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  • Writer's pictureEbrima Sidibeh

Birding Spots in Gambia

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Gambia is a small country in West Africa on the banks of the Gambia River. It is an unknown paradise for birdwatchers. It is home to over 500 species of birds, making it a popular destination for birdwatchers from all over the world. Despite its modest dimensions, Gambia is home to a diverse diversity of bird species, making it a haven for ornithologists and wildlife lovers. Gambia offers a unique birding experience that is both accessible and captivating thanks to its various ecosystems, lush marshes, and colorful cultural history.

Yellow-crowned gonolek

Bird Watching Hotspots Gambia

Here are some of the best birding spots in Gambia:

Abuko Nature Reserve

Abuko Nature Reserve, located just a short drive from the capital city of Banjul, is often considered the crown jewel of Gambia's birding spots in Gambia. This 106-acre protected area is a sanctuary for over 290 bird species, making it a must-visit for bird enthusiasts. The verdant forest, winding boardwalks, and tranquil riverbanks create an ideal habitat for a wide range of birds, including kingfishers, sunbirds, weavers, and various raptors. The reserve also houses other wildlife such as monkeys, crocodiles, and butterflies, enhancing the overall experience.

Pin tailed whydah

Tanji Bird Reserve

Golden breasted bunting

Tanji Bird Reserve, situated along the Atlantic coast, offers a distinctive birding experience by combining coastal and woodland habitats. This diverse environment attracts both resident and migratory birds, making it a hotspot for birdwatchers. The mudflats and estuaries are crucial for waders and waterfowl, including flamingos, pelicans, and various sandpipers. The surrounding woodlands are home to a variety of songbirds, making Tanji Bird Reserve an excellent spot for bird photography.

Kotu Creek

Kotu Creek, found on the outskirts of the tourist-friendly town of Kotu, is another prime birding location in Gambia. This tidal creek and its adjacent mangroves provide a rich feeding ground for various waterbirds, including egrets, herons, and African spoonbills. Kotu Creek is also renowned for its vibrant sunbird population, offering birdwatchers the chance to observe these colorful creatures in their natural habitat. The accessibility of this spot makes it perfect for birders of all skill levels.

Golden-breasted bunting

Pirang Forest Park

Pirang Forest Park, nestled in the southern part of Gambia, is a hidden gem for birdwatchers. This park features a mix of savannah, wetlands, and woodland, attracting a diverse range of bird species. Highlights include the African finfoot, violet turaco, and the elusive white-crowned robin-chat. Birdwatchers can explore the park's trails and keep an eye out for numerous raptors that call this area home. Pirang Forest Park offers a tranquil and less-crowded birding experience for those seeking solitude and serenity.

Marakissa River Camp

For a more immersive birding experience, Marakissa River Camp is an excellent choice. Situated along the banks of the River Gambia, this eco-friendly camp offers comfortable accommodations and guided birding tours. The nearby rice fields, orchards, and forests are home to a variety of avian species, including African green pigeons, hornbills, and the striking blue-bellied roller. The camp's knowledgeable guides are passionate about sharing their birding expertise and can lead you to some of Gambia's most sought-after species.

Makasutu Culture Forest

Makasutu Culture Forest, located on the outskirts of Brikama, offers a unique blend of cultural experiences and birdwatching opportunities. The forest is a mosaic of different habitats, including gallery forests, savannah, and wetlands, making it an attractive destination for both bird enthusiasts and nature lovers. Birdwatchers can expect to see species like the Egyptian plover, African fish eagle, and African harrier hawk while exploring this captivating area.

Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve


The Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve, situated in the heart of the Gambia River, is a vital habitat for countless bird species. This expansive wetland area is a crucial stopover point for migratory birds traveling along the East Atlantic Flyway. Birdwatchers can witness the spectacle of flocks of waders, terns, and pelicans during migration seasons. The reserve also hosts resident species like the majestic African crowned eagle and the enigmatic African finfoot.

Tendaba Camp

Tendaba Camp, located in the eastern part of Gambia along the River Gambia, is a birding paradise for those looking to explore diverse habitats. From riverine forests to savannah and wetlands, Tendaba offers a rich variety of birdwatching opportunities. The camp's riverfront location allows birders to observe waterbirds such as the African darter and pied kingfisher. Additionally, the nearby Tendaba Rice Fields are known for attracting several raptor species, including the martial eagle and osprey.

Gambia, with its compact size and remarkable biodiversity, is an ideal destination for birdwatchers seeking an immersive and accessible birding experience at various birding spots in Gambia. Whether you're an amateur bird enthusiast or a seasoned ornithologist, Gambia's diverse range of habitats and abundance of bird species are sure to captivate and inspire. From the tranquil riverbanks of Abuko to the coastal wonders of Tanji, and from the cultural immersion of Makasutu to the remote beauty of Pirang, Gambia's birding spots offer a glimpse into the avian wonders of West Africa. Your next birding adventure awaits in this birdwatcher's paradise.

If you would like to booking your trip, Please contact with us Gambia Bird Tour.

About the Author

ebrima sidibeh tour guide

Ebrima Sidibeh offers professional birding tours accross The Gambia and Sengal. He is specialised in guiding photography tours and has a vast knowledge of the birds and wildlife of The Gambia and Senegal having been in this profession for 30 years.

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