Bird watching at the National Park of the Birds of Djoudj

Bird watching at the National Park of the Birds of Djoudj

Twitchers rejoice: The Gambia is a mecca for birdlife, the coastal waters that teem with birds only trumped by the overflowing abundance of life along the country’s rivers. Cruising the river, you may spot in the waters the silvery flick of passing tigerfish or catfish, catch sight of lazing crocs and hippos, or hear colobus and vervet monkeys making their home among the gallery forest, but it’s the birds that take centre stage. Nearly 600 species have been recorded here, and it doesn’t take long before you’re notching up sightings: kingfishers line the banks, noisily flitting here and there while herons look on impassively and Egyptian plovers feed among the river’s sandbars. Among the trees, look out for the bright plumage of bee-eaters or the distinctive arched beak of a hornbill, while overhead raptors such as the African Fish Eagle survey the waters for their next meal.