Gambia – Baboons and Birds
(Great White Egret)
Gambia is a bird watcher paradise with around 540 bird species having been logged. Although Gambia doesn’t have the large mammal populations of East Africa day trips can be arranged to Senegal to visit some wildlife parks which have some larger mammals.
In the Makasutu Forest, which I visited, it is the bird and baboons that are centre stage. Birders from all over the world come here and the Mandina Lodges are a great base for these trips. UK readers will be interested that TV presenter and keen birdwatcher Chris Packham leads groups here for The Gambia Experience. The guides at Mandina Lodges assure me they taught Chris everything he knows about the Gambian bird species… and I believe them. My guide could spot a bird, identify it and tell me where to look before I’d even looked up!
Professional bird photographers look away now…. These are the best I could do with my gear and ability. The best photographs I have are of the large, slow birds. All I have of the small fast ones is a blurry tail feather in the edge of the picture as they dashed out of frame!
If you want more information on Gambia’s bird life try this website. This site has been done by a local guide called Sainey Jargu – the guide with the coolest dreadlocks in Gambia. Sainey’s friend Mamadi Bayo guided me from Mandina Lodges.