Whether your style of wildlife watching is hiking through the forest to see baboons, heading out in a canoe through the mangrove swamps bird spotting or sitting under a thatched cabana, cocktail in hand, watching a crocodile lazing in the sunshine in the adjacent creek, The Gambia, has a lot to offer any wildlife lover.

This corner of West African is particularly well known for being home to over 540 species of birds. The magnificent goliath heron can be seen flying over the waterways, numerous species of kingfishers are a familiar sight, as are bee-eaters and a myriad of over colourful species. We highly recommend booking the expert guide Malick Suso, which we can arrange for you. He has over 20 years experience and is the preferred bird guide of television presenter and naturalist Chris Packham, who is a regular visitor to The Gambia. Abuko Nature Reserve, Tanji Bird Reserve, Kotu Stream and Brufut Woods are just some of the popular birding locations.

To see the cheeky green vervet monkeys head to Bijilo Forest. If you are lucky, you may also spot the shy red colobus monkey. And each morning the local bird guides feed the critically endangered hooded vultures by Kotu Stream. It’s a fantastic sight.

The Gambia is the smallest country in mainland Africa, being a little smaller then Yorkish, and all the above locations can be easily reached by taxi or on an organised excursion from any of the hotels we feature.

While there is no big game in The Gambia, to see some of the larger animals that once roamed here such as zebra, lions, giraffes, rhino, warthogs and antelopes, you can cross the border to neighbouring Senegal and Fathala Wildlife Reserve. It is possible to visit on a day trip but better still, factor into your itinerary a stay here in one of their luxury air-conditioned safari tents.

Below is a guide to the best locations for wildlife encounters, together with recommended hotels, excursions and itineraries. For more details or to inquire about a holiday, give us a call on (UK) 0207 112 0019 or email gambia@fleewinter.com.

Where to see...

Nine species of Kingfisher are found in The Gambia and, while nothing in nature is guaranteed, a short walk along Kotu Stream is likely to bring you some excellent opportunities to observe them.


Bijilo Forest by the resort of Kololi is a great place to see these cheeky little monkeys. They also visit some hotel gardens.

Green Vervet Monkeys

You can see hundreds of crocodiles at Kachikally Crocodile Pool in Bakau but they're also regularly seen on the banks of the creek by Calypso Beach Bar & Restaurant at Cape Point.


The local bird guides feed the hooded vultures (a critically endangered species) beside the bridge at Kotu Stream every morning at around 11 am. It's an impressive sight!


Brufut Woods is a community-organised bird sanctuary with an extraordinary abundance of wildlife just a short drive from the coast through groundnut plantations and dusty suburbs. The woodland itself may be unimposing but the birdlife is impressive.

Woodland Birds

For more information please get in touch by email, gambia@fleewinter.com, or by giving us a call on (UK) 0207 112 0019.