This page features a detailed itinerary for both 7 days and 10 days bird tour.
Itinerary for Northern Gambia – 10 day tour with Karanta Camara
Day 1: Early morning birding starts at 7:30am around Kotu. After breakfast we pick up from your hotel to Abuko Nature reserve until 11am then head back to Kotu for lunch break. At 4:30pm we take a walk from your hotel around a nature trail and cycle track featuring the golf course and then back to your hotel for the evening. The expected species to see includes Giant, Malachite, Blue Breasted and Woodland Kingfishers, native little Bee Eaters of the area, Blue Bellied Rollers resident Oriole Warbler just at breeding family and White Crowned Robin Chat, Painted Snipes Herons and many more.
Day 2: Morning pick up at 7:30am from your hotel heading up river to Morgan Kunda Lodges via south bank of the river Gambia. We will have a series of stops along the special birding site at Mandinaba Wetland Farasutu forest, Bamakuno forest, Kampanti Rice field raptor cottage where we will expect to see the Martial Eagle, Bateleur Eagle, Hawk Eagle, Grasshopper Buzzard and many more different species. We then head to Tendaba where we will have a nights stay. After our arrival we will have a tea break before visiting Kiang West National Park and the surroundings. A picnic lunch will be served at noon under the African mahogany tree. We will be expecting more exotic species like Bateleur, Brown Snake, Martial, Bowdoin snake, African Hawk Eagles, Chestnut Crowned Sparrow Lark, Bronze Wing Coursers, Brown Rump Bunting, Spotted Thicknee, Fish Eagles and many more.
Day 3: After breakfast, we leave at 7:30am taking a dugout canoe across river Gambia to the North via Katchang woods where we will meet our transport taking us to Morgan Kunda Lodges. Before we leave we stay at the river bank to bird watch around the area and make a few stops on the way to Morgan Kunda Lodges for our lunch. At 4pm we bird watch around the area of Morgan Kunda Lodges until the evening. Some of the species expected will include Ground Hornbill, Bustards, Sand Grouses, Eagle Owls, Northern Ant Eater Chats, Coursers and many more.
Day 4: After breakfast we take a boat trip at 7:30am to Boabolong creek with birding around the Katchang and Jeron woods, this site is new, we return for lunch at the Morgan Kunda Lodges and head back to Jeron woods at 4pm. In this area we expect to see the roosting site of Veraux’s Eagle owl, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Bustards Brown and Banded Snake Eagles, Four Banded and Chestnut Bellied Sand Grouses and many more before we head back Morgan Kunda Lodges late evening.
Day 5: After breakfast we start birding at 7:30am along the way heading to Farafenyi, Kaur wetland, Panchang, with stops at different water holes up to Wassu. This time we will get our picnic lunch at noon under the big Mahogany tree at midday. This journey is most exciting as you can expect to see species like Egyptian plover, Carmine, Red Throated, Little Green Bee Eaters and many more. We will cross on the ferry to Georgetown Island for an overnight stay at the Boa Bolong camp.
Day 6: After breakfast we start at 7:30am taking a boat trip to Kunkilling forest. We then depart heading back to Morgan Kunda Lodges for an overnight stay via Soma with a ferry crossing or newly built bridge at Yilitenda to Farafenyi. During the course of the journey we will have a few stops at important birding hot spots like Jahally Rice field, Dalaba waterhole and many more. We will have a picnic lunch on the way, we will pick up species like Red Throated, Carmine, Little and White Throated Bee Eater, Marabou stork, Black Coucal, Paradise Whydah Adamawa Turtle Dove Lapped Faced, Griffon, White Headed and White Backed Vulture, Brown Rump Bunting and many more.
Day 7: After breakfast at Morgan Kunda Lodges, we leave at 7:30am heading back through the North taking the ferry at Barra/ Banjul crossing point and have lunch at Barra. We will stop along the way along for some native species in that area. After the crossing to Banjul we will pass through Bund Road and Carmaloo Corner where we expect to see; Chestnut Bellied Sand Grouses, White Rump Seed Eaters, Pygmy Sunbird, Skuas, Gulls, Terns, Stork Flamingos and Spoon Bills just to mention few. This will lead us back to your hotel.
Day 8: Pickup from the hotel at 7:30am after breakfast and heading to Abuko Nature Reserve and Tambi Wetland back to your hotel for lunch and then in the afternoon at 4pm we head to Brufut Woods for the rest of the day. This forest is a unique place and most visited site for birders, the highlights include; Long Tail and Standard Wing Nightjars, Yellow Bill Coucal, Sulphur Breasted and Grey Headed Bush Shrike, Stone Partridge Green and Violet Turaco, Variable, Splendid, Copper, Green Headed Scarlet Crested Sunbirds, Yellow Penduline Tits, Fine Spotted Cardinal, Brown Backed Woodpeckers and many more. We will retire back to the hotel later in the evening.
Day 9: Pick up at 7:30am heading to Farasutu community forest and Bonto forest these are one of the best sites in The Gambia especially when you are looking for Owls and Nightjars. Here you are expecting to see the resident Verreauxs’ Grey’s Eagle, African Wood and White Faced Scoops Owls and many more including; Woodpeckers, Rollers, Grey Headed Bristle Bill, Western Blue Bill and African Goshawk. We head back to the hotel in the afternoon for lunch. At 4pm we head on to Tanji Bird reserve to see the Bee-Eater, Ospreys Four Banded Sand Grouse and many more. Later in the day we head back to hotel.
Day 10: Pick up at 7:30am to Penyem Community Forest where a collaboration between the community and Bird Watchers Association (The Gambia) for which I am the President currently, we initiate projects with Penyem community to conserve the site for bird watching. Later we proceed to Marakissa woods where we have lunch at Marakissa river camp and then at 4pm continue birding within the woodland area before heading back to the hotel in the evening. Here you are expected to see White Breasted, Red Shouldered Cuckoo Shrike, White Crested Helmet Shrike, Turacos, Yellow Bellied Hyliotas Black Wood Hoopoe, Eagles, Hornbills, Grey Headed Kingfishers, Dwarf Bittern, Yellow Crown Bishop, White Backed Night Heron, African Scoops and White Faced Scoops Owls and many more.
Itinerary for Northern Gambia – 7 day tour with Karanta Camara
Day 1: Early morning birding starts at 7:30am pick up from your hotel to Abuko Nature Reserve until around 11:00am, then back to Kotu for lunch. At 4:30pm we take a walk your hotel around a nature trail, cycle track and the golf course and then back to your hotel in the evening. The expected species to see includes; Giant, Malachite, Blue Breasted and Woodland Kingfishers, native little Bee Eaters of the area, Blue Bellied Rollers resident Oriole Warbler just at breeding family and White Crowned Robin Chat, Painted Snipes Herons and many more.
Day 2: Pick up from your hotel at 7:30am, heading to Morgan Kunda Lodges via the North Bank of the river Gambia, at Banjul/Barra crossing point we take the ferry. We will be having a series of stops along the special birding sites including the Rice fields riverine stretches on road to Jajarr. We will be expecting to see Hawk Eagle, Grasshopper Buzzard, Ground Hornbills, Storks, Pygmy Sunbirds, Sparrow Larks, Chestnut Bellied Sand Grouses and many more different species. We will have lunch at Morgan Kunda Lodges and late afternoon we will start birding around the periphery of the Lodge toward the Border with Senegal to see more exotic species like Brown Snake, Bowdoin Snake, African Hawk Eagles, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Spectacle Fronted Weavers, Termminks’ and Bronze Wing Coursers, Bustards and many more.
Day 3: After breakfast, we leave at 7:30am for birding at Katchang woods where we will have various stops in the area and return for lunch at Morgan Kunda Lodges. Later in the afternoon we will start again heading to Jeron woods and the immediate vicinity of the area until the evening. Some of the species expected will include; Ground Hornbill, Bustards, Sand Grouses, Eagle Owls, Northern Ant Eater Chats, Coursers and many more.
Day 4: After breakfast we will start the morning boat trip at 7:30am across to the South Bank via Tendaba where we will have lunch, departing at 11am going through Bateling Bush Track towards the coast we will stop at Kampanti Rice field the best Raptor cottage and Bamakuno forest. At this site we will expect to see Western Banded, African Hawk Eagles, Bateleur Eagle, African Harrier Hawk, Black Faced Fire Finch and Brown Necked Parrot, returning to your hotel in the evening.
Day 5: At 7:30am we leave for the Farasutu community forest util noon and then back to the hotel for lunch. We will depart from your hotel at 4pm to Brufut woods. The expected species here includes; Green and Violet Turacos, Long Tailed and Standard Wing Nightjars, Yellow Bill Coucal, Sulphur Breasted and Grey Headed Bush Shrikes, Pygmy, Stripe, Grey Headed and Woodland Kingfishers and Black Shouldered Kites. We will retire back to the hotel later in the evening.
Day 6: At 7:30am we head to Penyem woods for half a day and later in the afternoon we will proceed to Marakissa River Camp for lunch. We will start from the camp at 4pm into the woods for the rest of the day. We have the opportunity to see some of the highlights of the area which include; White Breasted and Red Shouldered Cuckoo Shrikes, Ground Hornbill, Long Crested Eagles, Brown Snake Eagles, Yellow Bellied Hyliotas, White Crested Helmet Shrikes, Spotted, Lesser and Greater Honey Guides, Palmnut Vultures and five of the Kingfishers here on this trip, Giant, Blue Breasted, Malachite, Woodland, Grey Headed, Pied, Stripe and Pygmy Kingfishers.
Day 7: Pick up at 7:00am we will be birding around the coastal village at Tanji Bird reserve until 11:00am, have lunch at one of the restaurants by the sea with the opportunity to spot some sea birds until 3:30pm when we head further onto Tujereng woods until the evening when we drive back to the hotel. Some of the species expected to see include; White Fronted Black Chat, Yellow Penduline Tit, Termminks’ Coursers, Violet Barbet, Yellow White Eye, Swallow Tailed Bee Eater, Brown Backed Woodpecker, Black Bellied Bustard, Learner Falcon, Cardinal Woodpecker, Chestnut Crown Sparrow, Weaver and many more.