Marakissa woodland and wetland

Marakissa is located south of Brikama, the third largest town (from Serrekunda). It takes you at least 40 minutes driving from Kotu Bridge. The area consists of two types of habitats: the woodland area and the wetland.

A) The open woodland with some scattered woods is good for many kinds of raptors like the western banded snake eagle, the short-toed eagle, the long-crested eagle and the white-backed vulture, as well as for a variety of the passerines like the western bonelli warbler, the white-breasted cuckoo shrike, the violet-backed sunbird and the red-shouldered cuckoo shrike. It is worthwhile spending a whole day there, and you can book for lunch at the camps. There are two camps there which are basic: one is run by a Dutchman and the other one by a professional Gambia girl who was a staff member in one of the coastal hotels. They are called the Marakissa River Camp and the Marakissa Kingfisher Lodge. Near the restaurants is a drinking jar for the birds. While you are having lunch, you can enjoy species like the spotted honey guide, the western little sparrowhawk, starlings, turacos and so on.

B) The wetland is just a stone throw from both camps. The water pool, the bridge and the rice fields are good places to see sedge warblers, painted snipes, dwarf bitterns, purple herons, African scops owl, African wood owls, etcetera.

From Marakissa you can proceed to Dasilame, which is also a stream and which contains rice fields. This area, close to the southern border of Senegal, is good to see additional raptors, crown cranes, pelicans and herons.
You can book this excursion for half a day or for a full day, depending on the time you can afford to spend.