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Gambia and Senegal Birding and Enjoying Wildlife

Trip Description

The Gambia is one of the best introductions to African birding. The species diversity is high with resident birds, trans-African migrants and European migrants (from November to April). In addition, you can get access to several birding sites in Senegal in irrigated arid habitat and at Djoudj National Park. The trip reaches all the key birding sites, running to north Senegal (just south of the Sahara Desert) and then to all sides of the Gambia River (south, north, upriver and coastal).  Habitats range from irrigated arid, sandy beaches, mangroves, and riverine forest to dry savannah.


Some of the other strengths of this trip include the following: 

  • Key species include Egyptian Plover, Bearded Barbet, Red-throated Bee-eater, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill, Sudan Golden Sparrow, Savile's Bustard, Pied-winged Swallow, Violet Turaco, Palm-nut Vulture and White-backed Night-Heron. 

  • The price of birding here is excellent, depending upon the exact itinerary, group size, and local lodging discounts. Custom trips here are similarly an excellent value. 

  • We anticipate we will find from 350 to 380 west African species. The total price and price per bird of this trip are hard to beat. Also, flights can be found for under $1,300, beating some South American locations.

  • Most everyone on the trip will add 150 to 200 life birds from West African specialties and species from the arid areas in northern Senegal. Most American birders will also add several European migrants, including some species very tough to find in Europe.  First time Africa birders will likely come home with over 300 life birds.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival early AM into Dakar in Senegal (ideally direct from Washington, DC), then birding on coast near Saint Louis (including Langue de Barbarie National Park) and Djoudj National Park in late PM

Day 2: Birding full day at Djoudj National Park 

Day 3: Full day birding Richard Toll (arid area with irrigation), just south of the Sahara Desert

Day 4: Richard Toll to Toubacouta via Touba

Day 5: Cross into the Gambia early and bird the north side of Gambia River (including Kau-ur Wetlands/Swamp for Egyptian Plover); and late afternoon freshwater boat ride to Janjanbureh/Geogetown

Day 6 and 7: Birding upriver from Janjanbureh,/Georgetown: Including Bansang Quarry and Basse and Bird Safari Camp 

Day 8: Travel and bird down river to Tendaba Camp with birding on the south side of the river, including Fulla Bantang, Jahally rice fields and Soma wetlands/swamp

Day 9: Downstream boat trip for birding in morning; dry woodlands in afternoon near Tendaba

Day 10: AM final Tendaba birding and Kiang National Park in AM, then transfer to Banjul area via the south side of the river

Day 11: Kotu ponds, stream and open area (golf course) and afternoon at Casino Cycle Track

Day 12: Abuko Nature Reserve and Lamin Fields

Day 13: Bund Road and the Tanji Bird Reserve

Day 14: Mandinaba Fields, Faraba Banta Bush Track and Pirang

Days 15: Several birding sites are possible (based upon species missed) and include the coast, Abuko, Brufut Woods, Marakissa

Day 16: Birding the entire final day including additional sites missed on Day 15 and again based upon species not yet found. Late evening flights home (most after 8 PM).

More details about this Trip:

Detailed Itinerary

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