White Heron
Photo by Hannah Jansen

Kartong wetlands tour

The Kartong wetland lies in the southern part of the west coast region of the Gambia. It is good for migrant species and resident birds. The area is characterised by dry thorn and bush savanna and dominated by Reedbeds.

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About the tour

The area was originally a sand mining area but later sponsored and protected by Birdlife International, WABSA (West African Bird Study Association) and the local community of Kartong.

A whole day trip to Kartong sandmine is certainly worth it and is very good for both wetland and woodland species.. Kartong is a place at the south coast of the Gambia. In the morning there are many species very active, such as moorhens, African Pygmy Kingfisher, White-faced Whistling Duck, Spur-winged Goose, Knob-billed duck, African Jacana, Greater Painted-snipe hiding within the pond, African Crake, African Water Rail, Purple Heron, Purple Swamphen, Quailfinch and Cut-throat Finch wandering around through the grassland.

The grassy and scrubs land area is wonderful for a good chance of seeing species like Blue-cheeked and Little Bee-eater, a majestically sitting Black- shouldered Kite, Osprey, Short-toed Eagle and Booted Eagle, Eurasian Marsh Harrier, Lanner Falcon, Common Kestrel, Long-crested Eagle, the always busy Dark Chanting Goshawk, Gabar Goshawk, Rufous Scrub Robin, Crested Lark. The sandy beach is good for waders such as Ruddy Turnstone, and White-fronted Plover – which is a good bird for our bird list.

A boat trip on the river in between The Gambia and southern Senegal, is a must. Late afternoon is the best time, so that would be after having our lunch. During the boat trip we have a good chance to see the mighty Goliath Heron, lots of Pelicans, Gulls and Terns, and some beautiful migratory waders like Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank and large numbers of Ospreys – sitting at the sandbank when the tide is low.

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Kartong Wetlands
Photo by Hannah Jansen