January 2007
The Gambia
From 5 to 15 January 2007 we were in The Gambia where we did a five-day birdwatching safari upriver to Georgetown and saw 177 different species of birds. We also visited Bijilo, Abuko and Tanji Nature Reserves.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
1/51 We arrived at Banjul Airport at around midnight on Friday 5 January 2007 and checked into the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
2/51 The next morning we explored the area and had a short walk on the beach. This Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu was one of the first birds we saw.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
3/51 In the afternoon we walked to Kotu, just north of Kololi, and visited the sewage ponds and golf course, both very good birdwatching spots.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
4/51 On Sunday we went to Bijilo Nature Reserve, just 20 minutes walking south of our hotel.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
5/51 We spent about six hours in the park, which was not only full of birds but there were lots of monkeys too.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
6/51 We were excited to see our first hornbill, a Red-billed Hornbill. They were very friendly, probably because they're used to being fed peanuts by tourists.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
7/51 Kololi Beach
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
8/51 On Monday we were picked up at our hotel by Ebrima Sidebeh, who would be our birding guide for the next 5 days. The first leg of the journey east was very dusty and everything inside the car was full of red sand.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
9/51 At around 2pm we stopped for 'lunch' at a small restaurant near Kalaji, but they were out of food so we had to continue to eat dust.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
10/51 In the evening we arrived at Tendaba Camp where we checked into a nice room with en suite facilities, although with cold water. This is the bar at the restaurant.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
11/51 In the evening we visited some birding places. This is the old unused Tendaba Airport, and after sunset we also looked for nightjars and owls.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
12/51 On Tuesday morning we did a 3-hour boat trip through the mangroves on the north side of the river Gambia.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
13/51 It was an excellent boat trip and we saw many different birds, including a Goliath Heron, many Malachite and Blue-breasted Kingfishers, White-crowned Night Heron, African Darters, and more.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
14/51 Great White Egret
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
15/51 The roads were incredibly hilariously bad; the asphalt on most of the main road on the south side of the river is so full of large holes that it is a labyrinth for cars, and most times cars try to drive next to the road, like here. It was very bumpy and very very slow.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
16/51 Red-billed Oxpecker
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
17/51 We stopped many times to look for birds, and usually a small crowd of children came to watch us from a safe distance.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
18/51 A beautiful baobab tree.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
19/51 Arthur on the bad road.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
20/51 The car was very ill-equipped for the rough journey. Our guide had promised a comfortable 4WD large car, but we ended up crammed in this small van with three other birders.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
21/51 Our camp at Georgetown was on an island and we had to take this small ferry several times. We stayed at Baobolong Camp for two nights.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
22/51 Near the ferry Arthur found this neat weaver's nest.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
23/51 On Wednesday morning our first stop on the agenda was an abandoned quarry, the best place in the country to see Red-throated Bee-eaters.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
24/51 Unsuprisingly the van broke down when we were near Bansang. It took the driver about an hour to fix the problem.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
25/51 Ebrima took us to his family in Bansang for lunch, which included beef or fish in a peanut sauce on rice. It was very good.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
26/51 Sometimes they had to use a metal ramp to get our car on the ferry.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
27/51 In the evening we went into a forest to find the elusive and very rare Adamawa Turtle Dove. The guide and other birders listened to its calls very carefully and eventually we found it.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
28/51 This was our room at Baobolong Camp.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
29/51 On Thursday we left Georgetown and drove back west on the north side of the river Gambia. The roads here were much better.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
30/51 Along the way we stopped at a good place for Egyptian Plovers and we found two. The Egyptian Plover is the grail bird for birders in Gambia.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
31/51 This is the beautiful Abyssinian Roller. We saw many of these on our trip.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
32/51 At Bambatenda we stopped for lunch just before our ferry across the river. It is on the Trans-Gambia Highway an important road connection for Senegal.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
33/51 The ferry across the 800m Gambia River here was a much larger ferry than the ones we took before. The ferry costs us 4 dalasi (10 euro cents) per person.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
34/51 On our way back to Tendaba Camp we came across a large bush fire. We stopped immediately looking for birds, as fires attract birds, and we saw 25+ Carmine Bee-eaters, which we had unsuccessfully tried to find earlier that day.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
35/51 At Tendaba Camp we got the same room (#9) as earlier that week.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
36/51 The restaurant at Tendaba Camp.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
37/51 On Friday morning we did another 3-hour boat trip through the mangroves around Tendaba. This time we were specifically looking for the African Blue Flycatcher. We only got a glimpse of it.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
38/51 View of Tendaba from the river.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
39/51 On the dock lots of kids were waiting to walk with us back to the camp.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
40/51 The last part of the journey brought us again by the sandy roads that were under construction and we were once more covered in red dust.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
41/51 On Saturday we rented bikes thinking that we could get around by ourselves for the last few days. We were wrong. It was much too hot, the roads were horrible and the distances too far, so we brought the bikes back after just a half day.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
42/51 In the afternoon we went back to Kotu Creek and the golf course where we had also been a week before.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
43/51 We saw six different kingfishers in The Gambia. This is the Pied Kingfisher, which was the most abundant one.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
44/51 Two Little Bee-eaters.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
45/51 On Sunday we got a bush taxi to bring us to Abuko Nature Reserve where we spent most of the day.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
46/51 We finally saw a Giant Kingfisher, ...
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
47/51 ... and an African Pygmy Kingfisher.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
48/51 At the end of the park was an orphanage where injured birds and animals recover. They had five Hyenas that we watched getting fed. We hadn't see any Hyenas in the wild.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
49/51 Hooded Vulture.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
50/51 On Monday we made a short visit to Tanji Bird Reserve, which lies on the coast. We spent two hours here.
 - (1970-01-01 2007) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
51/51 We found a bush taxi to bring us from Tanji to Bijilo, where we spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon. We flew back to Amsterdam that evening.