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Gambia Birding Holiday - 7 Days

Gambia Birding Holiday
1295

Wildlife Holiday & Birding in The Gambia

This 7-day Gambia Birding Holiday is leisurely paced and available on request. Whether you are seeking unusual kinds of birds and animals, we can give the best of services at an unbeatable price with knowledgeable and committed bird guides easily available in the field that he loved deeply.

"Great birding trip in Gambia with Karanta Camara as our guide. We were searching in particular for Sahel specialities in the eastern part of The Gambia and Karanta really delivered on finding our targets. He is great company in the field with sharp eyes and ears and knows where all the relevant species are to be found. Karanta was very thoughtful and always had a Plan B, which allowed great flexibility in our itinerary. We can thoroughly recommend Karanta for any birding requirements in Gambia." - Paul Ashley

This Gambia birding holiday begins near the coast and visits a variety of habitats such as savannah grasslands, lagoons, gallery forests, riverine stretches, rice paddy fields and active farmlands. Kotu Creek is notable for its migratory birds and Common Green and Common Red Shanks, Pelicans, Oriol Warblers, White Crown Robin-Chats and Malachite, Blue Breasted, Pied and Gaint Kingfishers.

Brufut woodland, Tanji Bird Reserve, Kachuma Woods and Gunjur community forest are just a few of the sanctuaries you'll visit along the coast. These are a hub for migrant species including the Carmine Bee-eater, Wryneck, Common and Painted Snipe, Osprey, Beaudouin's Snake Eagle and Four Banded Sandgrouse.

On the fourth day, we will begin our trek upcountry, passing through the Kampanti rice fields, which are a perfect habitat for Martial Eagles, Bateleur Eagles, African Harrier Hawks and other birds of prey. We'll travel between Sankandi and Jifarong Woods, then continue to Tendaba camp, where we'll visit Kiang West National Park and drive along a bush trail in search of Brown Rumped Buntings, Brubru Shrikes, Red-shouldered Cuckoo Shrikes, Warthogs, Yellow Penduline Tits and Black-faced Firefinches.

Crossing to the Northern Region over Gambia Bridge, we arrive at Morgan Kunda Lodge, home to African Silverbills, Black Rumped Waxbills, Pygmy Sunbirds and Bruce's Green Pigeons. White-Faced Black Chats, Abyssinian Ground Hornbills, Speckled-fronted Weavers, Chesnut Crown Sparrow Weavers and Savile's, Black-bellied and White-bellied Bustards can be expected to be seen at Konteh Kunda Woods, Tallia Wood, Katchang Wood and Baobolong Wetland.

This Gambia birding holiday continues north to Georgetown, stopping along the way at Wassu Sand mining site and its breeding colony of Red-throated Bee-eaters, Pin-tailed Whydahs and Bronze-winged Coursers. In Georgetown, we take a boat journey to Kunkilling Forest in search of Adamawa Turtle Doves, African Finfoots, hippos, baboons and Red Colobus and Green Velvet Monkeys.

After two nights, we head back through South Bank to Bansang Quarry, another common site for Red-throated Bee-Eaters. Still, on the South Bank, we'll stop at the Dalaba waterhole, Jahaly Rice Fields and Bumar Rice Fields, where we can expect to see Martial Eagles, Bateleur Eagles, Western Banded Snake Eagles and Yellow White Eyes. We return to the coast via Kampanti, Bullock Woods and Farasutu Forest on Baobab Island on the lookout for Standard and Long-Tailed Nightjars, Greyish Eagle Owls, Green Headed Sunbirds and African Scops Owls.

Gambia Birding Holiday highlights include:

  • Visiting a wide variety of different habitats along the coast and further inland to observe some of Gambia's most uncommon and unusual bird species
  • Trips to Kotu Creek, Brufut woodland, Tanji Bird Reserve, Kachuma Woods, Gunjur community forest, Tendaba camp, Kiang West National Park, Morgan Kunda Lodge, Bansang Quarry, Dalaba waterhole, Kampanti, Bullock Woods and Baobab Island
  • A boat trip through Kunkilling Forest with the chance to encounter hippos, baboons and monkeys
  • 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 Birdwatching Extended Tour.

Alternative Tour Name: 7-day Guided Birdwatching Tour of Gambia
Day 1
Day 1 - Arrival and Kotu Area

We arrive at the hotels destination for an early breakfast. Following 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 - Brufut Woods | Tanji Eco Lodge

After breakfast, we will depart at 7 am for a half-day trip to Brufut Woods, which is 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, and Yew Throated Leaf Long-tailed Nightjars, Klaas' Cuckoo, Diederick Cuckoo, Shikra, Red-necked Falcon, Black-shouldered Kites, White-faced Scoops Owl, and more species are expected in the area.

At 12:30 pm, we will continue to Tanji Eco Lodge, a 5-kilometer drive away, taking 15 minutes, for a lunch break by the drinking pool, 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 in search of 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 - Morgan Kunda Lodge | Savannah Woodland | Gallery forest

We'll leave the hotel at 7 am for a long day of hiking up river to Morgan Kunda Lodge, where we'll stay for our overnight expeditions to the north. The excursion will take us the majority of the day until the afternoon; we will drive 170 kilometres in about 7 hours, with numerous pauses along the way, crossing the South Bank to the Northern Bank.

First, a couple of hours at Mandinaba Woods, followed by stops at Kampanti rice fields, Bullock Woods, Kanlagi marshes and woods, Kwinala Bateling Tracks, Nema Woods along the Soma stretch, and Yelli Tenda Farafenyi Woods and wetlands on my priority birding locations.

More stops will be made between Farafenyi and Illiassa to see more Northern species such as Northern Ant Eater Chat, Seville's, White Bellied and Black Bellied Bustards, Speckle Fronted Weaver, Chesnutt Crowned Sparrow Weaver, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Rufus Scrub Robin, Sahel and exclamatory Paradise Whydah, Green and Red Winged Pytilia.  We'll proceed to the Lodge to check in when we arrive.

Later, more resident species are to be expected  such as White Rumped See Eaters, Black Rumped Waxbills, Lavender Waxbills, Scarlet Chested, Beautiful, Splendid, and Pygmy Sun Birds will be found within the grounds and, of course, in the local surrounds. The habitats and areas we will visit along the journey include rice fields, Savannah woodland, Gallery forest with autumn trees, creeks, and wetlands, providing a diverse range of species to see during the day.

Day 4
Day 4 - Morgan Kunda Lodge | Lunch at the Lodge

Still in The Gambia's northern region, we'll leave Morgan Kunda Lodge at 7:30 am after breakfast for Jimmansar, Jirong, and Katchang Woodland for a further spectacular birding along the way. The journey stretches about 25 kilometres, taking less than an hour, with birding stops along the way quite frequently allowing us to have various stops at very important birding sites and a few more waterholes expecting species like Red-Throated Bee Eaters at their breeding holes, Marabou Stork, Black Crowned Crane, Pin-tailed

Still in The Gambia's northern region, we'll leave Morgan Kunda Lodge at 7:30 am after breakfast for Jimmansar, Jirong, and Katchang Woodland for a further spectacular birding along the way. The journey stretches about 25 kilometres, taking less than an hour, with birding stops along the way quite frequently allowing us to have various stops at very important birding sites and a few more waterholes expecting species like Red-Throated Bee Eaters at their breeding holes, Marabou Stork, Black Crowned Crane, Pin-tailed Whydah, Sahel and Exclamatory Whydah, Cut Throat Finch, Speckle Fronted weavers, Spotted Thicknee White Fronted Black Chat, Four Bande and Chesnutt Sand Grouses and many more. Virtually Gambia is known for its similar habitats descriptions. We will see more hilly sites with rocky sections along the road, savannah forest, and more wetland with fresh water ponds and rice fields along The Gambia River, which is noted for its comparable ecological descriptions.

We'll stop for lunch at the Lodge before continuing on to other attractions in the vicinity until late in the evening, when we'll return to the Lodge.

Day 5
Day 5 - Georgetown | Night at Sitokoto Lodge | Kaur Wetland | N'Jaw Waterhole

We'll leave the Lodge at 7 am for Georgetown, where we'll spend the night at Sitokoto Lodge just outside of town. The distance is 170 kilometres, so it will take us another 6 hours to travel, but we will be birding along the route at various hot spots. The terrain includes enormous beautiful woodlands with large trees on both sides of the road, farmlands with water holes and valleys, hills and wetlands, and rice fields along the way, allowing us to witness a variety of species in their natural habitats. We'll stop at Kaur Wetland, N'Jaw Waterhole, Wassu Sand Pitch, Kuntaur Rice Fields, and other places along the way.

We have a traditional Lunch under the great tree at a convenient time during the day. Black Crown Crane, Spur Wing Goose, Martial Eagle, White Headed Vulture, European Griffon Vulture, African Hawk Eagle, Yellow Crown Bishops, African Pygmy Goose, Red and Green Winged Pytilias, African Cuckoo, Brubru Shrike, Bearded Barbet, and other species are among the species expected to arrive. We'll arrive on the island late in the evening and spend the night at Sitokoto Lodge.

Day 6
Day 6 - South of The Gambia | Bansang Quarry

The adventure will begin in the south of The Gambia, where we will check out at the Bansang Quarry and see the nesting holes of the Red Throated Bee Eater's breeding colony before continuing on to the shore. The distance is 315 kilometres, which will take us another 7 hours to travel.

This stretch of landscape features wide woodlands with large trees on both sides of the road, farmlands with water holes and valleys, hills and wetlands, and rice fields along the way, allowing us to witness a variety of species in their natural habitats. On the trip to the shore, we'll stop at Jahally Rice Fields in Sapu, Sambang Wetland, Dalaba Waterhole, Tonyataba Woods, Wurrokang/Bateling Tracks, and many more places.

Lunch will be taken under the huge tree at a convenient time during the day. Black Crown Crane, Spur Wing Goose, Martial Eagle, White Headed Vulture, European Griffon Vulture, African Hawk Eagle, Yellow Crown Bishops, African Pygmy Goose, Red and Green Winged Pytilias, African Cuckoo, Brubru Shrike, Bearded Barbet, and others are among the species expected to arrive. We'll return to the hotel late in the evening for a night's stay.

Day 7
Day 7 - Last Day

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 final night, we will return to the hotel.

Some of the Wildlife species expected to see:

Common Green Shank, Common Red Shank, Malachite, Blue Breasted Kingfisher, Pied and Gaint Kingfisher, Pelican, Oriol Warbler, White Crown Robin-Chat, Carmine Bee-eater, Wryneck, Common Snipes, Painted Snipes Osprey, Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle, Four Banded Sandgrouse, Martial Eagles, Bateleur Eagles, African Harrier Hawks, Brown Rumped Buntings, Brubru Shrikes, Red-shouldered Cuckoo Shrikes, Warthogs, Yellow Penduline Tits, Black Faced FireFinch, African Silverbill, Black Rumped Waxbill, Pygmy Sunbird, and Bruce’s Green Pigeon, White-Faced Black Chat, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Savel’s, Black and White-bellied Bustard, Speckled fronted Weaver, Chesnut Crown Sparrow weaver, Red Throated Bee Eaters, Pin-tailed Whydah, Bronz-winged courser, Adamawa Turtle Doves, Hippos, African Finfoot, Baboons, Red Colobus and Green Velvet Monkeys, red-throated Beed Eaters, Martial Eagle, Bateleur Eagle, Bronz, and Terminks’ Courser, Western Banded Snake Eagle, Yellow White Eye, Long-Tailed Nightjars, Greyish Eagle Owls, Green Headed Sunbirds, African scops Owls and more…

What is included?

  • All accommodation or lodgings based on double occupancy
  • Single occupancy available for an additional charge/cost
  • Professional 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
  • Alcoholic beverages or bottled drinks
  • Anything else not mentioned in the itinerary and “What is included”
Wildlife Reviews
5 stars
- based on 3  reviews
  1. Excellent
    Keith gough01 Jan 2022
    5
    Overall

    Tours

    Wildlife

    Guides

    Conservation

    Location

    Value

    It was a brilliant 2 weeks with karanta. Saw loads of species, went all over. Lovely bloke, friendly, funny, knows hes stuff. You wont go wrong to hire him.
  2. Wonderful birds
    Barbara Benjamins17 Oct 2021
    5
    Overall

    Tours

    Wildlife

    Guides

    Conservation

    Location

    Value

    We had wonderful days with a very nice and trustworthy gide. We love Karanta Camara because he was very patient with us. We are old and he cared for us. Later at the end of the day we met the other gides and they were so nice. We promised them to come back. Because of the Corona we couldn’t. But the planning is there and we hope to come back in February and we will book again at this company. Big thumbs up for this organization
  3. Upriver In The Gambia
    Paul Ashley10 Jan 2022
    5
    Overall

    Tours

    Wildlife

    Guides

    Conservation

    Location

    Value

    Great birding trip in The Gambia with Karanta Camara as our guide. We were searching in particular for Sahel specialities in the eastern part of The Gambia and Karanta really delivered on finding our targets. He is great company in the field with sharp eyes and ears and knows where all the relevant species are to be found. Karanta was very thoughtful and always had a Plan B, which allowed great flexibility in our itinerary. We can thoroughly recommend Karanta for any birding requirements in The Gambia

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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.


7 Days

Price & Availability

From
USD1,295 / per person
Based on twin/double room
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
Tours
Wildlife
Guides
Conservation
Location
Value

Tour Facts

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