. Save the skimpy shorts for the holiday environs. There are some beggars and scroungers who hang around outside the hotels. They can be a nuisance, but be firm and tell them to go away and walk away from them. They will tell you they are only trying to be friendly and why can’t you be friendly too. Don’t be fooled they will soon be asking you to donate to their school or some other project with the money undoubtedly destined for their own pocket. Having said that, the Gambians in general are really friendly people, you will undoubtedly meet many whose friendship you can savour for the rest of your life, but you probably won’t meet them just outside the hotel or on the beach and they certainly won’t thrust themselves upon you. There are times when the country is troubled and at any time walking about by yourself away from tourist areas and especially in the city is not a good idea. Ask your hotel for advice and follow it.

There is no social security in The Gambia and one cannot help but feel sorry for those with grave disabilities. However, once you begin giving you will be treated as the pot that never empties both by the needy and everyone else around. The best way to make a contribution to the local economy is to buy your souvenirs or a service from the Gambians and take with you articles that are useful for education. Hotel staff will be delighted to pass these on. Away from tourist hotels there isn’t a problem you may be asked by the children for any pen or any sweet. Once you give a child one pen or sweet you will immediately be surrounded by masses more. If you carry an inexhaustible supply of goodies, fine, otherwise…

A final finally. Caucasian tourists will be addressed as ‘Toubab’ apparently a local corruption of two bob. Two bob (two shillings in old British money) was the going rate for running an errand in the days when The Gambia was a colony. If you think how inflation has changed values, you will realise that it was in fact quite a generous rate. Happy birding.

Top Sites
  • Abuko Nature Reserve

    InformationSatellite View
    Abuko Nature Reserve is a managed reserve of remnant rain forest around a small pond that has good water levels all year. There are a number of public hides and for the more serious; a small hide overlooking its own small waterhole near the animal sanctuary in the centre of the reserve can be rented by the day for a small fee. (Book in advance at the main entrance. It will take two persons comfortably and three at a pinch.) The bird list of about 200 includes Eagle Owl, Night Heron, Giant Kingfisher and most of the other kingfishers, Violet and Green Turaco and Paradise Flycatcher. A delightful spot very rewarding first thing in the morning when the gates first open (8 am) and again in the late morning after the groups have departed.
  • Bijilo Forest Park

    InformationSatellite View
    Bijilo Forest Park is a small Managed reserve just by the Kololi/Kairaba/Senegambia complex. Has good varied selection of birds including Stone Partridge and is the only place where I have managed to get good close views of white-cheeked bee-eaters.
  • Bird Safari Camp

    Further inland one can stay at the Bird Safari Camp at Georgetown. This is a lovely spot with its own speciality of the delightful little Swamp Flycatcher and Hippos in the river there. I have seen Western Banded Snake Eagle and Red-Shouldered Cuckoo-Shrike in the woods surrounding the camp. Travelling further inland towards Basse takes one into Carmine and Red-Throated Bee-eater country. October to December sees the magnificent Crocodile Bird, the Egyptian Plover in residence at Basse. For me the sight of this bird makes the long journey to Basse worth every bruise on my rear end from the bumpy ride. New accommodation was being built on the opposite side of the river from Basse town when I was last there in October 1999. Perhaps, if someone has been up there since its completion, they could let me know what it is like. Also, the Kairaba hotel was starting to build an upcountry site. That too should have benefits for birdwatchers.
  • Kotu Creek

    WebpageSatellite View
    Kotu Bridge, Kotu Ponds and the Golf Course are all situated in the area around Kombo Beach/Badala Beach Hotels. Kotu Bridge and Ponds good for thick-knees, hammerkop, waders, herons, egrets pied kingfisher. Kotu Ponds (Honey Farm) additionally often has ducks and little grebe. Golf course often has Black Headed Plover, Wood Hoopoe, small raptors, scops owl… etc.
  • Lamin Lodge

    WebpageSatellite View
    From Lamin Lodge you can take a boat trip to see many of the heron species. You will be unlucky not to see Goliath Heron, and with luck, should see Osprey, White and Pink-Backed Pelican, Yellow Billed Stork and Sacred Ibis.
  • Tanji Bird Reserve

    InformationSatellite View
    Tanji Bird Reserve is a remarkable narrow strip of land between the sea and the main southbound coastal road. Despite its small size around 300 species of birds have been recorded here including a number of raptors. Seagulls and waders can be seen on the sandbanks just offshore. Not very far out of Banjul, but you will need transport to get there. There is a small entrance fee to help to pay for the wardens that look after the area. Unfortunately, the road bounding the eastern edge of the reserve is in the process of being upgraded from dirt to tarmac. During my last visit in February 2000 it appeared that work on the road had not significantly affected the number or variety of birds to be seen here. However, the road had not been completed at that time and was not open for general use. It remains to be seen how much the noise from the increase in traffic will effect the bird population once the road is fully operational and whether there will be increased human disturbance from the improved accessibility that the new road affords.
  • Tendaba Camp

    Facebook PageSatellite View
    Tendaba Camp and Kemoto are situated at either end of the Kiang West National Park. Accommodation is a little more Spartan than at a normal hotel, but, never-the-less, very adequate and the staff as always are very helpful and friendly. Here you could see Ground Hornbill, Gabar and Chanting Goshawk, Brown Snake Eagle, Crested Hawk Eagle and the magnificent Bateleur or a Marital Eagle.
  • Waste Ground between Kairaba Avenue and the sea (towards Senegambia Hotel)

    Satellite View
    The waste Ground between Kairaba Avenue and the sea (towards Senegambia Hotel) has Black shouldered kite, warblers, Prinia, Tchagra, Oriole Warbler… etc A small water-hole at the Palma Rima end of this patch often has a good selection of herons from the end of the wet season to about mid February after which it dries out. An area behind the Palma Rima hotel is good for nightjars, but we have been advised by Gambian Guides that this is not a recommended area to visit without local assistance. I have never heard them say that of anywhere else in The Gambia, so I would heed the warning.
  • Yundum Airport

    Satellite View
    Near Yundum Airport there is a patch of open countryside on the right hand side of the main road between Serrekunde and Brikama just past the runway and on the opposite side of the road from the runway at Yundum. It is a good spot to see Buffalo weaver, Pin-Tailed Whydah, Yellow-Shouldered Widowbird, Black-Crowned Tchagra, Red Bishop and sometimes Chestnut-Bellied Starling.
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 621

    (As at May 2024)
  • Avibase

    PDF Checklist
    This checklist includes all bird species found in Gambia , based on the best information available at this time. It is based on a wide variety of sources that I collated over many years. I am pleased to offer these checklists as a service to birdwatchers. If you find any error, please do not hesitate to report them.
  • Farasuto Forest

    PDF Checklist
    The Gambia Bird Species List Species names from Barlow, C & Wacher, T Birds of The Gambia and
  • Wikipedia

    Annotated List
    This is a list of the bird species recorded in The Gambia. The avifauna of The Gambia include a total of 621 species, two of which have been introduced. The country, which is very small and almost completely surrounded by Senegal, has no endemic species.
Useful Reading

  • Birds of Senegal and The Gambia

    | By Ron Demey & Nik Borrow | Helm | Edition 2 | 2023 | Paperback | 360 pages, 149 plates with colour illustrations; colour distribution maps, 3 maps | ISBN: 9781399402200 Buy this book from
  • Field Guide to Wildlife of The Gambia

    | (An Introduction to Common Flowers & Animals) | David Penney | Siri Scientific Press | 2012 | Paperback | 160 pages, 786 colour photos | ISBN: 9780956779526 Buy this book from
  • Finding Birds in The Gambia

    | By Dave Gosney | Easybirder | 2012 | Paperback | 40 Pages & Many Maps | ISBN: 9781907316364 Buy this book from
  • Finding Birds in The Gambia

    | By Dave Gosney | Easybirder | 2012| DVD | Running time: 92 minutes | ISBN: 9781907316371 Buy this book from
  • Kartong Bird Observatory

    Facebook PageSatellite View
    K.B.O. is located overlooking a former sand mine. Since mining stopped these areas have filled with water during each rainy season and created one of the best birding sites along the coast of The Gambia. Bird ringing began at Kartong in 1996 with the pioneering work of Mike King and John High. To carry this work forward a team of ringers from the U.K. has now established a permanent ringing station at Kartong
  • African Bird Club

    A combination of a good tourist infrastructure, travel connections and knowledgeable people makes The Gambia one of the primary birdwatching destinations in Africa. With a checklist of over 500 species and readily accessible sites, this small country offers a great introduction to African birding as well as retaining its appeal for those who have visited the country on previous occasions
  • Gambia Bird Guide

    The Gambia is regarded as one of the safest and easiest introduction to African Birding.
  • Gambia Birdwatchers' Association

    Facebook Page
    Gambia Bird Watchers Association was founded 2007 by group of professional Bird watching guide. We offer birding excursions throughout the Gambia.
  • West African Bird Study Association

    West African Bird Study Association (WABSA) was formed in April 1994, by indigenous Gambian youths, who are concerned citizens to preserve the country's flora and fauna.
  • West African Ornithological Society

    The West African Ornithological Society grew out of the Nigerian Ornithologists

Abbreviations Key

  • BiR Tanji

    InformationSatellite View
    Bald Cape is formed from a shallow reef of laterite rock which extends to the north-west reappearing at the Bijol Islands 1.5 km offshore. The Cape is backed by a lagoon which runs south in a broken chain as far as the village of Tanji. The lagoon system has developed from a combination of the outflow of the Tanji River and longshore drift accumulating sand deposits. It is a dynamic system and significant changes can result from a single flood or storm. The Cape and lagoons serve as feeding and roosting grounds for a large diversity of gulls, terns and waders…
  • CNR Farasuto Forest

    WebsiteSatellite View
    The story of Farasuto and the people involved in it unfolds as you read the various pages of this web site. John Tucker and his brother Peter were on a birding holiday in the Gambia 2–23 January 2009, initially with other family and friends except for two weeks alone but for a guide, largely on an up-country birding trip. While near the coast the two got to know Kuloro and Farasuto and became involved in plans for a reserve there.
  • NP Kiang West

    InformationSatellite View
    The Kiang West National Park wasestablished in 1987 and is located in southern Gambia, adjacent to the river bank and is 145 kilometres from the capital of Banjul…
  • NP Niumi

    InformationSatellite View
    The Niumi National Park occupies the coastal strip of The Gambia north of the river. The park is approximately 4,940 ha (49.4 km2) in extent. Apart from being an important fish breeding ground, it constitutes one of the last untouched mangrove stands on the West African Coast north of the equator. The more terrestrial parts of the park contain an interesting cross section of threatened regional fauna and a wide diversity of habitat types…
  • NP River Gambia

    InformationSatellite View
    The national park was established in 1978 and ismade up of a complex of 5 islands that lie on the river in the Central River Division (Region) about 300 kilometres upstream to the south west of Kuntaur (see map) and downstream of Janjangbureh, Georgetown…
  • NR Abuko

    InformationSatellite View
    In 1967 a local man called Kalilu requested the then acting Wildlife Officer, Eddie Brewer, to shoot a leopard that had been killing their pigs which had been feeding there illegally. When he visited the spot with his daughter, Stella, they saw an amazing richness of Gambian wildlife and flora and realised the conservation importance of the stream running through Abuko…
  • Nature Reserves

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Over 270 species of birds have been recorded from Abuko Nature Reserve which reflects the value of this small area. The reserve contains an intact pocket of gallery forest in which numerous forest dependent species occur such as the Green Touraco, little Greenbul and the Yellow Breasted Apalis. The milky (or Verreaux`s) Eagle Owl is also resident and often heard calling in the late afternoon. The chain of pools within the lower end of the reserve attract a tremendous variety of bird life, from the White-Spotted Flufftail to the African Fish Eagles. An afternoon spent at the Education Centre or one of the photo hides will yield many good sightings. At the south-western end of the reserve an extension of 29ha added in 1978 has been appropriately labelled the extension bird walk. The area is composed of Guinea Savannah with open glades of grassland.
  • WeRv Bao Bolon

    InformationSatellite View
    Bao Bolon is located on the North Bank of The Gambia River opposite the Kiang West National Park. It consists of six major bolons between Salikeni and Katchang. Together these bolons form a vast wetland complex of international importance. Bao Bolon does not have the characteristics of a river any more…
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Abdoulie Ndure

    Gambia is a country of nature with more than 500 different bird species recorded. Even if you are just beginning or an expert in birding, you have got the right destination. Make sure you will have a unique experience and increase your chances of birding with a local and professional bird guide
  • Bird Finders

    Tour Operator
    The Gambia is one of the easiest introductions to both tropical birdwatching and Africa. A former British colony, it is one of the smallest countries in Africa, surrounded by Senegal and straddling the Gambia River for some 200 miles. We will be visiting after the end of the wet season when the vegetation is still green and some of the weavers and bishops are still in summer plumage
  • Ebrima Njie - Birdlife Africa

    Tour Operator & Guiding
    If you are a birder or wildlife lover wanting to explore The Gambia and Senegal, Birdlife Africa can provide a friendly, personal experience. We offer everything from individual day trips to organised group itineraries.
  • Fatou Tours

    Tour Guide
    Experience The Gambia & Senegal as never before for all your birding and nature trips. Fatou is a member of The Bird Watcher Association The Gambia,an officially licensed tour guide of the Gambia Tourism Board and owner/ceo of Fatour Tours Gambia that she founded together with the other welknown gambian guide foday bojang, one of the most experienced guides of the country. She is known as a very good ( the best?) female birding guide of The Gambia.
  • Footsteps Eco-Lodge

    The Gambia is home to more than 550 species of birds and they are all around you, which means you don’t have to go far to see some beautiful, exotic birds. In fact, at Footsteps Eco-Lodge we have over 100 species of birds within our grounds and over 150 within walking distance, so whether you are an avid birder or casual birdwatcher, novice or professional, the birding is great!
  • Gambia Bird Tour

    Tour Guide
    Hello, my name is Ebrima Sidibeh. I am a Gambian bird guide based in Kotu and have been leading tours in The Gambia and Senegal for 29 years. I am passionate about birds and birding, and hold a leading position within the Gambia Birdwatchers Association, giving me great links to the birding community.
  • Gambia Experience

    Tour Operator
    The Gambia provides some amazing opportunities for birdwatching. With 540+ species and everything in relatively close proximity, you don’t have to travel far to see some fascinating birdlife; you’ll even find a whole host of exotic species in your hotel gardens. So whether you’re a first timer, a keen amateur or an enthusiast looking for particular species we guarantee you’ll find something to inspire you...
  • Karanta Camara Tours

    Tour Guide
    We offer professional guided birding tours for an amazing trip through The Gambia. Based at the famous Kotu Bridge, we offer short birding tours in the Kotu area, as well as custom tours through the entire Gambia and Senegal. Together, we can explore Gambia and enjoy its great diversity of birds and other animals.
  • Modou Barry

    I am a well known Gambian Ornithologist, with over 10 years' experience. I can arrange bird watching trips during your holiday, throughout the length and breadth of The Gambia, at very reasonable cost
  • Modou Saidy

    He is contactable at Kotu Bridge, the meeting place of the WABSA guides, or as follows: Mobile phone - 220 797 1545 - I am a professional bird guide, a member of The Gambia's National Bird Watcher Association. My professional name is Modou Saidy. I am 29 years of age
  • Ousman Joku

    Tour Guide
    Ousman Joku has been birdwatching in Gambia since he was a young boy and is now among the most professional and experienced bird guides in Gambia. If you are simply looking for an introduction to bird watching in Gambia with day trips from the coast or a fully inclusive longer tour of Gambia and Senegal then Ousman is your man
Trip Reports
  • 2016 [11 November] - Pat & Judy Hayes

    We decided to return to the Gambia, using the same format as our previous visits. With a large list of birds, hot sunny weather, great accommodation and a bird guide second to none, it was a no brainer...
  • 2016 [11 November] - Solomon Jallow

    PDF Report
  • 2016 [12 December] - Bob Buckler

    ...From the airport apron we logged our first bird, Cattle Egret and from the car park we added Hooded Vulture, Yellow-billedKite, Spectacled Pigeon, Red-chested Swallow, House Sparrow and Lesser Blue-eared Glossy Starling...
  • 2018 [08 August] - Ralf Jahraus

    PDF Report
    The following day we spent looking for birds by car. Idrissa showed us some Long-tailed Nightjars, Arabian Bustard, Black Crowned Cranes, Greater Painted Snipe and River Prinia etc. A truly beautiful wetland, situated in semi desert, with lots of special birds and thousands of Waders and Herons.
  • 2018 [11 November] - Jildert Hijlkema

    PDF Report
    VERY comprehensive report
  • 2018 [12 December] - Ralf Jahraus

    PDF Report
    This report is based on a 1 month trip to Senegal and Gambia on which I was joined by my friend Andreas Schoch in Senegal. Sites visited were Niokolo Koba, Wassadou and Djoudj in Senegal and Tendaba Camp, Sita Joyeh, Marakissa, Tanji, Tujering and Abuko in Gambia.
  • 2019 [02 February] - Tom Hibbert & Lauren Booth

    PDF Report
    We stayed at Footsteps in the Sand Ecolodge, on Gambia’s west coast. Booked as a package deal from Thomas Cook, with bed, breakfast, flights, transfers and insurance costing £1,255 for the two of us
  • 2022 [02 February] - Jaap Westra

    PDF Report
    This was a very special trip. The first trip outside Europe in two years because of COVID 19 restrictions and the first birding trip outside the WP with my eighteen year old son, who got more and more eager in joining my efforts to finding all the birds we set out for. His focus on butterflies also helped in working out a butterfly list of up to 36 specie
  • 2022 [12 December] - Dylan Vasapolli - Senegal & Gambia

    PDF Report
    More specifically, this tour was designed to give us the best possible chances for many of the iconic Sahelian specials, like Quail-plover, Golden Nightjar, Cricket Warbler and Egyptian Plover, amongst others, while also trying for some local regional specials like White-crested Tiger Heron and enjoying the massive Scissor-tailed Kite roost in southern Senegal.
  • 2023 [01 January] - Bent Otto Poulsen

    PDF Report
    Kotu Creek (coordinates 13.462418, -16.703683) is a small stream entering the Atlantic Ocean thus creating a brackish mangrove due to tidal movements. Surrounded by crops, bushland with larger trees, especially
  • 2023 [02 February] - Bob Swann

    PDF Report
    First birds I saw were African Palm Swifts flying low over the palms outside our block. Quickly came across Speckled Pigeon, Red-eyed Dove, Laughing Dove and a pair of Vinaceous Collared Dove. The trees and bushes held lots of Common Bulbul and Village Weaver, several pairs Western Red-billed Hornbill, a couple of pairs of stunning Blue-bellied Roller, a family of Green Wood Hoopoe, a small group of Long-tailed Glossy Starling, a few pairs of Beautiful Sunbird, the males in superb plumage, a pair of Northern Black Flycatcher and a lovely Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird...
  • 2023 [02 February] - Kath & Mick Claydon

    PDF Report
    We’ve been to The Gambia many times, usually based somewhere along the coast, making day trips and sometimes going upriver. This time was different. We wanted to stay in one quiet location away from the hustle and bustle of the coast and let the wildlife come to us rather than pursuing species.
  • 2023 [03 March] - Hans Matheve

    This report covers a ‘classic’ itinerary of Senegal, with some extra birding in the Casamance and Gambia. While most birders visit Gambia in order to see West-African / Sahelian bird species, almost all of those are present in Senegal as well
  • 2023 [11 November] - Bob Swann

    PDF Report
    ...First we headed to Farasuto, where we walked round some of the fields adjacent to the forest reacquainting ourselves with Gambian birds. African Grey Hornbill, Western Red-billed Hornbill, Red-eyed Dove, Laughing Dove, Speckled Pigeon, Pied Crow, Little Bee-eater and Common Bulbul were all quickly encountered. In the scrub lots of Northern Grey-headed Sparrow, Village Weaver, a few Little Weaver and my first lifer of the trip – Vitalline’s Masked Weaver...
  • 2023 [11 November] - Wim Heylen

    PDF Report
    ...After lunch we went for a walk, birding along the road towards the bridge. This produced Levaillant’s Cuckoo, Little Bittern, Long-crested Eagle, a female Western Violet-backed Sunbird, and finally an Ovambo Sparrowhawk which gave very nice views. According to Burama, Marakissa is the only location in Gambia where Ovambo Sparrowhawk is regularly seen as it breeds near the camp...
  • 2023 [12 December] - D Buckingham

    PDF Report
    This is not an exhaustive list of birds seen - there are plenty of other reports which do this. Suffice it to say we saw 270 species of birds in two weeks and had a great time. This report is an overview of the trip with, I hope, some useful tips for those new to the Gambia.
  • 2024 [02 February] - Mike Hunter

    PDF Report
    ...- A pair of Ovambo Sparrowhawk seen first thing in and around their nest south of Marakissa town. We also find Greater Painted-snipe, White-breasted Cuckooshrike and Giant Kingfisher in what proves to be a pleasant birdy area. At Farasuto we enjoy great views of all three species of honeyguides from a photo hide, including Andy’s target of Scaly-breasted. A late lunch on Sitta Joy...
Places to Stay
  • Dalaba Lodge

    Traditional african accomodation with modern conveniences, in the middle of the Gambian Bush. Perfect for bird watchers and those after some R&R
  • Farakunku Lodges

    Your Anglo/Gambian hosts ( Heather and Moses) offer you deluxe, secluded, country holiday accommodation for couples and single travellers, all set in a natural rural area only 2kms from the sea on the edge of Tujereng village on Gambia
  • Footsteps Eco-Lodge

    The Gambia is home to more than 550 species of birds and they are all around you, which means you don’t have to go far to see some beautiful, exotic birds. In fact, at Footsteps Eco-Lodge we have over 100 species of birds within our grounds and over 150 within walking distance, so whether you are an avid birder or casual birdwatcher, novice or professional, the birding is great!
  • Kairaba Beach Hotel

    Breakfast is served at the Kingfisher`s Terrace Restaurant, which enjoys a magnificent outlook over the bountiful lawns with its many birds, flowers and plants. Clients have the choice of sitting in the air-conditioned restaurant or outside on the terrace breathing the flowery scented air.
  • Mandinari River Lodge

    You can stay at any one of our five custom built eco-lodges. They are constructed with comfort in mind but also to blend in with the natural surroundings of their beautiful backdrop, and to also give you a taste of what it is really like to live by the Riverside in western Africa.
  • Morgan Kunda Lodges

    The staff here at Morgan Kunda Lodges are proud welcome holiday makers to our exclusive accommodation set in Jarjari Village – deep in the heart of the Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve, North of the river. Our newly-built lodges are staffed by local people serving both Gambian and European cuisine. Until now it was not possible to spend long periods of time in this unique nature reserve as it was only accessible via long excursions from the South. From our exclusive accommodation, you will have unrivalled access to untapped areas along the Bao Bolong, and secret locations only our Guides know about.
  • Senegambia Beach Hotel

    Located in the bustling resort of Kololi, beside the sea, Senegambia is one of The Gambia’s best-known hotels and a great choice for many holidaymakers.
Other Links
  • Birds of The Gambia and Senegal

    …this photo group started with the intent of promoting responsible birding in The Gambia and Senegal, and sharing information for birders visiting The Gambia, Senegal, or West Africa. Of the 660+ species listed (Clements) for Senegambia, we have pictures of over 495 now: 73%. Also, discussion of trip reports, subspecies, and more. Non-profit, volunteer - with contributors from all over the world…
  • Gambia Experience Birdwatching Blog

    Here we share some of our favourite photography of the birdlife in The Gambia. What will you get the opportunity to see when you visit?

Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

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