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  • Writer's pictureEbrima Sidibeh

Exploring Bijilo Forest Park: A Premier Destination for Birding in Gambia

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Bijilo Forest Park, nestled on the picturesque coast of The Gambia, is more than just a forest. It's a haven for birdwatchers, nature enthusiasts, and those in pursuit of tranquility away from the bustling urban life. With its diverse ecosystem, rich bird species, and mesmerizing natural beauty, Bijilo stands out as a must-visit on any birdwatcher's bucket list.

An Overview of Bijilo's Biodiversity

Bijilo Forest Park is spread over 126 hectares, a vibrant mosaic of nature, comprising of dense forests, sandy trails, and open grasslands. These varied habitats are home to:

  • Over 133 bird species: From the dazzling Scarlet-chested Sunbird to the elusive Verreaux's Eagle Owl, bird enthusiasts are in for a treat.

  • Unique fauna: Apart from birds, the park is home to various mammalian species like the Callithrix monkeys, Green Vervet, and Patas monkeys.

  • Flora that tells a story: The park has a rich collection of plant species, with tall mahoganies and silk cotton trees dominating the skyline.

What Makes Birding in Bijilo Forest Special?

There are numerous places around the world where one can watch birds, but Bijilo offers a unique and intimate experience.

  • Accessibility: The park's compact size ensures you're always close to the action.

  • Guided tours: Expert guides with deep knowledge of the park's avifauna help you spot and identify even the most elusive species.

  • Conservation efforts: Bijilo Forest Park's commitment to conservation ensures that the birds have a safe and thriving habitat.

Tips for an Optimal Birdwatching Experience in Bijilo

  • Time Your Visit: The best birdwatching hours are during the early morning or late afternoon when the birds are most active.

  • Gear Up: Bring along binoculars and a bird guidebook specific to West Africa for a more fulfilling experience.

  • Stay Silent and Patient: Birds can be shy. Maintain silence and be patient for the most rewarding sightings.

  • Join a Group: Opt for guided group tours to benefit from collective spotting and identification.

Protecting Bijilo's Treasures: A Call to Conservation

Bijilo Forest Park isn't just a tourist attraction; it's a testament to Gambia's commitment to preserving its natural treasures. When visiting, always ensure you:

  • Stick to designated paths.

  • Avoid feeding or disturbing the wildlife.

  • Respect park rules and guidelines.

By doing so, we can ensure that Bijilo remains a paradise for future generations of birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

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Ebrima Sidibeh - Gambia Bird Tours

Ebrima Sidibeh

Tour Guide & Owner

Gambia Bird Tours

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