Birding in The Gambia

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©David Founder Footsteps

Gambia Birding Holidays

Birding in The Gambia is a year-round activity. With the two distinct seasons – ‘Dry‘ November to May and also ‘Green‘ June to October. In addition to the numerous resident species, each season also attracts a varied selection of migratory birds owing to Gambia’s varied ecosystem.

Because The Gambia is home to more than 550 species of birds, they are all around you. This means, of course, you don’t have to go far from your room to see some beautiful, exotic birds.

Birdwatching from June to November sees many birds in their summer, and also breeding plumage. With bright colours and also long tails being the order of the day. In contrast, from November to May, it’s a great time to see plenty of raptors. Among others, birds of prey soar effortlessly overhead or perch in the tops of trees.

Scroll to see bird list

Gambia bird list

Compiled by Steve Keightley and Ian Misselbrook

African Paradise Flycatcher | Gambia Birdwatching
  • Pink-backed Pelican
  • Shikra
  • Blue-spotted Wood Dove
  • Great White Pelican
  • African Hawk-Eagle
  • Black Billed Wood Dove
  • Long-tailed Cormorant
  • Wahlberg’s Eagle
  • Namaqua Dove
  • Green-backed Heron
  • Tawny Eagle
  • Laughing Dove
  • Squacco Heron
  • Grey Kestrel
  • African Green Pigeon
  • Cattle Egret
  • Red-necked Falcon
  • Speckled Pigeon
  • Western Reef Heron
  • Lanner Falcon
  • Red-Eyed Dove
  • Double-spurred Francolin
  • African Mourning Dove
  • Intermediate Egret
  • Stone Partridge
  • Vinaceous Dove
  • Great Egret
  • Purple Swamphen
  • Rose-ringed Parakeet
  • Grey heron
  • African Jacana
  • Senegal Parrot
  • Black-headed Heron
  • Black-winged Stilt
  • Western Grey Plantain Eater
  • Purple Heron
  • Senegal Thick-knee
  • Great Spotted Cuckoo
  • Hammerkop
  • African Wattled Lapwing
  • Senegal Coucal
  • Sacred Ibis
  • Spur-winged Plover
  • Verreaux’s Eagle Owl
  • African Spoonbill
  • Whimbrel
  • Little Swift
  • Osprey
  • Sanderling
  • African Palm Swift
  • Palm-nut Vulture
  • Common Greenshank
  • African Pygmy Kingfisher
  • Hooded Vulture
  • Green Sandpiper
  • Pied Kingfisher
  • Yellow-billed Kite
  • Wood Sandpiper
  • Little Bee-eater
  • Western Marsh Harrier
  • Common Sandpiper
  • Blue-Cheeked Bee-eater
  • Bedouin’s Snake Eagle
  • Arctic Skua
  • Northern Carmine Bee-eater
  • Long-crested Eagle
  • Grey-headed Gull
  • Rufous-crowned Roller
  • African Harrier Hawk
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull
  • Blue-bellied Roller
  • Lizzard Buzzard
  • Caspian Tern
  • Broad-billed Roller
  • Green-Wood Hoopoe
  • Brown Babbler
  • Whistling Cisticola
  • Hoopoe
  • Blackcap Babbler
  • Western Red-billed Hornbill
  • Scarlet-chested Sunbird
  • African Grey Hornbill
  • Beautiful Sunbird
  • African Pied Hornbill
  • Variable Sunbird
  • Yellow-fronted Tinker-bird
  • Splendid Sunbird
  • Bearded Barbet
  • Woodchat Shrike
  • Cardinal Woodpecker
  • Yellow-billed Shrike
  • Grey Woodpecker
  • Yellow-crowned Gonolek
  • Fine-spotted Woodpecker
  • Black-crowned Tchagra
  • Crested Lark
  • Fork-tailed Drongo
  • Fanti Saw-wing
  • Pied Crow
  • Mosque Swallow
  • Piapiac
  • Wire-tailed Swallow
  • Purple Glossy Starling
  • Red-chested Swallow
  • White Wagtail
  • Yellow Wagtail
  • Long-tailed Glossy Starling
  • Tree Pipit
  • Yellow-billed Oxpecker
  • Red-throated Pipit
  • Grey-headed Sparrow
  • Grey-headed Bristlebill
  • White-billed Buffalo Weaver
  • Little Weaver
  • Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat
  • White-crowned Robin-Chat
  • Heuglin’s Masked Weaver
  • African Thrush
  • Black-headed Weaver
  • Western Olivaceous Warbler
  • Northern Red Bishop
  • Senegal Eremomela
  • Black-winged Red Bishop
  • Common Chiffchaff
  • Red-cheeked Cordon Bleu
  • Lavender Waxbill
  • Northern Crombec
  • Orange-cheeked waxbill
  • Grey-backed Camaroptera
  • Red-billed Firefinch
  • Tawny-flanked Prinia
  • Bronze Mannikin
  • Red-winged Warbler
  • Village Indigo Bird
  • Northern Black Flycatcher
  • Yellow-fronted Canary
  • Common Wattle-eye
  • Zitting Cisticola

Birdwatching holidays in The Gambia

Not only do we have over 100 species of birds within our grounds, but we also have over 150 within walking distance. So whether you are an avid birder or casual bird watcher, novice or professional, birding holidays in The Gambia are great!

Sit and relax by our freshwater filtered pool, which is the only one in The Gambia. And watch not only African Pygmy Kingfisher (Ispidina picta), and Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone rufiventer) but also Wire-tailed Swallow(Hirundo smithii).

Birdwatching on holiday from our hide
Our bird hide attracts birds of prey too

The area around our pool

You will see for example birds such as. Bronze MannikinRed-billed Fire-finchesRed-cheeked Cordon-bleuVariable Sunbirds & Beautiful Sunbirds to name but a few.

Take a stroll around the grounds, or set up in one of the bird hides. You will be amazed by the number of exotic birds making an appearance throughout the day. HornbillsSnowy-crowned Robin-chatSenegal CoucalPlantain-EatersCommon Wattle-eye and Yellow-crowned Gonolek.

Bird trips and birdwatching itinerary

Footsteps offer a variety of Gambia Birding Trips in the company of an expert and experienced guides. An opportunity not to be missed. Also, you can visit Nature Reserves, Bird Reserves, Paddy Fields, Wetlands and take a trip along the River Gambia. Each with its own ecosystem and also each with an abundance of flora and fauna.

In addition to our Birding holidays in The Gambia itinerary options below. You can also stay in the beautiful grounds of Footsteps and use our purpose-built bird hide.

Birding Trip 1 – Lamin Lodge & Abuko Nature Reserve

Rose-ringed-Parakeet | Gambia Birding photo

Lamin Lodge – We have an early breakfast and travel 40 minutes to Lamin Lodge. Here we enjoy a short one-hour boat trip on the river. We expect to see. Common Wattle-eye, Royal Tern, African Darter, Long-Tailed Cormorant, Western Bluebill, Greater Honeyguide also Cut-Throat Finch and Zitting Cisticola.

Abuko Nature Reserve – Picnic style lunch around 1 pm and then on to Abuko Nature Reserve. Because this is the pride of the Gambia and a must for all birders. Here you will see Pin-tailed Widow, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher also Senegal Batis.

Black-crowned Tchagra | Birding holidays in The Gambia

Trip 2 – Tanji bird reserve

Tanji Bird Reserve is about 30 minutes away along the coast so as a result, we have more time for breakfast.

Expect to see for example. Black-Crowned Tchagra, Osprey, Yellow-Crowned Gonolek, Broad-billed Roller, Abyssinian Roller also Purple Glossy Starlings and Violet Backed Starlings.

Pied Kingfisher | Gambia Holiday photo

Trip 3 – Marakissa camp, Darsalami woods & Siffoe

Marakissa is approximately one hour away. Because the morning is spent there, Darsalami Woods and Siffoe are on the way back in the afternoon

In addition to Sulphur-breasted Bush-Shrike, Exclamatory Paradise Whydah, Wilson Indigo, African Blue Flycatcher, Yellow Shouldered Widowbird you can also see Northern Puffback and Woodchat Shrike.

Village Indigo bird | Bird Holiday in Gambia

Trip 4 – Mandinaba shrimp farm, Faraba rice fields

Because  Mandinaba Pirang Shrimp Farm is one and a half-hour away, we need to be up at the crack of dawn.

And, for example, you can expect sightings of Quail Finch, Village Indigo, Pin-tailed Whydah and also Cut-Throat Finch.

Senegal Thick-Knee | Birding holidays in The Gambia

Trip 5 – Banjul, Kotu & Fajara golf course

Because Banjul is an hour away, we need an early start.

Later, we will be visiting Kotu and Fajara Golf Club. Also for those who want to have a 9 or 18 hole round, this can be arranged.

An example of some of the birds you can see here is Grey Plover, Senegal Thick-knee, Wattle Plovers, Wire Tailed Swallow, Little Ring Plover, Stone Partridge, Sand Grouse, European Hoopoe also Red-shouldered Cuckoo Shrike and Woodland Kingfisher.

All birds of The Gambia photos were taken by Rob Garner during his last visit to Footsteps in 2019

Not only do we have 3 top class bird guides but you can also pre-book by special appointment. Email David

Pricing for guided Gambia Birding

Our birding days are as follows. Between 4 and 8 hours in duration. And include your guide and also transport and lunch.

Furthermore, all our trips can be prepaid online when you book and are also arranged at the lodge.

Prices for 2021
  • Single birder, the price per day is £80.
  • 2 birders the price per day is £50 each.
  • 3 birders the price per day is £40 each.
Gambia Holidays | Birding in The Gambia

In conclusion, below you will find websites from guests who enjoyed their Gambia Birdwatching Holidays

Want a Gambia Bird Identifier?, then purchase The Birds of The Gambia book, considered to be the best for birdwatchers.

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