The Gambia provides some amazing opportunities for birdwatching. It has over 540 species and everything is in relatively close proximity, meaning you don’t have to travel far to see some amazing things – you’ll even find a whole host of exotic species in your hotel gardens. So whether you’re a first timer, a keen amateur or an enthusiast looking for particular species we guarantee you’ll find something to inspire you...

Chris Packham

Chris Packham has been leading birdwatching tours to The Gambia for us for many years now, along with his preferred guide, Malick Suso, and is a massive advocate for The Gambia, both as a holiday destination in its own right and as a supreme birdwatcher's paradise.

An Introduction from Chris Packham

‘The Gambia, a few hours’ flight - my first with Titan Airways who offered great service, really good food with clean and comfortable seating - to a place with more than 500 exotic, flamboyant or friendly types of bird. It’s a perfect destination to spot exciting new species or to get cracking photos - that’s why I go back year after year.

My chosen base in Kotu, the unobtrusive Bakotu Hotel, is truly a home from home - so friendly, so helpful. It’s a superb hotel with lovely shady gardens and is perfectly placed to explore the Kotu creek or the beach and local markets - I always look forward to checking in and to the birds that I will discover in the vicinity.

Then onto Mandina which offers something completely different - it is simply beautiful, a patch of heaven on earth, tranquil, lush, peaceful and full of fabulous wildlife, and the stunning lodges are just perfect. Watching the egrets and herons arrive back at their roost as the sun sets serenely over the mangroves whilst sipping a cold beer is the best evening of my year – this place is simply awesome.  I hope you will choose to join me in The Gambia.’

Chris Packham, BBC Presenter


Tour Pricing Information

You will visit various habitats for the best chance of seeing the widest range of birds, including trips to Farasutu, Lamin Rice Fields, Brufut Forest and Tujereng, with walking tours of Kotu stream and the local area and a boat trip, enabling you to see water birds and the added bonus of an occasional dolphin.

With a maximum of just 17 people on the bird tour and 16 people on the Mandina add-on, there will be plenty of opportunity to learn from Chris' extensive knowledge but it is essential to book early. Following Chris' appearance on the BBC's Springwatch and Autumnwatch programmes, this trip proves each year to be extremely popular.

Tour starting dates are showing below. Pricing is in addition to your holiday package price, however Mandina pricing includes 3 nights' accommodation on half board (based on a jungle or mangrove lodge and twin occupancy). These tours can be part of a longer holiday, however participants taking part in the tours on 17 February 2017 should be based in Kotu, and ideally in Bakotu Hotel, for the duration of the tour itself.

3 Day Tour

17 Feb 2017
Per Person

3 Day Special Tour - Mandina

21 Feb 2017
2 Sharing
Single Occupancy

Malick Suso

Malick Suso has over 20 years of experience birdwatching in The Gambia and knows the terrain and where to look for the rare species like no other. He's also been described by none other than Chris Packham as one of the very best bird watchers and guides in the whole of The Gambia. High praise indeed!

We can arrange half day and full day birding trips with Malick at a cost of £39pp for a half day and £69pp for a full day (based on 2 people) which will involve visits to a variety of habitats, utilising all his local knowledge to help seek out the rarest and the most colourful species. Here is what some recent delighted customers have to say about him:

Malick Suso –field guide extraordinaire:

"The Gambia is one of the best places in Africa to go birdwatching, and to get out into the field with the legendary guide Malick Suso is an experience I’ll never forget. A really inspiring day hiking in the bush with plenty to see and never a dull moment. Malick is simply the best."

"It was not only Malick's superb knowledge and awesome skill in locating, spotting and calling up birds that made our time with him so special. In addition to this it was also his passion for sharing his understanding of the people and culture of his country as we ventured 'up river' and away from the coast. He showed great initiative and flexibility in being sensitive to our needs, to give us the trip we really wanted. We learnt a great deal and had lots of fun in the process, coming away enriched by our time with him.  He seemed to know nearly everyone and it was clear why he is liked and respected."


General Birdwatching Opportunities

There is an abundance of birdlife in and around the hotels so, even if you have just a passing interest, don't forget to pack your binoculars. Below are some of the hotels we believe give you the best opportunity to enjoy what Gambia has to offer without straying too far, but this list is by no means exclusive.

For those with a more keen interest we work with a number of specialist companies, as well as offering our own highly recommended tours led by TV presenter Chris Packham. These include Naturetrek, who offer a few different options including a 7 night stay at Mandina Lodges, and Limosa Holidays who can be contacted directly for further details of departure dates and itineraries.

From 21st - 25th October 2016, there will be a Birding Festival held in The Gambia, organised by the Gambian Tourism Board. The main goal of the event is to promote rural tourism development as well support the conservation of birds and their habitats. This event will be hosted in the heart of the countryside close to the country’s prime birding locations.The bird festival will feature a wide variety of birding activities, birding field trips, lectures/presentations/workshops, outdoor and inside activities including an exhibition and a farewell Gala Dinner.


Our best hotels for birdwatching...


Great value for money African birding trip. We would recommend The Gambia Experience for the organisation of the trip and Malick as a brilliant bird guide. In all, great value for money.

Mr Snell – Guest – Bakotu Hotel