Arrival Banjul - Kotu Bridge - Palm Beach Hotel
After a flight of about 6 hours over mainly the desolate but impressive West Africa we land on the only airport of The Gambia, Banjul International Airport. After a drive of a good 10 km we get acquainted with Palm Beach hotel in Kotu, where we stay 2 nights. Depending on the time of arrival, we will be spotting birds at the famous Kotu Bridge, certainly good for different species of birds.
(Wire-tailed Swallow, Senegal Thick-knee, Snowy-crowned Robin Chat and Yellow-crowned Gonolek, Striated Heron, Hamerkop, White-backed Night Heron, Black-headed Plover, Pied Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher, Wattled Plover, Beautiful Sunbird, Broad-billed Roller.)
Kotu Bridge - Fajara - Boat trip Kotu stream - Palm Beach Hotel
Bird watching in the surrounding area of the hotel. Spotting we do on the Fajara golf course and Fajara waterfronts. But we start with a boat trip on the Kotu River, guaranteed good for spotting and photographing a lot of birds up close.
(Wire-tailed Swallow, Senegal Thick-knee, Snowy-crowned Robin Chat and Yellow-crowned Gonolek, Striated Heron, Hamerkop, White-backed Night Heron, Black-headed Plover, Pied Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher, Wattled Plover, Beautiful Sunbird, Broad-billed Roller)
Palm Beach hotel - Kiang west National Parc - Tendaba camp
Inland, for a varied tour of about 140 km. We get acquainted with that fantastic African chaos on and off the streets, with the (only) main road on the south bank, with the ubiquitous smile of the Gambians, and with the many children who come to greet us everywhere (an unforgettable experience in itself). Along the way we visit several well-known hotspots and Kiang West National Park, on the banks of the Gambia River. Endpoint is Tendaba Camp, also on the banks, where we stay 2 nights.
(Western Reef Heron, Little Egret, Woolly-necked Stork, Hamerkop, Squacco Heron, Little Bittern, Goliath Heron, Great Egret, Marabou, Night Heron, Grey Heron, Cattle Egret, Sacred Ibis, Spur-winged Lapwing, Little Stint, Common Sandpiper)
Boat trip Gambia rivier - Tendaba regio - Tendaba camp
For those of you who woke up early : a particularly beautiful sunrise on the river, and masses of weavers already busy and making a lot of noise. Then a beautiful morning with a boat trip on the Gambia River, more than 2 hours of concentrated photography and who knows, we might even spot some crocodiles. In the afternoon a tour in the area of Tendaba where the birds are waiting for us. Remarkable: here they often remain sitting quietly even if you approach very closely.
(Sacred Ibis, Abyssinian Roller, African Blue Flycatcher, Marabou Storks, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Brubru Shrike, African Fish Eagle , Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Spotted Eagle Owl,African Scops Owl, Palm-nut Vulture, Pallid Harrier, White-crested Tiger Bittern, Goliath Heron, White-backed Night Heron)
Tendaba camp - hotspots in the area - Bintang bolong river camp
Na een stevig ontbijt via voornamelijk de zuidweg opnieuw wat richting kust. Onze gids zal onderweg vele malen stoppen om te spotten en te fotograferen. Einddoel is het schitterend gelegen Bintang Bolong River Lodge waar je met prachtig zicht op de rivier bij een drankje kan blijven spotten. Het wordt een drankje dat je nooit meer vergeet ! Een onvergetelijke avond en mogelijk een schitterende zonsondergang.
Bintang bolong - Brufut woods - Tanji bird reserve - Mandinari river lodge
Today we exchange the beautiful Bintang Bolong for the equally beautiful Mandinari River Camp, a lodge to immediately fall in love with. Peace and quiet, and the crocodiles are enjoying that too. First we visit Brufut Woods and Tanji Bird Reserve, 2 super hotspots !!
(Long-tailed Nightjar, African Golden Oriole, Swallow tailed bee eater, GreaterHoneyguide, Klaas’ Cuckoo, Stone Partridge, Four-banded Sandgrouse, Emerald Cuckoo, Diederik Cuckoo,Black Crowned Tchagra, Osprey, Yellow Crowned Gonolek, Broad Billed Roller, Abyssinian Roller, Purple Glossy Starlings,Drongo, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Yellow-throated Leaflove, Blackcap Babbler, Lizard Buzzard, African Pied Hornbill, Greater Honeyguide, Grey-headed Bush Shrike, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Viellot’s Barbet,Black Kite,Violet Backed Starlings, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Tawny Eagle, Booted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Fork-tailed, Violet turaco, Green turaco)
Hotspots in the surroundings of Mandinari - Mandinari River Camp
Mandinari Camp is so beautifully and quietly situated that we'll be spotting it all day. Keep an eye on the guide, because the chance of spotting an owl is very high. In this camp there are also crocodiles, which come to rest on the banks of the river. To finish off with a nice meal in a uniquely quiet environment.
(Black headed heron, White-faced Whistling duck, Pied kingfisher, African Jacana, Blue bellied Roller, Great White Egret, Pearl Spotted Owlet, African spoonbill, Giant Kingfisher, Splendid sunbird, ....)
Mandinari river camp - Back to the airport
Unfortunately, the journey is already over. Maybe a little birding and crocodile spotting, then the short trip to the airport. With a full memory card, an extra week of sorting and editing awaits you at home :)