This is the first protected park in the Gambia purely to conserve its wildlife. This habitat is one of the rarest in the Gambia and is extremely rich in biodiversity with many hundreds of species of plants, insects, fungi, trees and invertebrates living in and beneath its tall leafy canopy. However, not all of the reserve is gallery forest and as you travel away from the banks of the stream the forest gradually thins out at the ground because much drier eventually changing into Guinea Savannah. Although this habitat is not as the gallery forest it is still a good habitat for birds and wildlife. Birds to be seen here are as follows Giant Kingfisher, Grey headed Bristlebill, Yellow breasted Apalis, Green Turaco, Violet Turaco, Pigmy Kingfisher, Ahanta Francolin, Green Hylia, Collard Sunbird, White Crown Robin Chat, Snowy Crown Robin Chat and more. .


     This is a community forest, suited on the eastern part of the Gambia and is 35 km from the Hotel area. This is a gallery forest new mangroves with fresh water pools and farm lands. In here species expected to be seen are as follows Breeding white back night Heron, Green Crombec, African Goshawk, Ahanta Francolin, White-spotted fluff tail, Violet Barbet, Giant Kingfisher, Pigmy Kingfisher, Violet Turaco and many more. .


     Brufut woods is protected by WABSA with the collaboration of Brufut community and this place is a favorite to birdwatcher. It is quite an open area of woodland where it is easy to observe birds. Expected species are as follows Greater Honey Guide, Lesser Honey Guide, Yellow-bill Coucal, Verreaux's Eagle Owl, White-face Scops Owl, Spotted Owlet, Klaas's Cuckoo, Swallow-tail Bee-eater, Striped Kingfisher, Green Fruit Pigeon, Bruces Fruit Pigeon, Yellow Throated Leaf Love and many more. .


     Bund Road has been known as a birding spot with birdwatchers. This road is adjacent to a large expanse of thick mud that is exposed at low and able to see lots of birds. Species include Greater Flamingo, Caspian Tern, Lesser-crested Tern, Yellow-billed Stork, Pormarine Skua, Yellow-crown Bishop, Black-headed Gull, Ring Plovers, Great White Pelican, Splendid Sunbird, Pied Avocet and many more. .


     This is an area of salt marsh, mangroves and open water. Is a excellent place to see birds at low tide large expanse of mud are exposed and many waders can easily be seen from the road. Species you may see here include Yellow wagtail, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Yellow Crown Bishop, Blue Checked Bee-eater, Little Bee-eater, Blue-bellied Roller, Senegal Parrot, Red Bishop, Gull Bill Tern, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher and many more. .


     This is another birding site which has a lot of beautiful birds along its length and has provided many birders with new species for their life list. These include African Sliver bill, Little bee-eater, African Jacana, Grey Heron, White-face Whistling Duck, Long-tail Cormorant, Sacred Ibis, White-bill Buffalo Weaver, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Long-tail Nightjar, Woodland Kingfisher, Northern Black Flycatcher, Village Indigo Bird and many more. .


     This is also a very good birding spot. There is a range of habitats from open area to central scrubs and a few patches of woodland. The course lies alongside of the Kotu stream which passes beneath the road at Kotu Bridge before it empties into the sea. Kotu stream is nearly one of the first place were birders visit in the Gambia. The birds expected to see are as follows Spur Wing Plover, Black-headed Plover, Green Shank, Red Shank, Black-wing Stilt, Common Sandpiper, Senegal Thick Knee, Pied Kingfisher, Red-chested Swallow, Wire-tail Swallow, Palm Swift, Little Swift, Yellow-crown Gonolek, Black-bellied Roller, Oriole Warbler, Beautiful Sunbird, Variable Sunbird, Black-crown Night Heron and many more. .


     Kotu Pond is a open sewage pits. The pits are separated from the rind surrounded by a open wood land and can be reached along a Sandy tracks. The birds seen at the pond is amazing and they be reached at a close distances. The species that can bee seen are as follows White Face Whistling Duck, Wood Sandpiper, Black Crake, African Jacana, Little Grebe, Marsh Sandpiper, Ring Plover and many more. .


     This is one of the places where you may stay and get a close view of the birds. You can hire a boat to explore the mangroves that make up the Tanbi wetlands. Some of the species which you may see at this site include Pied Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher, Goliath Heron, Purple Heron, Gull bill Tern, African Darter, Osprey, Great White Pelican and many more. .


     This forest is a 1000 acre reserve and on of the finest eco-tourism areas in the Gambia. It lies near the town of Brikama. It is to be found on the banks of the tranquil Mandina Bolon. (Bolony is the mandiko name for river). The whole area encompasses many different eco-systems and habitats so it is home to many species of birds and butterflies as well as monkeys, Baboons, monitor Lizards, Nile Crocodiles. The word Makasutu means holy forest. And you able to see very colorful birds namely Blue-bellied Roller, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Red-bill Firefinch and many more. .


     This is a village located five kilometers south of Brikama and six kilometers from the border with Senegal. The Marakissa River Camp is with good accommodation and restaurant good place to see birds in comfort. There is a number of different habitats such as woodland, rice fields, swamp, scrub and water lily ponds. Birds expected to be seen are as follows Grey Headed Bush Shrike, Red-shoulder Cuckoo Shrike, White-breasted Cuckoo Shrike, Bruces Fruit Pigeon, Green Fruit Pigeon, Hammerkop, Dwarf Bittern, Leaf Love, Giant Kingfisher, Green Turaco, Violet Turaco, Spotted Honey Guide, Greater Honey Guide, Lesser Honey Guide, Long-crested Hawk Eagle, Martial Eagle, Lizard Buzzard, Gabar Goshawk, Green Crombec, African Golden Oriole and many more. .


     This is located to the south of the Gambia river. This area attract lot of birdwatchers coming all over the world. After the sand is excavated holes are left which are allowed to fill up naturally with rain and ground water. Over time vegetation has established itself around the edges of these huge artificially formed pools. As they are some of the only fresh water pools in the area a very rich avi-fauna has grown up around them. Along with the coastal scrub, which is also very rich in bird life. The birds expected to see are as follows Pigmy Goose, Painted Snipe, Curlew, Black Crake, European Spoonbill, Great Snipe, Spotted Red Shank and many more. .


     This is a sandy bush track which runs through a variety of habitats including cultivation areas, farmlands, savannah and woodland savannah. The area is so off the beaten track that is very peaceful and remains unspoiled. It is a good place to view raptors and you may see Bateleur, Martial Eagle, Brown Snake Eagle, Grasshopper Buzzard, Dark Chanting Goshawk, White Breasted Cuckoo Shrike, Black face Firefinch, Black Wood Hoopoe, White Shoulder Black tit, Yellow White Eye, Stripe Kingfisher and many more. .


     This is in a beautiful setting in the mangroves at the edge of Bintang Bolon. Accommodation is in six round huts. Four of those are situated on the river bank and each has its own balcony overlooking the bolon. Two round huts are away in the mangroves. Each hut has its own private facilities. The birds which can be seen in this area are as follows Goliath Heron, Reef Heron, Great White Egret, Hammerkop, Great White Pelican, Caspian Tern and many more. .


     This area is visited traveling upcountry. It is situated on the trans Gambia highway and small pools may be seen on either sides. These pools retain water all year round and is a good place to stop briefly of seeing raptors and various small birds. The bird expected to see are as follows Bateleurs, Martial Eagle, Grasshopper Buzzard, Grey Kestrel, Western Banded Snake Eagle, Lizard Buzzard, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Whalberg's Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Grey Back Camaroptera, Black Crake, Northern puff Back Shrike, Yellow-throated Leaf Love and many more. .


     This shrimp farm is located about a kilometer to the north-east of Pirang. Take the left hand main Junction of the village. It is the best place to see Black Crown Crane which roosts in the nearby mangroves. There is also rice field, palm trees and open areas with a variety of trees. These diverse habitat makes it a worth while to visit. There is also a great number of waders and other water birds including White face Whistling Duck, Quail Finch, Spur Wing Goose, Osprey, Crested Lark, Red-throated Pipit, Plain Back Pipit, African Spoonbill, Greater and Lesser Flamingo, Pied Avocet, Quail Finch. During the wet season is possible to see Yellow Crown Bishop. .


     The Tanji Bird Reserve is officially protected area of The Gambia and is only 10 minutes drive from the Senegambia Hotel areas. The reserve is just over 6 square kilometers and encompasses a wide range of different habitat types from the beach, tidal lagoons, mangroves, swamp, scrubs and dry savannah woodland. The reserve also protect Bijilo Island which is The Gambia's only off shore island lying about 1.5 kilometers from the coast. The species you may see here are as follows Kelp Gull, White fronted Plover, Yellow leg Gull, Lesser Black Back Gull, Bar Tail Godwit, Osprey, Oriole Warbler, Sulphur Breasted Bush Shrike, Pomarine Skua, Goliath heron and many more. .


     Yundum woods is a very popular place for birding. Just outside of the town you will find open woodlands, farmland and vegetable gardens. If you take a walk along the path which takes you through this are you are likely to see Yellow Penduline Tit, White Fronted Black Chat, Cut Throat Finch, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Temminck's Courser, Black-headed Plover, Black-bellied Bustard, Whistling Cisticola, Pied Wing Swallow, Violet Barbet, Yellow-fronted Tinker Bird, Lanner Falcon and many more. .


     This national park covers 49 square kilometers and is one of the finest protected areas within The Gambia. Niumi National Park is adjacent to Park National De Delta Du Saloum in Senegal and shares many of its habitats and wildlife. Bird expected to see are as follows Long-crested Hawk Eagle, Western Banded Snake Eagle, Woodland Kingfisher, Plain Back Pipit, Pigmy Kingfisher, Broad-bill Roller and many more. .


     This is probably the best known and mostly visited camp in the Gambia. It is often used as a stop over point on a visit further upcountry. The camp is situated in the heart of Tendaba which is located right on the banks of the river Gambia. The accommodation of the camp is basic but you can have rooms with toilet, shower and ceiling fan. The area around the camp is excellent for birdwatching and it is well worth a 2 or 3 day stay to get a full advantage of the area. Within a distance walking you will find Tendaba Airfield, Tendaba Rice Fields, Tendaba-Kwinella backway, Bateling Bush Track and Kiang West National Park. To visit Tanku and Kisi Bolon you will need to hire a boat from Tendaba to get in the creek. It is a very prolific area for birds and species you may see are as follows Pel Fishing Owl, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Goliath Heron, White-back Night Heron, Blue Flycatcher, Mouse Brown Sunbird, African Finfoot, African Scop Owl, Hammerkop, African Fish Eagle, Osprey, Tiger Bittern, European Bee-eater, White-throated Bee-eater, Black-crown Crane, Wooly-neck Stork, Yellow-bill Stork and many more. .


     This is the last bridge along the main highway before passing into the Central River Region. It is a place you tend to visit and route from Tendaba Camp or Georgetown. It is worth for a brief stop to look for raptors, Marabou Stork, small birds and water birds. .


     This swamp is 20 kilometers west of Kaur and a kilometer east of the village is a wonderful swamp where a bolon crosses beneath the road. There is a large pool at the roadside which usually keeps its water throughout the dry season. This is a good place for birdwatchers and it worth spending time to search for elusive species in the vegetation. Birds seen are as follows Black Crake, Pigmy Goose, Sudan Golden Sparrow, Common Moorhen, Zebra Waxbill, Cut Throat Finch, Malachite Kingfisher, Painted Snipe and many more. .


     Bansang Quarry is a good stopping point on the way to Basse – you may see Red Throated Bee-eaters nesting holes here. There is a pool in the Quarry where birds come to drink. These include Exclamatory Paradise Whydah, Cut throat Finch, Red-bill Quelea, Pin-tail Whydah, Cinnamon Breasted Bunting, Bush Petronia, White-back Vulture, Four banded Sandgrouse, Western Little Sparrow Hawk and many more. .


     Basse is 385 kilometers from Banjul and is the biggest town of the Upper River Region. It lies on the south bank of the river Gambia and is fresh water all year round. The main reason why people undertake journey to Basse is the hope of seeing Egyptian Plovers, Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Adamawa Turtle Dove, Little Green Bee-eater, Swallow Tail Kite, Spotted Thick Knee, Lappet Face Vulture and many more. .


     The Kiang West National Park is 110 square kilometers and almost all the animals species remaining in the country may be found within. The park stretches along the southern bank of the river Gambia taking in some large areas of mangroves, creaks, salt pans and tidal flats. The majority of the protected area consists of dry savannah woodland. One outstanding feature is a laterite escapement coming close to and overlooking the river bank. The wildlife of the park is rich and varied but it does not take some effort to see it. The most easily seen species are of birds. The birds expected to see are as follows African Hawk Eagle, Booted Eagle, Bataleur Eagle, Brown Snake Eagle, Helmeted Guinea Fowl, White Back Vulture, African Hobby, Four Banded Sandgrouse, White Shoulder Black Tit, White fronted Black Chat, Yellow White Eye, Brubru Shrike, Senegal Batis, Lanner Falcon, Bronze Wing Courser, Temminck's Courser and many more. .


     The Nikolo koba National Park in south-eastern Senegal covers an area of 9,000 square kilometers. This is the premier site in both the Gambia and Senegal for seeing large mammals and has been designated a world Heritage Site and international Bio-Sphere Reserve which reflects its international importance for both wildlife and bird life. If you are about to see wildlife and bird life then visit to this park is a must. In the west of the park the ground is relatively flat and heavily wooded although there are many low lying plains that become inundated with water during the raining season. To the east the ground is more open with huge expanses of grass lands and a few low hills. The wildlife of Niokolo Koba is simply astounding and very easy to see. Most of the large mammals to be found in west Africa can be seen in the park. The only species which will not be found are those associated with high rain forest habitats. Antelope to be found include Bubal, Roan Antelope, Kob, Defassa Waterbuck, Oribi, Bush Buck, Common Duiker, Red Flanked Duiker and Giant Eland. Other large herbivores include Common Warthog, African Buffalo, African Elephant. Along the rivers you're able to see crocodiles and numbers of hippos. The birds to be found in the park are as follows Crown Eagle, Saddle-bill Stork, Pied Wagtail, Egyptian Plover, White Crown Plover, Magpie Manikin, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Hadada Ibis, Adamawa Turtle Dove, Shining-blue Kingfisher. .

     All trips include transport, entrance fees to the protected areas and my guiding service. You will be picked up from your hotel gate at an arranged time and returned to the same place at the end of the day. .
Copyright © Mustapha Kassama