7 Gambia November 2018

GAMBIA – 21st – 28th November 2018


This was my Sixth trip to The Gambia. My previous trips were in November 2005 , March 2007/2008, November 2014 and March 2017


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. Cost for 7 nights half board @67 per night £469 plus airport transfers x2 @ £25 (£50)

3 nights up river (Tendaba/Georgetown) £400

The flights were booked through Thomas Cook at a cost of £512.98 and I flew from Manchester on a Wednesday at 9:40am. Baggage allowance 25kg and 10kg (Economy Plus Flight)


Lamin Njie

Was the guide I hired thru Farakunku Lodge for my days birding up river this time with an overnight at Tendaba and a two night stop at Baobolong Camp. An excellent guide no hesitation in recommending this guy to anyone. You’ll find his Website here PRESS


Just Malarone at a cost of £35.04 from Tesco for 16 tablets = £2.19 per tablet these were.

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)

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

3 Hour delay on return due to lack of Fuel. Plane was delay on flight to Gambia by stopping in Tenerife, so and hour late delay on landing. We were then 2 hours delayed on outgoing journey but had to stop at Senegal (Dakar) to fuel up to be able to return to UK


Always take cash and exchange to Dalasi in the Gambia, I was getting 62.5 Dalasi to the pound, not as high as 2014


My Photos on Flickr 2018


Sites and Highlights

Birds in BOLD = Lifer

NFC = New for Country

Farakunku Lodge area 

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

The Birds around Farakunku inc. Beach: Grey Hornbill, Laughing Dove. Ring Necked Parakeet, Pied Crow, Black Kite, Yellow Billed Shrike, Red Eyed Dove, Senegal Parrot, Variable Sunbird, Brown Babbler, Senegal Coucal, Red Bellied Paradise Flycatcher, White Crowned Robin Chat, Hooded Vulture, Wattled Plover, Grey Woodpecker, Shikra, Blue Bellied Roller, Red Cheeked Cordon Blue, Red Billed Hornbill, Lizard Buzzard, Double Spurred Francolin, Long Tailed Glossy Starling, Glossy Starling, Tawny Flanked Prinia, Fork Tailed Drongo, Village Weaver


22.11.18 Travel Up Country (1 Night Tendaba, 2 Night Georgetown)

Bird Guide for the Trip Lamin Njie (Booked thru Farakunku)

Farasoto Forest 

Greyish Eagle Owl

On the Highway

The Birds [In no Particular Order]: Long Crested Eagle, Shikra, Grey Kestrel, Hooded Vulture, Grey Hornbill, Red Billed Hornbill, Black Flycatcher, Yellow Fronted Canary, Beautiful Sunbird, Variable Sunbird, African Golden Oriole, Brown Necked Parrot, Red Winged Warbler, Speckled Pigeon, Vinaceous Dove, Red Eyed Dove, Black Billed Wood Dove, Green Woodhoopoe, Whistling Cisticola, Yellow Billed Shrike, African Palm Swift, Black Winged Red Bishop, Singing Cisticola, Lizard Buzzard, Klaas Cuckoo

Babafonto 11:00 to 11:30am 

Yellow White Eye, Tawny Flanked Prinia, Lavendar Waxbill, Stone Partridge, African Palm Swift, Whistling Cisticola, Green Crombec

Kampanti Rice Fields 12:15 to 12:30

Woodland Kingfisher, Lanner Falcon, Beautiful Sunbird, Village Weaver, Yellow Throated Leaflove, Hooded Vulture, Grey Woodpecker

Tendaba Camp / Airfield and River Trip 13:00 to 18:00

Pinked Backed Pelican, Hammerkop, Great Cormorant, Long Tailed Cormorant, African Darter, Grey Heron, Great White Egret, Western reef Heron, Squacco Heron, Goliath Heron, Cattle Egret, Woolley Necked Stork, Hooded Vulture, Pied Crow, Yellow Billed Kite, Wahlberg Eagle, Senegal Thick Knee, Grey Plover, Spur Winged Plover, Wattled Plover, Whimbrel, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Greenshank, Black Winged Stilt, Slender Billed Gull, Caspian Tern, Gull Billed Tern, Little Swift, Pied Kingfisher, Blue Breasted Kingfisher, Woodland Kingfisher, Broad Billed Roller, European Bee eater, Ring Necked Parakeet, Common Wattle Eye, Mouse Brown Sunbird, Montagus Harrier.



Kaur Wetlands 11:30 to 12:30

The Birds [In no Particular Order]: White Wagtail, Cattle Egret, Great White Egret, Yellow Crowned Bishop, Sand martin, EgyptianPlover, Red Billed Quelea, Yellow Crowned Gonolek, Marsh Harrier, Yellow Billed Kite, Red Rumped Swallow NFC, Squacco Heron, Green Sandpiper, Northern Red Bishop, Yellow Fronted Canary, Exclamatory Paradise Whydah, Blue Breasted Kingfisher, Long Tailed Cormorant, Long Tailed Glossy Starling, Common Sandpiper, Yellow Billed Stork

Travel to Wassau Quarry:…Exclamatory Paradise Whydah, Egyptian Plover, Cattle Egret, Common Sandpiper, Blue Breasted Kingfisher, Grey Heron, Long tailed Cormorant, Yellow Crowned Gonolek, Long tailed Glossy Starling

Wassau Quarry 

The Birds [In no Particular Order]: Black Billed Wood Dove, Red Throated Bee Eater, White Throated Bee eater, Little Green Bee Eater, Black Headed Plover, Spur Winged Plover, Hammerkop, Black Rumped Waxbill, Cut Throat Finch, Exclamatory Paradise Whydah, Green Sandpiper, European Griffon Vulture, White backed Vulture, Red Necked Buzzard, African Harrier Hawk, Grasshopper Buzzard, Namaque Dove, Purple Glossy Starling, Long tailed Glossy Starling,



Wassau Quarry AM

The Birds [In no Particular Order]: Red Throated Bee Eater, Northern Anteater Chat, Abyssinian Roller, Hooded Vulture, White backed Vulture, African Hawk Eagle, Hammerkop, Yellow Billed Oxpecker, Grey Headed Sparrow, Long tailed Glossy Starling, Purple Glossy Starling, Exclamatory Paradise Whydah, Black Headed Plover, Spur Winged Plover, Namaque Dove, Laughing Dove, Yellow Billed Kite, Grey Kestrel, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Chestnut Backed Sparrow Lark, Yellow Crowned Gonolek, Ruppells Griffon Vulture

Babolong River Trip 3:30pm to 6pm

The Birds [In no Particular Order]: Blue Breasted Kingfisher, Woodland Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Hammerkop, Spur Winged Plover, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Goliath Heron, Oriole Warbler, Mourning Dove, Swamp Flycatcher, Palm Nut Vulture, Purple Glossy Starling, Abyssinian Roller, Broad Billed Roller, African Fish Eagle, Violet Turaco, Blackcap Babbler,

Evening Camp Walk: Four Banded Sandgrouse, African Scops Owl (H), Broad Billed Roller, Yellow Fruit Bat



Georgetown Rice Fields  8am – 9:30am

The Birds [In no Particular Order]: Marsh Harrier, Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Grey Heron, Black Headed Heron, Cattle Egret, Wahlbergs Eagle, Red billed Quelea,  Northern Red Bishop, Long tailed Glossy Starling, Verreauxs Eagle Owl (3), Spur Winged Plover, Maribou Stork, Greenshank, Abyssinian Roller

Jahally Rice Fields.. 10:00am – 11:00am

The Birds [In no Particular Order]: Zitting Cisticola, Marsh Harrier, Black Shouldered Kite, Purple Heron, Black Headed Heron, Grey Heron, Cattle Egret, Great White Egret, African Pygmy Goose, Spur Winged Goose, Western Banded Snake Eagle, Squacco Heron, African Harrier Hawk, Lanner Falcon

Bateleur Eagle on Travel Back



Around Farakunku….8:30am – 11:30am

The Birds [In no Particular Order]: Grey Woodpecker, Shikra, Blue Bellied Roller, Red Cheeked Cordon Bleu, Grey Hornbill, Red Billed Hornbill, Yellow Billed Shrike, Hooded Vulture, Lizard Buzzard, Yellow Billed Kite, Double Spurred Francolin, Pied Crow, Long tailed Glossy Starling, Bronze Tailed Glossy Starling, Variable Sunbird, Tawny Flanked Prinia, Fork Tailed Drongo

Around Farakunku….02:00pm – 04:30pm

The Birds [In no Particular Order]: Red billed Firefinch, Lavendar Waxbill, Bronze Mannikin



Kartong….09:00am – 12:30pm

The day was spent mostly to photograph Dragonflies, but I did cast an eye on the birds

The Birds [In no Particular Order]: Wire tailed Swallow, Hooded Vulture, African Harrier Hawk, Osprey, Yellow billed Black Kite, White Faced Whistling Duck, Black Winged Stilt, Black tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Green Sandpiper, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Black Headed Heron, Squacco Heron, Blue Bellied Roller, Blue Cheeked Bee Eater, Little Bee Eater, Purple Swamphen, African Jacana, Grey Headed Gull, Caspian Tern, Spur Winged Plover, Namaque Dove, Speckled Pigeon, Laughing Dove, Beautiful Sunbird, Crested Lark, Yellow Crowned Gonolek, Pied Crow, Zitting Cisticola

Great Reed Warbler…..Heard


Total bird tally for the hols = 151

New for Country (NFC) = 1

Lifers = 12


Gambian Butterflies ; Blue Pansy, African Tiger, Calypso White, Citrus Swallowtail,  African Caper White, Common Grass Yellow, Zebra White, Savannah Pied Pierrot

Gambian Dragonflies : Banded Groundling, Red Basker, Blue Basker, Keyhole Glider, Broad Scarlet, Many-celled Skimmer, Violet Dropwing, Red Groundling, Black Percher



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 90°/95°. 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