BIRDWATCHING HOLIDAYS

The Gambia provides some amazing opportunities for birdwatching. With 600+ species and everything in relatively close proximity, you don’t have to travel far to see some fascinating birdlife. For a birdwatching experience like no other on the continent of Africa, look no further than The Gambia.
 

 

Join Megan McCubbin

Call us to waitlist for 2025 dates

Please phone our reservations team on 01489 866 939.

Following excellent feedback in January 2024, we're delighted that celebrity wildlife TV presenter and photographer Megan McCubbin will once more be leading a small group of bird enthusiasts in 2025 for an exclusive tour of The Gambia's birding hotspots. She grew up learning about wildlife and conservation, being taught by the best - her stepdad Chris Packham! Following her studies in Zoology at the University of Liverpool, her career has gone from strength to strength and includes co-hosting the BBC's Springwatch and Autumnwatch programmes, along with more recent appearances as a presenter on Animal Park.

Megan says: ''The Gambia is a home away from home for me. I have visited the country countless times since the age of five and am always left speechless by the diversity of its bird life - from giant kingfishers to long-tailed nightjars, and everything in between! It's always an adventure and I cannot wait to return, and catch up with some of my favourite species.''

She will be assisted by our recommended guide Malick Suso who has accompanied Chris Packham previously and is an expert at spotting and identifying the wide variety of colourful bird life for which the destination is renowned. Visits to spots such as Lamin rice fields, Brufut Forest and Tanji fishing village will allow sitings of a wide variety of birdlife in their different natural habitats, and a river trip to visit the mangrove creeks is also included.

Based at the small and friendly Bakotu Hotel, with its bird deck overlooking Kotu Creek, we are offering a three-night and a four-night tour, each visiting different areas, which can be booked as part of a longer holiday. It is possible to combine these tours for a full week of birding with Megan - please click for detailed itineraries.

Book early to secure one of the small number of places available - limited places are available so please call to waitlist without delay. 

 

 
 

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 Chris Packham as one of the very best birdwatchers and guides in the whole of The Gambia; high praise indeed! He was awarded the Wanderlust Best Wildlife and Safari Guide in 2023 and we're delighted to be able to recommend his services to Gambia Experience guests.

We can arrange half or full-day birding trips with Malick, book either before you travel or on arrival (subject to availability), which will involve visits to a variety of habitats, utilising all his local knowledge to help seek out the rarest and most colourful species. If Malick is not available, another expert birding guide as recommended by him will accompany you.

Malick can also offer private birding trips upriver including accommodation from two to five nights - further details below. All itineraries include personalised guiding services by Malick. Please call our reservations team on 01489 866939 to check availability and receive a quote for your request.

2 nights: Tendaba, including boat trip and accommodation with breakfast and lunch, plus transportation (dinner and drinks paid for locally).
3 nights: Tendaba and Janjangbureh formerly known as Georgetown, including boat trip and accommodation with breakfast and lunch, plus transportation (dinner and drinks paid for locally).
4 nights: Tendaba, Janjangbureh formerly known as Georgetown, Morgan Kunda Lodge, Tendaba, including boat trip and accommodation with breakfast and lunch, plus transportation (dinner and drinks paid for locally).
5 nights: Tendaba, Kairo Konko Lodge, Janjangbureh formerly known as Georgetown, Morgan Kunda Lodge or Farafenni. Including two boat trips, transportation, accommodation, breakfast and lunch (dinner and drinks paid for locally).

 

 
Gambia Birdlife - Little Bee Eater
Gambia Birdlife - Greater Painted Snipe
Gambia birdlife - Black Egret
Gambia Birdlife - Pied Kingfisher

Why choose The Gambia for birdwatching?

Birding in The Gambia - an introduction from Chris Packham

Chris has long been a massive advocate for The Gambia, both as a holiday destination in its own right, and a supreme birdwatcher's paradise.

'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 hotel and food are good and the sun shines.

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 birds and mammal life so it's the perfect place to stay and connect with The Gambia's wonderful wildlife.

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 while sipping a cold beer is the best evening of my life - this place is simply awesome.'

Chris Packham, BBC Presenter

 
 

General Birdwatching Opportunities

There's an abundance of birdlife in and around the hotels so, even if you've 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 The Gambia has to offer without straying too far, but this list is by no means exclusive. We've also put together a multi-centre option featuring three of the best locations for birdwatching; Mandina Lodges, the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project Camp and Bakotu Hotel on our Birdlife of The Gambia tour. 

For those with a more keen interest, we work with a number of specialist companies. These include Naturetrek, who offer a few different options including a seven-night stay at Mandina Lodges, who can be contacted directly for further details of departure dates and itineraries.

 

 
 

 

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

All prices are subject to availability

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