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The Gambia Bird Tour
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The Gambia Bird Tour

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 14 day(s)
Group Size: 6 - 8 people
Destination(s): Gambia  
Specialty Categories: Birdwatching   Ecotourism  
Season: December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 2500 Pound Sterling (GBP)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2500 Pound Sterling (GBP)

The Gambia makes a perfect introduction to African birding, a small country where English is the chiefly spoken language and birds are in superabundance through habitats ranging from mangrove swamps to dry forests and savannah. The River Gambia splits the country in two and is the main feature of the country. As our aeroplane comes in to land we will appreciate this as we circle over some fantastic scenery. The Gambia is a small country, only 330km long and averages 25-30km wide, surrounded to the north, east and south sides by the huge country of Senegal with the somewhat larger Atlantic Ocean to the west.

Over 550 species have been recorded from this tiny country with a third being of a migratory nature, thus our tour is timed to coincide with a plethora of species, both Afrotropical and Western Palearctic in their origin. One of the main reasons for this large number of species is the fine mosaic of habitats lying along a major ecotone between the arid Sahel/Sahara in the north and the humid tropics in the south.

Tour Summary:

5 nights Senegambia Hotel
2 nights Tendaba Camp
2 nights Basse (TBA)
2 nights Tendaba Camp
2 nights Senegambia Hotel

Expect 250-300 species. The first half of this tour will be spent in the coastal region visiting some fantastic locations such as Abuko Forest, Brufut Woods and Bijilo Forest for Afrotropical specialities and Tanji Bird Reserve and the Kotu area for Afrotropical species and many Western Palearctic migrants. This time at the coast will be highly rewarding, it is not just the quality of the birds here but the quantity also, a large number of birds wait at every turn. During our time here we will focus on finding specialties such as Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Blue-bellied and Abyssinian Roller, Oriole Warbler, Greater Painted-Snipe, Senegal Thick-knee, Standard-winged and Long-tailed Nightjar and Swallow-tailed Bee-eater. Other common yet fascinatingly beautiful species include White-crowned Robin-Chat, Yellow-crowned Gonolek, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Little Bee-eater, Purple and Long-tailed Glossy Starling, Wire-tailed Swallow, Sacred Ibis, Marsh Sandpiper, African Paradise-Flycatcher, Lizard Buzzard, Grey Kestrel, Shikra, Pied and Malachite Kingfisher, Beautiful Sunbird and Palm-Nut Vulture. This period at the coast will also produce many Western Palearctic migrants, the highlights including Black Kite, Subalpine and Melodious Warbler, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Black-winged Stilt, Pied Avocet, Little Stint, Slender-billed Gull, Caspian Tern, White-winged Black Tern, Eurasian Hoopoe, Common Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Great Reed Warbler.

After we have acclimatised at the coast and seen some birds that will stick in our minds for a lifetime we will move further inland where the birding just gets better and better. We will head for Tendaba Camp making several birding stops en-route, highlights over the journey may include Black-crowned Crane, Quail-Finch, Mosque Swallow, Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark and Crested Lark. During our journey we will also be keeping our eyes skywards where we will be on the lookout for Bateleur and Wahlberg’s Eagle, Brown, Short-toed and Beaudouin’s Snake-Eagle, Lanner Falcon and White-backed Vulture, all jaw-dropping raptors of huge standing within the country. Once we have arrived at Tendaba we should be greeted by some fantastic birding (and great local cuisine), with the likes of Goliath Heron, White-backed Night-Heron, African Fish-Eagle, Brown-necked Parrot, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, the bizarre White-crested Helmet-Shrike and the huge prehistoric looking Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill being highlights.

From Tendaba Camp we will head further inland along the river to the town of Basse, one of the most reliable localities for the ‘bird of the trip’, Egyptian Plover! Other specialities we will be on the prowl for will include Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Ruppell’s Griffon and White-headed Vulture, the near mythical Pel’s Fishing Owl and African Finfoot, Red-throated Bee-eater, Red-chested Swallow, Sudan Golden Sparrow and Exclamatory Paradise Whydah. After reaching and spending some quality time at Basse we will gradually meander our way along the river back towards the coast with a couple more nights at Tendaba en-route where we will hope for some further interesting species, followed by some additional time at the coastal localities that may provide yet more excitement.

This two-week tour is the perfect introduction for anyone visiting (West) Africa for the first time. As we leave the tourist area of the coast we will discover the ‘real’ Africa, a truly breathtaking experience. Accommodation at the coast is a 3* hotel with good food, comfortable air-conditioned (optional) rooms and great birding, accommodations further inland are more rustic as is to be expected in this part of the world, the friendly staff and traditional food will make us feel totally at home. All meals are included; some meals will be taken ‘out-and-about’ as packed lunches to help optimise time spent ‘in the field’.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Accommodation
- All guiding
- All transport when in The Gambia
- All reserve entrance fees.

Price Excludes:
- Flights
- Personal insurance
- Gratuities
- Items of a personal nature (such as optional extra drinks and air-conditioning at coast).

Also see tour packages in:
Africa   Gambia   Nature & Wildlife   Birdwatching   Ecotourism