You need to hire an experienced birdwatching guide who knows his ways around the country.
- A Guide who knows the best locations within the sites for you to see species you would like to see.
- A Guide who is honest, friendly, kind and punctual.
- A Guide who is well organised, and has a good sense of humour.
- A Guide who speak excellent English.
- Look for simple and best itineraries.
If you are thinking about a tour in the Gambia, then you can learn a little about me from this website. If you want to discuss trip arrangements with Lamin k Njie, you can email him directly. Your birding dream will come true. I am able to offer just such services at a very reasonable cost and can ensure that you will take back many happy memories of your visit to my beautiful country. Birding with Lamin k Njie is always delightful experience because of my extensive experience in the field of guiding. Whatever your interest in nature would be i will be able to help and advise you.
My email address is on the contact page which is the most effective means of making contact with me.
I will respond to you as soon as possible but if I am leading a tour inland where communication is more difficult then there may be some delay.
When you are in Gambia then I am available on my mobile phone numbers which are listed on the contact page
Many guides will claim to be the best birder in Gambia but that distinction probably belongs to Clive Barlow whose book The Birds of The Gambia and Senegal published with Tim Wacher is one of the best.
I also use Birds of West Africa by Nik Borrow and Ron Demey for although it has less descriptive information it does have very useful regional distribution maps.
The birding in The Gambia is good all year round.
Most visitors go to The Gambia between November through to April as this avoids wet, rainy season.
The wet season (June to October) is less busy, less expensive and will be a little cooler but you will have to anticipate the attention of substantially more mosquitoes and it will be more humid.
Vaccinations may be necessary so you will need to take advice from the medical authorities where you live.
You will need to do this in good time to ensure that you have the proper protection.
Whether staying on the coast or travelling inland it is equally important to take anti-malarial prophylactics and you will need to consult your doctor for an appropriate prescription.
Covering up at dawn and dusk and good insect repellents are important to avoid being bitten in the first place.
English is the official language of The Gambia and all children are taught in English at school.
There are a number of tribal languages of which Mandinka and Wolof are most widely spoken.
In urban areas you will find most people speak English.
If you are planning to cross the border into Senegal, however, French is the their official language!
The local currency is the Dalasis which is made up of 100 butut.
As currency exchange rates vary check with your high street bank or go on to the Internet to find out what it is at the time you are planning to travel.
You cannot get dalasi in the UK to take with you so make sure you have enough money - £ sterling, US dollars or Euros to cover your individual requirements for the duration of your stay.
Credit cards are accepted in some restaurants but generally speaking The Gambia is a cash economy.
There are ATMs in some of the larger towns but they don’t always work.
You can exchange either currency or travellers cheques at banks which can be found in the larger towns like Banjul, Bakau and around the resort areas.
Many hotels will change money for you at their reception desk. You will probably get a little bit less than at a bank, but it is quick and hassle free or a good Bird guide can help to change money for you.
This will depend on whether you are going to chill out round the hotel swimming pool for the whole of the duration of your holiday or you are going to be more active and go bird watching or fishing or planning other excursions in the area. If you are going to spend most of your time around the pool please take care in exposing yourself to the sun when you first arrive. Wear a wide brimmed sunhat when going out in the sun. If you are planning to be more active you need to do all of the above and more. Wear stout walking shoes if going out into the bush as you may risk a hookworm infestation if you do not. Similarly do not go paddling or wading through fresh water without proper protection (rubber boots/waders) as bilharzia is endemic throughout the tropics. Wear light coloured, loose cotton shirts with long sleeves and preferably with a collar to protect the back of your neck and long cotton trousers to prevent against sunburn, insect bites and scrapes and scratches. If you are planning a longer trip to stay at a bush camp or plan to go on a river trip make sure you take plenty of water and insect repellent with you. If you book an overnight trip inland then I will provide you with a full kit list DO I NEED INSURANC? Yes, travel and medical insurance is strongly advised.
Yes, travel and medical insurance is strongly advised.
If you book a tour with me then I will be looking after all your travel needs whilst you are in my care. I will collect you from your hotel and return you at the end of the tour. If travelling at other times then the normal way of getting around is by hiring a taxi. It is advisable to agree a fare before you set off.
These are generally young men who will be found in all tourists areas and will seek to offer you all sorts of services in exchange for money. Some of them will offer you bird guiding services, particularly if they see that you have binoculars. You may be lucky and find an individual who actually knows some of the local birds. You may find them intimidating, but they are usually harmless. They may offer you trinkets and when you ask “how much?” they will reply “give me a donation from your heart”. So when you give them (say) 50 or 100 dalasi they will reply that it is not enough! If you really do not want to be bothered be firm but please be polite. On the other hand some of these young people may be able to show you things in the resort or its environs that you might not have found on your own. You may wish to hire them – in the loosest possible sense – to escort you to and from your hotel so reducing the chance that you will be pestered by anyone else. Negotiate a price! Please remember that these people are only trying to make a living At the airport you are likely to be approached by porters asking you to exchange their £ coins for UK bank notes. This will be of service to these individuals as they are often tipped in foreign coinage but locally they are unable to convert coins, only notes into dalasi.
Yes? You can bring along with your telescope, is safe to use and is allow to take any where you can.
We can discuss the best way to do this based on how much guiding you are looking for. For longer trips you may want to pay in advance. I accept payment in £ sterling, US dollars or Euros. If an advance payment or deposit is required then a transfer to my bank account is the most straight forward and safest way of carrying this out. These details can be sorted out when we have finalised the trip.
Yes, but you may prefer to buy bottled water which you can purchase from local supermarkets. If you are taking excursions out of the main tourist areas make sure that you take sufficient water with you for your journey. Remember that in the high temperatures you may become dehydrated quite quickly. If you have to get water from wells in rural areas either take water purifying tablets with you or carry a small stove with you so that you can boil the water for a minimum of 3 - 4 minutes. People tend to drink lots of cold drinks such as beer or soft drinks when it is hot but a warm drink such as a cup of tea may quench your thirst more effectively.
Attacks on tourists are rare, but please remember that The Gambia is one of the poorest countries in West Africa. Be sensible with your belongings and don’t leave cameras, binoculars or other valuables unattended – especially if you go to the beach. Also don’t flash large amounts of money around. Most of the hotels have safety deposit boxes which you may hire for a small charge for the duration of your holiday or alternatively lock valuables inside a suitcase in your room. Keep your passport, traveller cheques, currency and other valuables secure. Make a copy of your passport to carry with you at all times. If you are going up country you may be asked to show a form of identity at police check-points. There is no terrorist activity in The Gambia but you are advised to check with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in the UK (www.fco.gov.uk/travel) or equivalent organisation in your own country to see if there are any notices advising tourists to stay away from particular areas IS
Tips for good service are much appreciated as the wages in the tourist industry and The Gambia in geneal are low but always remember that tipping is entirely at your discretion.