Program Gambia 10 days

Arrival Banjul - Kotu Bridge - Palm Beach Hotel

After a flight of about 6 hours over mainly the desolate but impressive West Africa we land on the only airport of The Gambia, Banjul International Airport. After a drive of a good 10 km we get acquainted with Palm Beach hotel in Kotu, where we stay 2 nights. Depending on the time of arrival, we will be spotting birds at the famous Kotu Bridge, certainly good for different species of birds. (Wire-tailed Swallow, Senegal Thick-knee, Snowy-crowned Robin Chat and Yellow-crowned Gonolek, Striated Heron, Hamerkop, White-backed Night Heron, Black-headed Plover, Pied Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher, Wattled Plover, Beautiful Sunbird, Broad-billed Roller.)

Kotu Bridge - Fajara - Boat trip Kotu River - Palm Beach Hotel

Take into account the hour difference ( - 1 hour), or you're an hour early in the restaurant for a hearty breakfast. Afterwards a boat trip on the Kotu River, near the hotel. It will take some getting used to, because photographing in such a boat with a large zoom requires concentration ! Afterwards walking, between and to the birds of the Fajara golf course and Fajara waterfront (river banks and coast). Another night in Palm Beach Hotel (free wifi). Translated with (free version) (Wire-tailed Swallow, Senegal Thick-knee, Snowy-crowned Robin Chat and Yellow-crowned Gonolek, Striated Heron, Hamerkop, White-backed Night Heron, Black-headed Plover, Pied Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher, Wattled Plover, Beautiful Sunbird, Broad-billed Roller)

Palm Beach hotel - Kiang west National Parc - Tendaba camp

Inland, for a varied tour of about 140 km. We get acquainted with that fantastic African chaos on and off the streets, with the (only) main road on the south bank, with the ubiquitous smile of the Gambians, and with the many children who come to greet us everywhere (an unforgettable experience in itself). Along the way we visit several well-known hotspots and Kiang West National Park, on the banks of the Gambia River. Endpoint is Tendaba Camp, also on the banks, where we stay 2 nights. (Western Reef Heron, Little Egret, Woolly-necked Stork, Hamerkop, Squacco Heron, Little Bittern, Goliath Heron, Great Egret, Marabou, Night Heron, Grey Heron, Cattle Egret, Sacred Ibis, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Common Sandpiper)

Boat trip Gambia river - Tendaba region - Tendaba camp

For those who wake up early : a particularly beautiful sunrise by the river, and masses of weavers already busy and noisy. Then a beautiful morning with a boat trip on the Gambia river, more than 2 hours of concentrated photography and maybe we spot some crocodiles. In the afternoon a tour in the surroundings of Tendaba where the birds are waiting for us. Remarkable: also here they often sit quietly even when you get very close.

Tendaba camp - hotspots in the area - Bintang bolong river camp

After a hearty breakfast via mainly the south road back to the coast. Our guide will stop many times along the way for spotting and photographing. Final destination is the beautifully situated Bintang Bolong River Lodge where you can stay and have a drink with a beautiful view on the river. It will be a drink you will never forget ! An unforgettable evening and possibly a beautiful sunset.

Bintang bolong - Brufut woods - Tanji bird reserve - Tampa Kuruba Beach Lodge

Early breakfast. Busy day. Brufut Woods and Tanji Bird Reserve are absolute toppers. We spend the night at the coast south of Banjul in Tampa Kuruba Beach Lodge in Kartong (restaurant, bar, garden, beach and free wifi). (Long-tailed Nightjar, African Golden Oriole, Swallow tailed bee eater, GreaterHoneyguide, Klaas’ Cuckoo, Stone Partridge, Four-banded Sandgrouse, Emerald Cuckoo, Diederik Cuckoo,Black Crowned Tchagra, Osprey, Yellow Crowned Gonolek, Broad Billed Roller, Abyssinian Roller, Purple Glossy Starlings,Drongo, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Yellow-throated Leaflove, Blackcap Babbler, Lizard Buzzard, African Pied Hornbill, Greater Honeyguide, Grey-headed Bush Shrike, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Viellot’s Barbet,Black Kite,Violet Backed Starlings, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Tawny Eagle, Booted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Fork-tailed, Violet turaco, Green turaco)

Hotspots in the area - Kartong - Tampa Kuruba Beach Lodge

Today we explore the beautiful surroundings of Kartong, few kilometers by car, once again a lot of time for spotting and photographing. (Palearctic migrants include Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Black-legged Kittiwa, Spectacled Warbler, Bluethroat, Rock Thrush, Egyptian Vulture, European Roller, Wryneck, Woodchat Shrike, Great Reed Warbler, Temminck's Stint, Eurasian Griffon Vulture, Lesser Kestrel and Marsh Sandpiper and many others)

Kartong Bird observatory - Mandinari River Lodge

Finally a drive to the beautiful Mandinari Lodge, with its unique and quiet location. Ideal for spotting (owls) and ...crocodiles. As always in The Gambia you do not drive 3 kilometers without the guide saying "Stop, I see a ........"

Mandinari River Lodge and surroundings

Mandinari Lodge, and its perfect quiet surroundings : and so hours of spotting. Undoubtedly the guide will once again provide surprising, unique sightings. (Black headed heron, White-faced Whistling duck, Pied kingfisher, African Jacana, Blue bellied Roller, Great White Egret, Pearl Spotted Owlet, African spoonbill, Giant Kingfisher, Splendid sunbird, ....)

Mandinari River Lodge - Back to the airport

Just a little more time for spotting. But then, the memory cards are full anyway, drive to the airport, and then get to work with 15,000 or more photos...

© 2019-2020 - - Fatou Senghore, The Gambia

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