Tanji bird reserve

This reserve is very near to many hotels and it is only a 20 minutes drive from the Senegambia area. The forest gallery of the protected area does not offer many birds to see, but the woodland that lies on the South, behind the office, is always a good place to watch some raptors, e.g. peregrine falcons, African hobby falcon, osprey, black-neck weavers, some of the Palearctic winter visitors.

The scrubby woodland with a few swamps lying towards the East offers a pleasant birding experience, crossing the highway to the North. It is a sandy area with brown ginger plumes and tall grass, where you can find swallow-tailed bee-eaters and nightingales, and ospreys during their visit from November to February. Further South, close to the Atlantic Ocean, is a wide lagoon full of waders, sand plovers, curlew sandpipers, kelp gulls and black-backed gulls, and almost all the terns, varying from the royal ones to the slaves (you know what I mean!).

Offshore you can see an island in the distance, in the Atlantic Ocean, which is also part of the reserve and which is a protected breeding area for both migrant and resident species. There are pelicans in large numbers and it is worth visiting the island. I can always arrange a boat to take you to the island, when you make the booking for this tour.

Driving down to the fishing jetty is a fascinating experience: you can see more than 200 fishing boats and thousands of people, some drying the fish, some smoking it, some freezing it for fresh consumption.

It is just so much fun to see all the gulls, terns, sanderlings, turnstones. And it is always a good idea to have lunch or a drink at a decent restaurant on the beach, just after the bridge, enjoying this nature course of bird watching in The Gambia.