Abuko Nature Reserve was the first reserve in Gambia, and created in 1968. This is where I trained as a bird guide. Abuko is a well established savanna woodland and good for sighting Giant Kingfisher, Green and Violet Turacco, Buff Spotted Woodpecker, Orange-cheeked Waxbill, Western Bluebill, and several different types of heron. Spending a few hours in this reserve also gives you the chance to see 3 different types of monkey, hyenas, baboons, bushbuck, antelopes and more. Just outside the reserve is a ricefield and vegetable plots, where you can see the Lizard Buzzard, Shikra, African Spoonbill, Pearl-spotted Owlet, African Harrier Hawk, Jacana, Sunbirds and many different wading birds.
Lamin Lodge is famous for its boat trips into the mangrove creeks, as well as its oyster factory, birds and breakfasts. This is the place to hire a canoe and paddle round the creeks in the early morning before sunrise to hear and see many birds. Very good place to spot with Mouse brown Sunbird, Goliath Heron, Malachite Kingfisher and many others. Afterwards you can have breakfast at the Lodge, watch the oyster boats unloading and see them being processed, and walk in the the vegetable gardens. Lamin Lodge can be done the same day as Abuko if preferred in 6 hours.
Brufut This village lies 17 km from Serrekunda. The woodlands are very good place for sighting the sighting the biggest owl in the world , namely the Verreaux Eagle Owl, as well as the Whiteface Scops Owl, Common Whitethroat, Long-tailed Nightjar, Paradise Flycatcher, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, and more. You will like it so much and it can be done together with Tanji Bird Reserve based on how much time there is. Tanji is good for seeing osprey and other sea birds.
Tujering and Kartong can also be done together. These are coastal regions and very attractive to lots of woodland species such as Violet Barbet, Striped Kingfisher, Gaba Goshawk, Dark Chanting Goshawk, with many Cisticolas, the Senegal Batis etc.
Marakissa: This peaceful village is not far from the border of Gambia and Senegal. It is one of my favourite places with lots of different birds to be seen. The most interesting species include the African Fish Eagle, Western Banded Snake Eagle, Ovambo Sparrow Hawk, Honeyguides and others. We can spend the whole day birding here, but also if time can go to Darusalome village across the border into the south of Senegal. This is the last village to the neighbour country, is also good for seeing Long-crested Eagle, Senegal Thick-knees etc.
Pirang: This place is both wetland, forest and woodland. The wetland part of Pirang is great for Black-crowned Crame, Flamingos, White- throated Bee Eaters. Also in its forests we can spot Wood owl, Verreaux Eagle Owl etc. The woodland areas are good places for several kinds of swallows, eagles and the Northern Wheatear. Pirang is just a few minutes’ drive from Faraba Bantang, where we can see Bateleur Eagles, Abyssinian Ground Hornbills etc.