Step beyond the beaches and discover West African wildlife

Updated on Feb 20, 2024 by Kathryn Burrington

Blog > Step beyond the beaches and discover West African wildlife

We believe that to get the most out of a holiday in The Gambia, our guests should venture beyond the beaches and experience more. The wildlife in The Gambia is a fantastic place to start.

We have two fabulous multi-centre holidays that give you the chance to relax by the beach, as well as to have some exciting wildlife encounters, well away from the usual tourist route. Everything is taken care of, from the transfers from the airport and between accommodation, as well as some wonderful wildlife-watching excursions.

The Gambia is home to 600+ bird species, thanks to the diverse landscape, some stunning species call The Gambia home. So, for a birdwatching holiday like no other, look no further than The Gambia. Find out more about birdwatching holidays here.

Enjoy a twin-centre luxury holiday combining The Gambia and Senegal

Luxury Hotel & Safari Lodge 7-night twin centre holiday

Enjoy four nights in the lovely boutique Ngala Lodge in The Gambia, followed by three nights in Fathala Wildlife Reserve in Senegal. It’s a great way to not only get to know West Africa a little better, but also to have some downtime by the coast.

Beachside romance at Ngala Lodge

From its clifftop position by a private beach, Ngala Lodge is an award-winning tranquil oasis, and one of the most romantic hotels in Africa. It is well-known for its excellent service and boasts one of the best restaurants in The Gambia.

Set in flower-filled gardens and being a child-free hotel, it is the perfect place to relax and unwind by the sea.

Discover African wildlife at Fathala Wildlife Reserve

From Ngala Lodge, we will transfer you across the border to Senegal and into the wonderful wildlife reserve of Fathala in the Sine Saloum South region.

Here, you can experience a West Africa from days gone by when wild animals thrived, including rhinos, giraffes, herds of buffalos and giant derby eland. To help you make the most of your time here, we’ve included a three-hour guided game drive, a full day island boat trip and a guided bush walk – all within the price.

For more information visit our website, at Luxury Hotel & Safari Lodge 7-night twin-centre.


Get better acquainted with the birdlife of the Gambia

10-night multi-centre holiday in The Gambia

Enjoy barefoot luxury at the beautiful Mandina Lodges in the Makasutu Forest, combined with a stay up-river at the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project Camp, along with a couple of days by the coast at the Bakotu Hotel.

Barefoot luxury at Mandina Lodges

This stunning retreat on a tributary of the River Gambia was described by TV Naturalist, Chris Packham, as “a patch of heaven on earth.” Here, your personal guide will escort you as you explore the surrounding waterways and forest, where you are also likely to encounter a large troop of baboons and, of course, many of the country’s 600+ bird species.

While not out and about, there is also plenty of birdlife to enjoy as you relax by the river or the stunning free-form pool. In the evening, enjoy a delicious meal under thatched cabanas before chatting with other guests around the fire-pit.

Up-river adventure at the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project

From Mandina, we’ll transfer you upriver, passing several Gambian villages along the way, to the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project in the River Gambia National Park.

This part of your holiday includes two boat trips to view the chimps, who happily reside on three islands in the river, named Baboon Islands, as well as many species of birds and other animals, including hippos.

There is also an early morning bird-watching walk. During each of these excursions you will be accompanied by one of the resident guides who have expert knowledge of the local flora and fauna and can also tell you more about the work of the project.

Relax by the coast at Bakotu Hotel

Your multi-centre holiday will conclude with a stay in the coastal resort of Kotu, in the small and welcoming Bakotu Hotel.

Here, you can enjoy the birdlife in the tropical gardens, as well as along the nature walk by Kotu Stream. A half-day birdwatching tour with Malick Suso is included. He is an excellent and highly experienced guide, regularly chosen to accompany Chris Packham whenever he is in The Gambia.

Learn more about this wonderful touring holiday on our website, at Birdlife of The Gambia.


For further ideas of how you can Experience More beyond the beaches, wherever you stay in The Gambia, visit our website today.



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