Birdwatching Weekend

4 days from £1,337 per person

With over 540 species of birds, The Gambia is a birdwatcher’s paradise. It’s just a 6-hour flight away and in the same time zone as the UK, making a short break a viable option. Mandina Lodges is a fabulous location for birding with river, mangroves and forests environs.

Day 1 - Arrive in The Gambia

Arrive in the late afternoon at the airport in Banjul where our driver will meet you for your transfer (45 minutes) to your floating river lodge, deep in the heart of Makasutu Forest. Mandina Lodges is a unique eco-resort and a wildlife lover’s haven. There’s a myriad of bird species to be seen here.

Having settled into your lodge on a tributary of the River Gambia, dine alfresco under a thatched cabana beneath a star-studded African sky.


Day 2 - Explore the forest, mangroves and waterways

Each morning a flask of hot water with coffee (or tea) will be left outside your door at the time of your choice so you can relax with your morning cuppa and watch Makasutu awake. Enjoy a walk with your English-speaking guide and learn more about the flora and fauna of the forest, before a leisurely late breakfast. Then relax by the pool, watching the myriad of birds that regularly visit including plantain eaters and kingfishers or reading your favourite novel.

In the late afternoon take to the water in a canoe accompanied by your guide. Look out for kingfishers, the Goliath Heron and other fabulous birds. The Mandina guides are superb at spotting birds and other wildlife as you drift along the waterways.

Whether walking through the forest, relaxing on your verandah or by the pool, there’s always the chance that the local troop of baboons will pass by. They are a spectacular sight and guests are warned not to leave toiletries in their open-air bathroom in case the baboons pay a visit and prying hands whisk away your shampoo!

Day 3 - Enjoy a sunset cruise

On your second morning, head out with your guide along the river by canoe or on another forest walk, perhaps visiting the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust. Chat to one of their volunteers for a fascinating insight into the work of this charity.

That evening join other guests on a cruise along the river in a motorboat. Sip South African wine as the sun sets behind the mangroves and watch the flocks of birds coming home to roost.

Day 4 - Bid farewell to Mandina

After a leisurely breakfast, leave Mandina around mid-morning to check-in for your flight home.


This itinerary costs from £1,337 per person half-board based on 2 adults sharing a floating river lodge and including transfers and return international flights from Gatwick Airport.


  • Prices start from £1,337 per person
  • 3 nights accommodation on half-board basis in a floating river lodge
  • Return flights from Gatwick with 20kg luggage allowance and in-flight meals
  • Transfers
  • An English-speaking guide available throughout your stay
  • Sunset cruise with wine
  • All trips are ATOL protected or ABTA bonded to ensure you are fully covered