Days 1 - 3 and 9 - 10: After your airport pick-up we will bring you to the Sunset Beach Hotel for a 3 nights stay. We have selected this hotel because of its unique location. On one side the ocean with breathtaking views of the beautiful beach stretching for miles in both directions. The east side of the hotel is next to the wetlands with an abundance of colourful and tuneful birdlife waiting to be discovered. The famous Kotu bridge, the place where birding guides wait for their clients, and an excellent place for birders, is next door with many good birding sites within walking distance.
The perfect place for those who want to combine a relaxed holiday with birding. We have reserved rooms in the one storey buildings which are nicely located in the beautiful gardens. A very relaxed place to stay. Every morning after breakfast we will leave the hotel to visit one of the well known very interesting National Parks such as Tanji Bird Reserve, Abuko Nature Reserve, Brufut Woods, Bijilo Forest Park Marrakissa and so on. After lunch it is time to relax (birdlife slows down because of the high temperatures on so do we) and finally at the end of the day we go out for a birding walk.
Days 4 - 5: After breakfast we leave the Coastal Area heading inland, staying on the south side of the river. The roads are quite bad and we only can drive slowly. We will have many birding stops along the road. Our lunch today will be in a "picturesque restaurant" on the river bank. In the early afternoon we will arrive at Tendaba Camp for a 2 nights stay. The camp at Tendaba is located on the river-side in the Kiang Central district about 100 km upriver from the capital of Banjul. It was built in the 1970s as a hunting lodge but now attracts mostly birdwatchers and naturalists. It can be reached by road on the south bank to Kwinella Village which is approximately 145 km from Serrekunda.
The area is characterized by a broad tidal river bed, savannah swamp and mangroves. It is a well established tourist destination for short excursions away from the Atlantic resorts of Kololi and is ideal for eco-tourists interested in both wildlife and birds as it is right on the riverside and is very close to Kiang West National Park. Bird species include the sacred ibis, marabou storks, blue-breasted kingfisher and herons. The camp itself is very basic. Most of the day there is no electricity (means no water too) and thanks to the warm climate the cold showers are acceptable for most of the visitors. The friendly staff compensate for many of the small inconveniences. For birding (mangrove boat ride) a stay in this place is a must and there are no better alternatives in the region.
Days 6 - 8: After breakfast we leave the camp going further inland, staying on the south side of the Gambia River until the ferry at Farafenni. Taking this ferry is a real colourful and interesting adventure. We will buy our packed lunch in Farafenni and continue our tour. The road on the north side of the river is of a much better quality and this allowes us to proceed much faster. Again we will have several birding stops on our way and we will arrive in the late afternoon at a small ferry which will take us to Georgetown on MacCarthy Island. On this Island we will find Bird Safari Camp for a 3 nights stay.
You'll love the peaceful relaxing atmosphere of Bird Safari Camp with its wonderful riverside setting, starlit night skies and amazing cacophony of bird song which simply has to be experienced. It is the perfect base for exploring the fresh water regions up-country and is one of the best locations in The Gambia for spotting owls (Pearl-spotted Owlet, Senegalese and European Scops Owl, Northern White-faced and Milky Eagle Owl have all been recorded here).
The camp has a choice of accommodation - either traditional round thatched huts or safari tents. Both have an en-suite shower, WC and wash basin. Water is pumped by solar power directly from the river and lighting is provided in the evenings by kerosene lamps, candles and solar-charged lanterns. Solar-electricity is supplied in the restaurant building where you can charge your cameras, mobile phones, laptops etc. Even Wifi connection is available during the day.
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