Bird Watching Holidays In The Gambia

Gambia is a bird watchers paradise for the serious ornithologist, for the professional bird photographer and also for the casual birder. Imagine creating a bird watching holiday in West Africa that matches your specific requirements and make even the most passionate and adventurous birdwatchers’ dreams come true

Whether you want to target an iconic species like the Egyptian Plover or achieve a long bird list during your bird watching holiday, Jinack Island has lots to offer.

As the seasons change and with a wide variety of  coastal, marshland, woodland and grassland habitats, Jinack Island provides a permanent or temporary home for over 200 species of native and migrating birds with the list including 17 species of warblers and European migrants.

Some of the birds in the park include terns, gulls, Harrier eagle, tree pipit, woodchat shrike, wheatear, pygmy sunbird, European bee eater, osprey, heron, oystercatcher, brubru, yellow wagtail and many other birds.

The mangrove and tidal flats are rich in waders, many of which are seasonal migrants but some, such as the white-fronted sand plover, nest on the dune fringe.

Harriers are frequently encountered quartering the area during the European winter months.

The Feel Free Lodge is the ideal base for your bird watching holiday in the Gambia and below is a brief outline of the birding opportunities available during the year

After the rains have stopped, it becomes drier and less humid (more comfortable) but many of the species are still in their breeding plumage, so species such as the Bishops, Whydahs and Weavers are still resplendent in their finery.

November and December
As the country gets drier and more comfortable, this is a good time for general birding and the migrants from Europe and other parts of Africa have started to arrive.

January and February
The country is much drier and evening and morning temperatures may require a jacket.  There is an influx of birds of prey and other inter-African migrants. It’s hot around midday but very pleasant in the morning and evenings when the birding is at its best.

The country is fully in the grips of the dry season. It is starting to get hotter and the best time to see species of arid areas such as Bustards, Coursers and Sandgrouse.

April and May
Beginning to get very hot and dry, but this means that many birds are easier to find as they regularly go to whatever water is available in the now rapidly shrinking pools.

June to September 
The climate begins to get hot and humid and can be hard work in the field. However, many birds are breeding and in their best plumages and in full song. The rains (July to September) are heavy, but mostly at night, so there are still many opportunities for excellent birding.