My Gambia birding holidays, guest blog by Chris Prince Photography
Yes, there have been more than one, have produced memories too numerous to mention. Here are three of my favourites and if you would like to see more just click on my name above.
My wife and I have been to The Gambia 6 times now to study and photograph the wonderful birdlife there. The fact that we keep on returning says something about how good this tiny African country is for birds. Although to say it’s just about the birds would be doing it a big injustice. The climate, the people and just the general feel of the place all make it a wonderful place to be.
If you’re thinking of The Gambia for a birdwatching holiday, don’t just go for the big hotels for a base. There are smaller lodges dotted around the country. And are wonderfully set up for bird watching as well as looking after you for all your other needs. We have been using Footsteps Eco-lodges in the province of Gunjur for the past few times. And have been spoilt by David White (the owner) and his wonderful staff.
Most places seem to have freshwater pools of some sort. In a country that’s so hot, this obviously is a magnet for birds.
A good guide obviously makes a massive difference and there are quite a few around. Although you’ll probably find that if you ask in advance when you book your accommodation. They will be more than happy to sort one out for you as well as laying on transport.
You can stay locally near the coast and have a wonderful time identifying new species. Also recognising familiar faces that have migrated there for the winter from Europe. It’s quite a thought when you see some of these birds that you think of as British. Then realising that the time they spend in Britain is very small. Especially when compared to the time spent migrating and feeding on their wintering grounds in Africa.
We have spent a whole week just staying around the coastal area. But we have also been right up to Jangjangbureh Island. Exploring various sites on the way up The Gambia river.
Boat trips on the river are another wonderful way to see different species of herons, egrets and wildfowl that you wouldn’t see elsewhere and if it can be arranged Tendaba camp is definitely worth a visit for their boat trip into the mangroves.
I really look forward to my Gambia birding holidays and from the minute that we step off the plane at Banjul airport and that warm air engulfs us we find ourselves birdwatching (we always have a bet between us which bird we will see first.
We find time to relax as well so it’s not completely bird mania honest but that’s just the way that we like to do it so it’s purely a personal thing.
What I can definitely say is if you love your birds and you haven’t been to The Gambia you don’t know what your missing and who knows you might just see us there (yes we will definitely be returning)
See more of Chris’s photography from around the world