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RAINBIRDER | profile | all galleries >> AFRICA >> THE GAMBIA tree view | thumbnails | slideshow


This tiny West African country forms a crooked finger that pokes into the belly of Senegal. The country itself is split in two throughout its length by the Gambia river which is brackish & tidal for over half that distance.
Though desperately poor The Gambia has a lot to commend it as a tourist destination for those who appreciate the Natural World. The Gambia has an excellent coastal tourist infrastructure & though English is the official language The Gambia has long welcomed tourists from mainland Europe.

The Gambian people, though generally poor, are some of the most pleasant & friendly people you could meet whilst the country itself is safe with very little petty crime & almost no violent crime. The Gambian 'smiling coast' is only a 6 hour flight from the UK/Western Europe & is readily accessible.

Though the Gambia has almost no big game it has an amazing range of birds packed into its small borders & is, without doubt the best country in Africa for experiencing sub-Saharan African birds for the first time. That said it also offers a range of special birds which will prove attractive to those already acquainted with African bird life.

The images within these galleries were taken over a number of visits to The Gambia in the months of March, early October & late November in different years. The Gambian rainy season extends from July to late October at which time many intra-African migrants are present whilst species such as Bishops & Wydahs are in spectacular breeding plumage. In the dry season Bee-eaters, Raptors & Palearctic migrants are much in evidence whilst waterbirds are concentrated into semi-permanent wetlands where they are easier to see.

During our visits we have stayed at the Kairaba & Senegambia hotels in Kololi & at the Kombo Beach hotel at Kotu -all are comfortable hotels offering good facilities & are situated on beautiful sandy beaches. We have also stayed at the fabulous Mandina lodges at Makasutu which offers luxury accommodation & amazing birding in its immediate area. However no birding trip to The Gambia is complete without an upriver journey to Basse Santa Su via Tendaba & Janjangbureh island. These upriver trips are dirty, rough & the accommodation is exceedingly basic BUT the River Gambia National Park is stunningly beautiful & the range/quality of the upriver birds is not to be missed!

To do the country justice it is worthwhile hiring the services of a local birding guide who can organise a trip itinerary including a journey upcountry. Good guides will know the best sites and will organise your transport & accommodation.

There is no better in The Gambia than Modou Colley (see: & contact : )!
Some Gambian Birding Sites
:: Some Gambian Birding Sites ::
:: SLAVERY and The GAMBIA ::