6 Gambia March 2017

GAMBIA – 22nd – 29th March 2017


This was my fifth trip to The Gambia. My previous trips were in November 2005 , March 2007/2008 and November 2014


Once again I stopped at Farakunku Lodges , its out of the way place, a great area to explore, great gardens for birds etc. The Lodges are spacious and well looked after and have a great shower.

The flights were booked through Thomas Cook at a cost of £401.98 and I flew from Manchester on a Wednesday at 6:55am. Baggage allowance 20kg and 6kg


Masanneh Sanyang

Was the guide I hired thru Farakunku Lodge for my days birding at Abuko and Lamin rice Fields and also Tujering/ Brufut. An excellent guide no hesitation in recommending this guy to anyone.

Colin Cross [Kartong]

An enthusiastic guy , Very knowledge in the areas wildlife and culture and it was great to have spent sometime with him again.


Just Malarone at a cost of £35.87 from Sainsburys for 17 tablets = £2.11 per tablet these were (Generic tablets ATOVAQUONE/PROGUANIL). See report for November if you are going for the first time

Yellowfever, lots of reports on this one on the internet and confusing. I had my initial vaccines back in 2005 and apparently only lasts for 10years. Things have changed and now the vaccine lasts a life time (from 2016) but my Yellowfever passport didn’t say that and needed to say so on the Yellowfever Passport, so a booster was needed £60 added

See this Site IAMAT


Flying to the Gambia took us about 6 to 6 1/2 hours. Flight was on a Airbus A321, distance to destination 2878 miles


Always take cash and exchange to Dalasi in the Gambia, I was getting 56/58 Dalasi to the pound, not as high as 2014


My Photos on Flickr 2017


Sites and Highlights

Farakunku Lodge area (Inc. local Beach)

A great place to see the birds and wildlife most of my birding was done around Farakunku, with a day at the beach. Stopping only for week this time, I did manage to knock up a species list of 60.

The Birds around Farakunku inc. Beach: Cattle Egret, Black headed Heron, Hooded Vulture, Osprey, Pied Crow, Black Kite, Lizard Buzzard, Lanner Falcon, Red Necked Falcon, Grey Kestrel, Double Spurred Francolin, Black Crake, Spur Winged Plover, Grey Headed Gull, Caspian Tern, Royal Tern, Speckled Pigeon, Laughing Dove, African Mourning Dove, Red Eyed Dove, Black Billed Wood Dove, Vinaceous Dove, Namaque Dove, Blue bellied Roller, Little Bee Eater, Senegal Parrot, Rose Ringed Parakeet, Western Grey Plaintain Eater, Red Billed Hornbill, African Grey Hornbill, Fine Spotted Woodpecker, Pied Winged Swallow, Fork Tailed Drongo, Yellow Throated Leaflove, Brown Babbler, Blackcap Babbler, Common Bulbul, African Thrush, Tawny Flanked Prinia, Scarlet Chested Sunbird, Western Violet Backed Sunbird, Variable Sunbird, Beautiful Sunbird, Splendid Sunbird, Yellow Billed Shrike, Yellow Crowned Gonolek, Purple Glossy Starling, Starling, Long Tailed Glossy Starling, Grey Headed Sparrow, Black Winged Red Bishop, Northern Red Bishop, Black Necked Weaver, Village Weaver, Red Billed Firefinch, Bronze Mannikin, Lavendar Waxbill, Red Cheeked Cordon Bleu,



Abuko and Lamin Rice Fields 

Bird Guide for the day Lamin Njie

[Trip run ]

Time 8:30am to 12:30pm

The Birds [In no Particular Order] : African Jacana, Squacco Heron, Black Crowned Night Heron, Palm Nut Vulture, Hooded Vulture, Black Kite, Little Greenbul, Yellow Breasted Apalis, Western Bluebill, Western Grey Plantain eater, Violet Turaco, Green Turaco, Snowy Crowned Robin Chat, African Goshawk, Scarlet Chested Sunbird, Collard Sunbird (guide only), Bronze mannikin, Fanti Saw Wing, Pied Kingfisher, African Palm Swift, Red bellied Paradise Flycatcher, African Paradise Flycatcher, Common Wattle Eye, Grey Headed Bristlebill, Black Necked Weaver, Little Swift, Blue Cheecked Bee eater, Melodious Warbler, Willow Warbler, Wattled Plover, Rose Ringed Parakeet, African Thrush, Blue Spotted Wood Dove, Red Eyed Dove, Laughing Dove, Pied Crow, Oriole Warbler (Heard), Green Woodhoopoe, Pied Hornbill, Senegal Coucal, Common Bulbul, Blackcap Babbler, Hammerkop, African Darter,

Dinner at Lamin Lodge

Lamin Rice Fields [Time 2:30pm – 4:00pm]

The Birds [In no Particular Order]: Long tailed Cormorant, Hammerkop, Little Bittern (Heard), Squacco Heron, Striated Heron, Black Egret, Western Reef Heron, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Sacred Ibis, Pied Crow, Black Kite, Shikra, Black Crake, Greater Painted Snipe, Spur Winged Plover, Ringed Plover, Whimbrel, Bar tailed Godwit, Greenshank, Redshank, Common Snipe, Royal Tern, Laughing Dove, Black Billed Wood Dove, Speckled Pigeon, Vinaceous Dove, African Mourning Dove, Namaqua Dove, Senegal Coucal, Pearl Spotted Owlet, Little Swift, Blue bellied Roller, Little Bee Eater, Wester Grey Plantain eater, Yellow Fronted Tinkerbird, Wire Tailed Swallow, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Tawny Flanked Prinia, Red Bishop, Black Winged Red Bishop, Yellow Fronted Canary, Grey Headed Sparrow, Orange Cheeked Waxbill, Red Cheeked Cordon Bleu, Grey backed Camaroptera, Green backed Eremomela, Mouse Brown Sunbird



Calpyso Corner  (Bakau/Cape Point)

[Taxi/Driver to pay for from Farakunku £30]

The Birds [In no Particular Order]: Great White Egret, Western Reef Heron, Hammerkop, Long tailed Cormorant, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Spur Winged Plover, Squacco Heron, Pied Kingfisher, Wire tailed Swallow, African palm Swift, Great White Pelican, Pink backed Pelican, Sanderling, Whimbrel, Greenshank, Caspian Tern, Lesser Crested Tern, Royal Tern, Black Kite, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Hooded Vulture, Blue Cheeked Bee eater, Zitting Cisticola, Grey Plover


Kartong 8am – 3:30pm

Bird Guide for the day Colin Cross

[Trip run thro Farakunku Lodges at £85 for full day including lunch with a river trip on the Alleheins River]

The Birds [In no Particular Order]: Great White Pelican, Pink backed Pelican, Long tailed Cormorant, African Darter, Cattle Egret, Intermediate Egret, Little Egret, Goliath Heron, Great White Egret, Western Reef Heron, Sacred Ibis, Osprey, African harrier Hawk, Palm Nut Vulture, Hooded Vulture, Grey Kestrel, African Crake, Allens Gallinule, Black Crake, Purple Swaphen, African Jacana, Senegal Thick Knee, Spur Winged Plover, Wattled Plover, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, White Fronted Plover, Whimbrel, Bar tailed Godwit, Common Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Redshank, Oysetercatcher, Turnstone, Little Stint (NFC), Sanderling, Curlew Sandpiper, Grey headed Gull, Slender billed Gull, Lesser Black backed Gull, Caspian tern, Royal Tern, Lesser Crested Tern, Sandwich Tern, Gull billed tern, Laughing Dove, European Turtle Dove (NFC), Black billed Wood Dove, Speckled Pigeon, Namaque Dove, Red Eyed Dove, African Mourning Dove, Vinaceous Dove, Swift Sp (Pallid/Common), Little Swift, African Palm Swift, Giant Kingfisher, Grey Headed Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Broad billed Roller, Abyssinian Roller, Blue Cheeked Bee eater, Rose Ringed Parakeet, Grey Woodpecker, Crested Lark (Heard), Tree Pipit, Wire tailed Swallow, Red Chested Swallow, Yellow Wagtail (iberiae), Common Bulbul, Yellow Throated Leaflove, Zitting Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Tawny flanked Prinia, Beautiful Sunbird, Yellow Crowned Gonolek, Purple Glossy Starling, Northern red Bishop, Village Weaver, Brubru (Heard), Grenn Backed Eremomela



Tujering and Brufut Woods 8am – 5:30pm

Bird Guide for the day Masanneh Sanyang

[Trip run thro Farakunku Lodges at £60 for Full Day..No Lunch]

Tujering Part 1…8am – 9am

The Birds [In no Particular Order]: Black Headed Heron, Hooded Vulture, Temmincks Courser, Black Headed Plover, Brown Backed Woodpecker, Yellow Wagtail (flavissima), Wheatear, White Fronted Black Chat, Red Winged Warbler, Yellow Penduline Tit, Senegal Batis, Woodchat Shrike, Chestnut Crowned Sparrow Weaver, Stripped Kingfisher

Brufut Woods.. 10:30am – 12:30pm

The Birds [In no Particular Order]: Hooded Vulture, Lanner Falcon, Black Kite, Blue Spotted Wood Dove, Laughing Dove, Red Eyed Dove, Verreaux Eagle Owl, White Faced Scops Owl, Long Tailed Nightjar, Western Grey Plantain eater, Swallow Tailed Bee Eater, Grey Hornbill, Red Billed Hornbill, Yellow Fronted Tinker Bird, Fork tailed Drongo, Yellow Throated Leaflove, Snowy Crowned Robin Chat, Yellow White Eye, Green Backed eremomela, Black Necked weaver, Northern Red Bishop, Black Winged Red Bishop, Grey Headed Sparrow, Red Cheecked Cordon Bleu,

Dinner Break back at Farakunku Lodge, and a kip

Tujering Part 2…3:30pm – 5:30pm

The Birds [In no Particular Order]: Black Shouldered Kite, Black Kite, Hooded Vulture, Osprey, Lanner Falcon, Chestnut Crowned Sparrow Weaver, Wheatear, Yellow wagtail (flavissima), Whistling Cisticola, Woodchat Shrike, Yellow Billed Shrike, Red Winged Warbler, White Fronted Black Chat, Spur Winged Plover, Stripped Kingfisher, Brown Backed Woodpecker, Northern Red Bishop. Beautiful Sunbird, Variable Sunbird, Viollets Barbet, Little Bee Eater, Cattle Egret, Black Crowned Tchagra



Gunjur Project..1/2 day 8am – 10:30am

The Birds [In no Particular Order]: Pink backed Pelican, Great White Pelican, Grey headed Gull, Hammerkop, Great Cormorant (NFC), Long tailed Cormorant, African Darter, Black Crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Western Reef Heron, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Grey Heron, White faced Whistling Duck, Hooded Vulture, Palm Nut Vulture, African Harrier Hawk, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Double Spurred Francolin, Black Crake, Greater Painted Snipe, Senegal Thick Knee, ringed Plover, Spur Winged Plover, Grey Plover, Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Redshank, Black Winged Stilt, Turnstone, Sanderling, Slender billed Gull, Lesser black Backed Gull, Caspian Gull, Royal Tern, Blue Spotted Wood Dove, Green Pigeon, Giant Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Woodland Kingfisher, Pygmy Kingfisher, Little Bee Eater, Violet Turaco, Little Swift, African Palm Swift, Western Grey Plantain Eater, Wire tailed Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin (NFC), Yellow Wagtail (flavissima), Snowy Crowned Robin Chat, Beautiful Sunbird, Yellow Crowned Gonolek, Northern red Bishop, Village weaver, Orange Cheeked Waxbill.


Total bird tally for the hols = 180

New for Country (NFC) = 4

Lifers = 5

Heard Only = 3

List can be seen HERE

Butterflies ; Blue Pansy, African Tiger, Calypso White, Citrus Swallowtail, Common Scarlet


Take plenty of water with you when you are out and about.

The weather was hot and sunny during my 7 day stay in the Gambia, temp 95°/106°. Plenty of sun cream was needed. It was pleasant to about 11:00am and then Hot till about 04:00pm.

Field Guides

A Field Guide to the Birds of the Gambia and Senegal – Clive Barlow, Tim Watcher and Tony Disley. ISBN 1-873403-32-1

A Field Guide to the Butterflies of the Gambia – Dr David Penny


These are by Malcolm Rymer and are a must before you go a great introduction. There are three in all:

1. Sorties around the Smiling Coast
2. Forays Further afield
3. Upriver Odyssey

These can be bought through his web site LINK


Try also birdtours thru this LINK

Useful Web Sites

Fat Birder Gambia at this LINK
Gambia thru Birdlinks at this LINK