Gambia, January/February 2018



Bee-eaters and Rollers
Waders and Herons

End of January/early February 2018 we visited Gambia, the smallest country in Africa (around 1/4 the size of The Netherlands). Gambia consists essentially of two strips of land, immediately north and south of the Gambia river, and it is totally enclosed by much larger Senegal. The coast area is oriented towards beach tourism, with large hotels. Further inland, the economy is based on local small-scale activities (no factories, or other large industrial activities visible) and standards of living there are very modest

The Gambia river and the various wetland areas around it support a rich and very diverse birdlife. The attracts birders from all over the world an as a result, many Gambians have taken up bird-guiding as an occupation, supported by formal training and certification schemes. We had the pleasure of being guided by some experienced and very knowledgeable local guides on a couple of occasions and were led to birds we otherwise would never have found, or even seen if we would have stumbled upon them (owls and nightjars). On the other hand, the places where we stayed usually made a point of attracting birds to their gardens, proving easy and excellent photo opportunities for guests.
The Senegambia hotel (coast area) organizes a daily (hooded-) vulture feeding session, attracting much attention. We saw more (kinds of) vultures from a hide inland - a joint initiative with a Spanish vulture conservationist.

Some 360-panorama of the Marakissa River Lodge, where we enjoyed a couple of day of kayaking and birding, can be seen HERE and HERE.

A 10-day visit is necessarily limited in the number of species we could observe and photograph, but this page aims to provide a glimpse of Gambia's natural riches.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Various Birds Various Animals
People and landscape