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Essential Gambia Bird Tour - 5 Days

Essential Gambia Bird Tour

The Best of Gambia Birding Tour

This leisurely paced 5-day Essential Gambia Bird Tour is available on request and covers a range of birding sites and habitats, many of which are unknown to the general public. Throughout the trip you will be accompanied by our expert local guides with extensive local knowledge of the country's fauna and flora, who will be able to advise on the best places to find any birds on your list.

Gambia is home to numerous rare and unusual species, including White Crowned Robin Chats, Oriole Warblers, Northern Puff-backed Shrikes andGiant, Pied, Malachite and Blue Breasted Kingfishers. This Gambia bird tour begins with a day at Kotu Creek, including a boat ride where you will have the opportunity to see and photograph Kingfishers and Black Egrets with their umbrella fishing techniques, as well as a water pool or drinking point for birds and a stop in a photo hide.

"Karanta is a very good bird guide and also a good person to be around... If you want to see a lot of birds in the Gambia, I think he'd be great." - Stuart Gough

Brufut Woods and Tanji Lagoons are among the areas we will visit on the Gambia bird tour, to closely observe a variety of waders and forest birds. Green and Violet Turacos, Pygmy and Grey Headed Kingfishers, White Western White-faced Scops Owls, Long-tailed Nightjars and Sulphur Breasted Bush-shrikes can all be found at Brufut, while Tanji is home to Ospreys, Turnstones, Swallow-tailed Bee-eaters, Green Velvet and Colobus Monkeys and a plethora of terns and gulls.

Our next stop will be Abuko Nature Reserve and Tambi Wetland Reserve, which offers trails and tracks, a stream and a hide and observation points that are great for photography. Common species here include Western Bluebills, Common Wattled-eyes, Grey Headed Bristtlebills, Giant Kingfishers and Collared, Splendid, Beautiful and Variable Sunbirds. In the rice fields you can expect to see Dwarf Bitterns, African Harrier Hawks, Palmnut Vultures, African Crakes, Hammerkops and Lizard Buzzards.

Other days of the Gambia birding tour will be spent at Marakissa Darslame and Sifoe Woods, which feature a diverse range of habitats including wetlands, grasslands, savanna forests and open rice fields separated by a tidal stream connected to a river in the south. These areas will reward us with a diverse range of protected species, including Shining Blue Kingfishers, Red Shouldered, and White-Breasted Cuckoo Shrikes, Long-crested Eagles, African Hawk Eagles, Green and Violet Turacos, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbirds, Yellow-bellied Hyliotas and Dark-chanting Goshawks.

Farasutu community forest on Baobab Island, also known as Sitajoyeh, is another interesting place on our itinerary and is home to three different owls: African Wood Greyish, African Scops and African Wood Greyish. Water drinking stations and picture hides are also essential for optimal spotting and close photographic opportunities of Green Headed Sunbirds, Klaa's Cuckoos, Green and Violet Turacos, Buff-spotted Woodpeckers, Woodland Kingfishers, Standard and Long-tailed Nightjars, Western Banded Snake Eagles and Four-Banded Sandgrouse.

Essential Gambia Birding Tour highlights include:

  • Visiting a variety of different habitats with the chance to observe some of Gambia's most uncommon and unusual bird species
  • Trips to Abuko Nature Reserve, Tambi Wetland Reserve, Brufut Woods, Tanji Lagoons, Marakissa Darslame, Sifoe Woods and Farasutu forest on Baobab Island
  • A relaxing boat trip on Kotu Creek
  • Expert guides on every tour to advise on finding birds on your list and offer tips on the best photography opportunities

If you have a little more time to spend on your holiday, maybe you’d consider a longer trip like this Gambia Birding Holiday.

Alternative Tour Name: 5-day Guided Birdwatching Tour of Gambia
Day 1
Day 1 - Arrival and Kotu Area

After breakfast, we start at 7 am in the Kotu area, at the famous Bridge, where you can take your first boat ride, and then continue on a nature walk through the rice fields, golf course, and surrounding areas, looking for species such as Blue Breasted, Kingfisher, Piapiac, Starlings, Lizard Buzzards, Hornbills, and many more. The list can go up to 60 to 80 species just in the Kotu area. Lunch will be served at noon, and then the tour will continue in the afternoon until late in the evening, when you will return to the hotel for supper.

Day 2
Day 2 - Journey to the Brufut Woods | Tanji Eco Lodge

After breakfast, we'll depart at 7:00 a.m. for a half-day journey to the Brufut Woods, which are located 10 kilometres from your accommodation. It will take us less than 25 minutes to get to the wood land, a community forest, where we will walk through the most interesting areas within the forest and its surroundings, birding around the woods, and later converge at a woodland bar area for cold drinks and coffees while watching some of the most exotic species, such as Green and Violet Turacos, Grey Headed Bristlebills, Pygmy Kingfishers, Yellow Throated Leafloves, Yellow Throated Leaflove Long-tailed Nightjars, Klaas' Cuckoos, Diederick Cuckoos, Shikras, Red-necked Falcons, Black-shouldered Kites, White-faced Scoops Owls, and other species are predicted to be found in the vicinity.

At 12:30 p.m., we will drive 5 kilometres to Tanji Eco Lodge, which is only 15 minutes away, for a lunch break by the drinking pool, which is great for photographing birds such as Sulphur Breasted Bushrike, African Silverbills, Western Blue Bills, Yellow Crowned Gonolek, and others.

We will then continue to the lagoons by the sea via the exterior of the forest, seeking for Four Banded Sandgrouse, Swallow Tailed Bee Eater, Osprey, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Pied Hornbill, and various waders, mostly migratory, until late evening, when we will return to the Hotel for dinner.

Day 3
Day 3 - Farasutu Forest | Lunch at Sitajoyeh Lodge on the Island

After breakfast, we'll drive to Farasutu Forest for a day trip and lunch at Sitajoyeh Lodge on the island. We'll visit the community Forest, which is about a 30-kilometer drive away, and consists of wood land with Gallery forest and farm lands, as well as riverine stretches along the forest edges, making it a popular stop for migratory birds.

Expected species to be African Wood Owl, Greyish Eagle Owl, Grey Headed Bristle Bill, Vieillot's Barbet, Yellow Bellied Hyliota, Black Wood Hoopoe, Stripe Kingfisher, Bruce's Green Pigeon, Yellow Penduline Tit, Cardinal Wood Pecker, Brown Backed Wood Pecker, Fine-spotted Wood Pecker, Buff- Spotted Wood Pecker, Cardinal Wood Pecker, Cardinal Wood Pecker, Brown Backed Wood Pecker, and Cardinal Wood. 

We'll complete the day by sitting in a hide at one of the area's local photo hides, where we'll get up close and personal with amazing species like the Green-headed Sunbird, Purple Glossy Starling, Splendid Glossy Starling, Klaas' Cuckoo, Black-faced Fire Finch, Brown Naked Parrot, and many others. For the night, we will return to the hotel.

Day 4
Day 4 - Abuko Nature Reserve | Katchummey Woods

After breakfast, we depart at 7 a.m. for a 25-minute drive on a 20-kilometer journey to Abuko Nature Reserve, which consists of gallery forest with canopies and semi-wooded scrubby areas with some undergrowth forages, as well as streams crossing some points, ideal for species such as Black Crake, Western Blue Bill, Common Wattled Eye, African Goshawk, Violet and Green Turacos, Palmnutt Vulture, Giant Kingfisher, Oriole Warbler, Black Necked Weaver, little Greenbul, and many more.  Later, we will leave the reserve and travel to Tambi Wetland, which is located directly across from the Nature Reserve, to spend a couple of hours among the rice fields and women's vegetable gardens, where we will see spectacular species such as Dwarf and Little Bitterns, Black Crake, African Crake, Lizard Buzzard, Pearl Spotted Owlet, Squacco Heron, and others.

At 1 p.m., we will return to the coast for a lunch break at Kotu, one of the best restaurants along the beach. After lunch, we will travel to Katchummey Woods on The Gambia's South Coast, where we will continue to add species to our list, including Giant, Blue Breasted, Malachite, and Pied Kingfishers, Sacred Ibis, African Spoonbill, Yellow Billed and Black kites, Yellow Billed Stork, greater Paint Snipe, Black Egret, Little Bee Eater, Blue Bellied Roller and Broad billed Roller and off cause many more. We'll return to your hotel for dinner later that evening.

Day 5
Day 5 - The Last Day

After an early breakfast at the hotel, we will depart at 7 a.m. for the Marakissa woods and area, driving all the way to Darslame and Seffoe Wetland diving for about 45 minutes, after which we will return to the Camp for lunch break while taking advantage of water jars organised by the Lodge within the premises, where different species of birds, such as Violet Turacos, and Yellow Throated Leafloves.  Later on, we'll return to the Penyem woods, about 10 kilometres from the Camp, for the remainder of the day.

These ecosystems include semi-savanna woodlands with some large trees, as well as Gallery forest with farmlands, rice fields, and gardens. We will return to the hotel after seeing White Breasted Cuckoo Shrike, Red Shouldered Cuckoo Shrike, African Scoops Owl, African Gold Oriole, Shinning Blue Kingfisher, Grey Headed Kingfisher, Lizard Buzzard, and many other species. Finally, we will return back to the Hotel rapping up the five days tour.

Some of the Wildlife species expected to see:

White Crowned Robin Chats, Oriole Warblers, Northern Puff-backed Shrike, Giant, Pied, Malachite, Blue Breasted Kingfishers, Brufut Woods, Tanji Lagoons, Green and Violet Turacos, Pygmy, Grey Headed Kingfisher, white western white-faced Scops Owl, Long-tailed Nightjar a metre away, Sulphur Breasted Bush-shrike, Ospreys, Swallow-tailed Bee-eaters, Green Velvet, Colobus Monkeys, a plethora of Terns and Gulls, Turn Stones, Western Bluebill, Common Wattled-eye, Grey Headed Bristtlebill, Giant Kingfisher, Variable Sunbirds, Dwarf Bittern, African Harrier Hawk, Palmnut Vulture, African Crake, Hammerkop, Lizard Buzzard, Shining Blue Kingfisher, Red Shouldered, and White-Breasted Cuckoo Shrikes, the species protected. Long-crested Eagles, African Hawk Eagles, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbirds, Yellow-bellied Hyliotas, Dark-chanting Goshawks, Green Headed Sunbirds, Klaa’s Cuckoos, Buff-spotted Woodpeckers, Woodland Kingfishers, Long-tailed Nightjars, Western Banded Snake Eagle and more…

What is included?

  • All accommodation or lodgings based on double occupancy
  • Single occupancy available for an additional charge/cost
  • Professional guide and support staff
  • Specialist guide fees
  • Local transfers and all ground transport throughout the tour
  • Entrance fees to all National Parks, Nature Reserves and/or use of Hides where applicable All meals
  • Snacks throughout the tour
  • Water throughout the tour
  • Selection of drinks (incl. water, soft drinks, local beer, house wine and spirits)
  • All activities as specified within the tour itinerary
  • Personalised checklists
  • All Applicable Taxes

What is not included?

  • All international or domestic airfares
  • Visa Fees (if applicable)
  • Travel & medical insurance (incl. personal equipment and repatriation)
  • Airport departure taxes or visa fees
  • Items of personal nature (incl. binoculars and telescopes)
  • If providing binoculars and telescopes then add within above
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Laundry & telephone Charges
  • Optional tour extensions where applicable
  • Tips & gratuities
  • Any other drinks not mentioned above, or
  • Alcoholic beverages or bottled drinks
  • Anything else that is not mentioned in the itinerary and “What is included”
Wildlife Reviews
4.83 stars
- based on 1  reviews
  1. Specially Recommended
    Stuart Gough01 Jan 2022







    karanta is a very good bird guide and also a good person to be around, so you should hire him. If you want to see a lot of birds in the Gambia, I think he'd be great.

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Why should I book with Gambia Birding Tours?

We offer professional-guided birding tours for a trip through The Gambia that will be a lot of fun. Karanta Camara is the president of the Gambia Bird Watchers Association (BWA), which is made up of 75 guides who are licensed every year. They work together to provide high-quality bird guiding services. For this reason, he has a lot of knowledge and contacts in Gambia. He knows where to find all the beautiful birds that this country has to offer.

Do you arrange airport pick up/drop off?

Airport transfers to and from service are rendered to customers.

When is the best time to travel and why?

The best time to travel to The Gambia is summer from November to April.

Do you need a minimum fitness level to join this tour?

You need at least a minimum fitness level to be able to enjoy the tours.

What will be the level of connectivity or WiFi access during this tour?

Internet connectivity is relatively slow compared to the West, Wi-Fi facilities are ok at the coast and iritic going inland but most lodges and hotels have the facility

Can you cater for special dietary requirements?

We are sensitive to dietary imbalances but can cater to vegetarians too.

Malaria and Sun Lotion

Take with your malaria tabs, and mosquito repellents plus sun lotion.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever vaccination cards are advised to take along with you.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

5 Days

Price & Availability

USD615 / per person
Group Discount Available
Group Discount Guide
Refer to Group Discount Terms
This tour is operated by: Gambia Birding Tours
4.97 based on 5 reviews

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Operator Review Summary

4.97 Based on 5 reviews

Tour Facts

  • The Gambia
  • On Request
  • Multi-Day Tour
  • Birds
  • 2 to 12px
  • 5 Days
  • November to April
  • +15 years
  • Leisurely
  • No
  • English
  • Banjul International Airport (BJL)
  • Banjul International Airport (BJL)