African Bird Club representative
Department of Parks & Wildlife Management HQ
Abuko Nature Reserve
PMB 676 S/K
Bird recorder and checklist compiler
West African Bird Study Association
Palm Grove Hotel
West African Bird Study Association
Palm Grove Hotel
WABSA are anxious to ensure that guides belonging to their association act in a professional fashion in guiding clients and if you have any comments, good or bad, these should be sent to their Director, Lamin Jobarteh, c/o Department of Parks and Wildlife Management HQ, Abuko. The current WABSA badges, have two signatures, the signature of their Chairman and the signature of their Director. There is a logo on the badge featuring a pair of binoculars, a bird and a book. There has been trouble recently with badges being forged, bearing the names of reputable guides but being worn by imposters. Telephoning or emailing guides in advance of your arrival should mitigate this problem until such time as new (and we hope unforgeable) badges are provided by the GTA. Guides marked * below were part of WABSA in August 2004.
In February 2006 some of the coastal based guides broke away from WABSA to form Bird Guides Association The Gambia. Where they had previously been recommended to us or were on the WABSA list we have retained the references to them below. As we know little about their identity badges (there have been forgeries of WABSA badges) we suggest that you contact them on the numbers given to arrange to meet.
***indicates further feedback from clients below. We would appreciate further feedback on the accuracy of this information.
Just a few of The Gambia bird guides.
|*Ebrima W Barryfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|*Dawda M Barryemail@example.com|
|*Yaya & Modou Barryfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|*Modou A Colleyemail@example.com|
|*Pa Almamy Darbo||9910457|
|*Ansuman Drammeh||680 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Ya Ya Jallowemail@example.com|
|Pa Musa Jattafirstname.lastname@example.org|
|*Omar T K Sohna||4393938|
|Lamin Touray***||472 957|
Clive R Barlow - resident in The Gambia since 1984 and co author of Field Guide to Birds of The Gambia & Senegal and who has published many articles, short papers and reports about Gambian ornithology, is now currently mostly involved in single species research e.g Nightingale and european song bird studies, vulture and raptor populations and gull migrations. He can be contacted for scientific investigations from universities, zoological institutions and private individuals. Clive can also organise and lead a variety of short tours for birders, photographers, sound recordists, film makers etc. He collaborates with the Dept of Wildlife and Parks Management. Mobile 220 706 1114 for SMS. Email: email@example.com
Dawda M Barry This reference was sent by an ornithologist and dated February 2008. "My wife and I have just returned from two weeks birding in the coastal area of The Gambia. We spent some time with an excellent guide called Dawda M Barry. We met him at Kotu Bridge and he organised several trips to places like Pirang and Abuko. He was truly brilliant. Quiet, unassuming and not pushy like many of the other guides. He was really good company and we look forward to seeing him again before too long. We would unreservedly recommend using this guide. Contact address PMB 733, Serrekunda, The Gambia.
Ebrima W Barry "I have spent some time with Ebrima in The Gambia last year and being very impressed by his birding knowledge and skills, I am returning in December this year to spend further time with him. I have also assisted him in setting up a website of his own at www.gambia-birdwatching-tour.com." From a correspondent in October 2008.
Yaya and Modou Barry also known as Kingbirders offer packages within The Gambia at £375 for a one week tour with 3 days up river and a two week tour with 5 days up river at £500.00 per person. This price (2005 and can be negotiated to fit other itineraries or needs) includes airport transfers, vehicle, guides, boat trips and ferry crossings, entrance fees to national parks and nature reserves, upriver accommodation with breakfast, evening meals and picnic lunches.
Lamin Bojang "I have just returned from visiting The Gambia in February 2007. I would like to recommend Lamin Bojang, one of WABSA's professional guides. He is based at Cape Boint Beach close to the Ocean Bay Hotel. Lamin guided me at Abuko and the Lamin Fields area; Brufut Woods and the Tanji coastal area; and the Kotu area. He was a very good bird guide and also good company. He will arrange all required transport for an all-in price, which I found to be reasonable.
Also, can I suggest you support the local businesses and try the Eco-Friends Drink Stop on the main road adjacent to the Lamin rice fields."
"Modou Colley was an excellent guide in March 2005, professional, knowledgeable and unassuming. He was able to get me very close to some good birds allowing decent photographs without disturbing the birds. He was particularly skilled at ID'ing raptors from a distance without optics & when the birds finally approached closer he was invariably proved right in his ID. Note that a visit to the internet cafe to pick up his email involves a 75 km journey - so if the matter is urgent a text message to his mobile may be better."
Buba Daffeh "We enjoy birding with Buba because he is very patient whilst we film and photograph birds. He has been part of the Habitat Africa group for several years."
Pa Jallow "We stumbled across Pa on our second visit to the Gambia in December 2005 outside the Senegambia Hotel and what a chance meeting it turned out to be. He was very knowledgable about birds, but more importantly, very patient, doing what we wanted to do. He became a friend as well as a birdguide, and we look forward to meeting up with him again. We would wholeheartedly recommend Pa if you are about to visit the Gambia at any time."
Solomon Jallow of WABSA manages a group of guides which includes Aladin Jemeh, Tamba Jeffang, Sering Bojang, Osman Sayand, Buba Daffeh, Osman Sayand and Dembo Sonko. These guides have a good knowledge of identification and bird calls and where to find some of the rarer or more difficult species in all parts of The Gambia. They can organise all transport and accommodation.
Ya Ya Jallow "He acted as guide with a Wildsights trip, he was friendly and helpful as well as extremely knowledgeable about the birds and, more importantly, their calls. I can thoroughly recommend him and would have no hesitation in going out with him on my own".
Yuspha Jammeh "A group of Dutch birders were so pleased with Yuspha's services that they have commissioned the building of a website for Yuspha who lives at Kololi (March 2007)."
Pa Musa Jatta "We have recently returned from The Gambia where we had an excellent guide and driver. Pa Musa Jatta proved excellent at finding and identifying birds in the many different habitats that we visited. He was also knowledgeable, friendly, helpful and patient! He also has a very good and safe driver, Alassan Colley, with a great, comfortable vehicle. Pa knew all the best places to find even rare birds, and organised a hassle-free trip up-river. He can usually be found in the guides' hut outside the Senegambia Hotel."
Jeland Jobe is based outside Senegambia Hotel. Writing in March 2007 "Jeland is very observant, picks up songs and calls at long distances. He is kind and very helpful. He will arrange transport and is familiar with exclellent birding sites."
Ousman Joku Bird & Butterfly Guide. "We used him as a bird guide for 3 half-days in different locations in and around Bakau in mid-February 2007. He was excellent in locating and identifying birds. We recorded 150+ different species in this time. He was the only guide we saw with his own telescope and tripod which we found very useful in addition to our Leicas. We found him to be very reliable, friendly and trustworthy. We hope to return to The Gambia to go 'up-country' in October and will use him again. We recommend him without reservation."
Tijan Kanteh "We were very satisfied with Tijan on a trip in March 2006. He has a good sense of humour, speaks excellent English, is knowledgable and reliable The transport arrangements up to Tendaba and beyond worked very well."
Mustapha Kassama "I used Mustapha for a couple of days for relaxed birding trip - he charged £10.00 for a morning around the creek area and £50.00 for a dawn to dusk trip to Marakissa and Yundum fields." Another correspondent reports an enjoyable time with Mustapha in December 2005.
Ebrima Korita is contactable at the WABSA stand at Kotu Bridge. " A young WABSA guide who is very keen. Non birding colleagues really enjoyed the added dimension he brought to their holiday, he was always polite and never pushy."
Laibo Manneh "Laibo knows Tanji and Brufut like the back of his hand but we used him at Marakissa and had an excellent morning's birding. This is the guide who also writes the list - a real boon for those taking photographs and videos. Laibo also runs trips further afield as far as Basse. Recommended by WABSA colleagues with Habitat Africa. For birding at Marakissa and dropping us off at Tumani Tenda he charged £30.00 per person." From 25th of June, 2007 he accepted the honourable position of chairman of WABSA.
Mustapha Manneh “We have known Mustapha Manneh for at least 8 years; we first met him when we were looking for someone to take us birding at the bridge in Kotu. We have now become great friends and when we go to the Gambia Mustapha is one of the first people we see to arrange our birding trips. We would have no trouble in recommending him as a bird guide, his knowledge of birds and where they are is second to none, he is also very knowledgeable about the other flora and fauna that is found in the Gambia and nothing is too much trouble for him." Mustapha runs a tour service, and there are details on his website: https://birdlifeafrica.wordpress.com/. Sent May 2015.
Ebrima Njie: “During our week upriver and on the coast with Ebrima he showed non-stop enthusiasm from early morning until dusk. He was always on the lookout for birds (and other wildlife) and then made sure that everyone in the group had the opportunity to have a good view of them.” Ebrima runs a tour service, and there are details on his website: https://birdlifeafrica.wordpress.com/. Sent May 2015.
Lamin Sanyang "Having just returned from a Christmas break in January 2007 in The Gambia with my wife and 17 year old son I can thoroughly recommend Lamin Sanyang as an excellent guide. Having been guided to The Bijol Island on the 27 December and then Abuko Nature Reserve on the 28 December by Lamin, my family and I found him to be very knowledgeable and keen to find different bird species for us. Above all Lamin became a good friend and with his help we sighted 47 bird species. We would definitely use Lamin as a guide again."
Masaneh Sanyang "Recommended by keen birdwatchers, Masaneh was very knowledgeable, patient and extremely helpful throughout our stay. We cannot rate him highly enough and I know the other members of our group would feel the same. Also recommended to us for up-river trips."
"I found Mass at the entrance to Bijilo forest on my penultimate day of my sixth visit to the Gambia. I only wish we had met before. He guided me around Brufut Woods the next day and was very keen and identified every call or song we eard. Excellent value for money. A geniuely nice guy and very polite. He has his own transport and also has a scope. He told me he organises trip to Senegal also, including Nikolo Koba. I wouldn't hestiate to use his guiding services again."
Malick Suso "I went out with him on four occasions. These tended to be mornings, usually between 7am and 1pm. The cost was very reasonable, £25 which was for taking just myself. He was punctual, knowledgeable and good company"
Tamba Suso "We have just returned from The Gambia and found a superb birding guide called Tamba Soso. He works from outside of the Senegambia Hotel and has his own jeep and can call upon the services of other guides if necessary. His keen eyes and ears (he was exceptional on bird calls) helped us achieve 178 species in 5.5 days of birding. Very well mannered, good fun and obviously loves his birding. We highly recommend Tamba"
Karamba Touray "We first met Karamba when he was working for the Parks Department in Abuko - he knew his birds, was serious about identifying them properly and ensuring visitors got the most out of their visit. He is now working independently so you will need to be clear about costs before you start.."
Lamin Touray "Lamin passed the ultimate test, he was assigned to guide us in an area he had never visited before in his life and we had some 92 species in the space of about 4.5 hours birding in the quiet season."
Wandy Touray "Wandy's ability to find birds around Tendaba, particularly in the Baobolon wetland reserve, is quite legendary. Now organised with a mobile phone he can take advanced bookings."