The Gambia Is the Ultimate Bird Watching Destination

The Gambia Is the Ultimate Bird Watching Destination

The idea of bird watching as a valid hobby has recently received a lot of negative feedback. People are often turned off by how tedious it seems to be, and by the lack of any great physical effort required, a trait which people associate with a rather sedentary and unhealthy activities.

What most people fail to understand, however, is that bird watching provides a way to connect with nature in a manner that — when done right — is every bit as therapeutic as yoga or meditation.

If you’re a fan of bird watching and you have recently been gifted with an opportunity to travel, why not take a trip across the country to make it observing birds in their natural environment? Or, if you have some money at your disposal, why not go overseas to try to catch some exotic specimens on photos? It is said that no other continent contains as big of a variety of species as Africa, and that includes birds! And, if you decide to go there, listen to the advice of other birdwatchers, who often say that the country of Gambia is one of the best places for a trip.

Gambia is very often described as one of the best countries to visit in Africa — regardless of if you intend to watch birds in their natural environment or not, with its general friendly attitudes to tourists and it’s wealth of attractions including stunning landscapes and unique local wildlife.

If you intend to go bird watching in Gambia, it is best to schedule your visit in such a manner that you can encounter the birds you’re excited to watch at a time where they are most active, for example, between the months of February to early May, the climate is really dry and the days are hot, and this is the period where SandGrouses, Coursers and many kinds of African Raptors are most active.

On the other hand, from June to early October the weather changes as the rainy season begins. This coincides with the start of the breeding season for most species of birds, which also makes them easier to spot. If you are planning your first ever holiday to Gambia, it is likely you will enjoy it the most if you visit it between November and March. During these months, the weather and climate are most comfortable, and most of the birds are active and easily spotted.

Bird watching in Gambia offers the opportunity to come across some rare and endangered bird species, and your visit may help support activities which prevent these birds from being driven into extinction by harmful environmental practices and hunting.

Some of the more interesting species you’re likely to come across in Gambia include:

* The Pied Kingfisher

gambia birds, the pied kingfisher a beautiful species of water kingfishers, with black and white plumage and crest. It can easily be found hovering above the surface of lakes and rivers, looking for fish to eat. Usually, you can find them in small family groups.

* African Darter 

birdwatching gambia the darter

sometimes also called the Snakebird, this bird comes is mostly brown colored, though the males can also be glossy black. This fish-eating bird possesses an extremely long neck, hence it’s name.

* Hamerkop 

the gambia birds - hamercom

this small to medium-sized bird is actually the last surviving member of the Scopidae family. Curiously, despite its size and look, its closest cousins are the pelicans and shoebirds. This species of bird also builds gigantic nests. The primary color for this bird is brown.

* The Nubian Vulture

a threatened species of bird that mostly lives in dry Savannah, plains and open mountain slopes. It is a very big species, with a potential height of over 1.1 meter. The bird is mostly black, with a pinkish head and white thigh feathers. spot the nubian vulture in the gambiaOne of the truly great things about birdwatching in environments as free from the taint of industrialization is the excitement that comes with not knowing what you may come across. A trip to Gambia provides an opportunity for rest, relaxation and the chance to discover birds you have never seen before.

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