Here we share our suggestions of hotels perfectly suited to birdwatchers, highlighting some of their differences to help you select your perfect property.
The Gambia is well known as a fantastic destination for birdwatching. There are over 540 species of birds found here, and many bird enthusiasts, such as BBC Presenter Chris Packham, return year after year.
“The Gambia remains a top birding destination. Easily accessible, affordable and packed with a range of exciting species, it’s a great place to get an introduction to African birds or snap some super photographs. The guides are brilliant, the people are friendly, the hotels and food are good and the sun shines. That’s why I go back for more every year!” Chris Packham, BBC Presenter
Where to stay for birdwatching in The Gambia
If you are wondering which hotels are best suited to wildlife enthusiasts, in particular birdwatchers, we’ve gathered together a quick rundown on the hotels we’d recommend.
Mandina Lodges, Makasutu Forest
For wildlife with a touch of barefoot luxury try Mandina Lodges, about 40 minutes inland from the coastal resorts. Located in Makasutu Forest by a mangrove lined tributary of the River Gambia, this is an idyllic spot where you can immerse yourself in nature with monkeys, baboons, reptiles and a myriad of birds, all regular visitors to the lodges.
You’ll be assigned your personal expert guide allowing you to explore the forest on foot or the mangroves by canoe, learning about the flora and fauna of the area as you go.
“Mandina 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.” Chris Packham, BBC Presenter
Visit our website to find out more about Mandina Lodges.
Bakotu Hotel, Kotu
This small, family-run hotel offers simple yet comfortable accommodation and is particularly popular with bird enthusiasts due to the tropical gardens and nearby nature walk beside Kotu Stream. In addition to this, there is also a birdwatching deck overlooking the stream –– a great spot from where to observe a wide variety of birdlife.
“The Bakotu Hotel is my second home. Small, quiet, friendly, with good restaurants in and around. It also has lovely gardens which are full of bird and mammal life so it’s the perfect place to stay and connect with The Gambia’s wonderful wildlife. ” Chris Packham, BBC Presenter
Visit our website to find out more about Bakotu Hotel.
In the heart of the Tanji Bird Reserve, this simple, small hotel by a deserted beach, is the perfect location for ornithologists.
You’ll be able to spot many species without leaving the hotel grounds, as you dine under a thatched cabana overlooking the beach. Local guides are available to hire to help you make the most of the surrounding reserve and boat excursions to Bijoul Island can also be arranged.
Visit our website to find out more about Tanji Bird Reserve.
Senegambia Hotel, Kololi
In contrast to Tanji Eco-Lodge (see below) and Bakotu Hotel, the Senegambia Hotel is the largest in the Gambia. It also offers a wider variety of facilities.
Located by the beach in the lively resort of Kololi, the Senegambia Hotel offers plenty of opportunities to find a secluded spot in the twenty acres of grounds for observing a wide variety of birds, as well as monitor lizards and monkeys. The hotel's resident ornithologist is on hand to provide tours within the grounds and it’s just a short taxi ride to a wide variety of bird habitats. Don't miss the daily vulture feeding displays in the gardens.
This hotel, unlike the others listed here, is also well-suited to anyone looking to enjoy the many different restaurants and bars in The Gambia’s liveliest resort, Kololi. It’s great for couples, groups and families alike and is the perfect choice if not all your party are birdwatching enthusiasts.
Visit our website to find out more about Senegambia Hotel.
Save the date: 18th to 20th August Birdfair 2017
Once again, we will be at this year’s Birdfair in Rutland. Do pop by and say hello if you are there. You’ll find us on the Gambian Tourist Board’s stand, located in Marquee 8, Stand 47 & 48. More details coming soon.
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5 wildlife experiences to enjoy in The Gambia Read more