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“Unforgettable holiday”
Review of Bird Safari Camp

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Bird Safari Camp
Reviewed 23 February 2013

We travelled to gambia at Christmas for a tour with Hidden Gambia, upon arrival to our first lodge, farakanku resort (nicest resort with the nicest owners) we were told that Bird Safari Camp was closed due to operational problems and that we would be staying in a hotel In the centre of janjanbureh. Although slightly disappointed we were fine with this as mark (the owner) gave us some other options including staying at another lodge (nemasu, which was excellent) for part of our trip which we did and we really enjoyed it. The days leading upto the river trip we heard a few bad things about where we were due to be staying, so we were becoming a bit nervous about it, and a bit annoyed that we weren't staying at the camp. We shouldn't of worried at all tho, we stayed at baobolong annexe and it was excellent, the food was good, the rooms were good (although it was a bit noisy at night), and the staff were all good. We helped cook lunch one day which was fun, walked round the local market and went on several birding trips and one fishing trip where we saw a crocodile, a snake, and lots more birds. The trips up and down the river were amazing to, we saw lots of birds, chimpanzees, hippos, and monkeys and on the way up had a unforeseen adventure that we or any of the other passengers or crew will probably never forget!!
Overall hidden gambia were an excellent tour operator, and mark, who stayed at baobolong annexe is doing a fantastic job over there. We will definitely visit again one day.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Pppmacca43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4 - 8 of 68 reviews

Reviewed 19 February 2013

Words can't even begin to describe how magical and special Bird Safari Camp is!
It is the heart of The Gambia and the closest you will ever get to experiencing real Africa.
Mark is extremely knowledgeable about the country, he and his lovely staff will ensure you have a wonderful experience staying at the camp. I visited with my mum, we took the boat up the river all the way to the camp, it was both a real adventure as well as a truly relaxing experience. We saw river dolphins, crocodiles and hippos!
If you are a wildlife lover, an adventure seeker, or just looking to chill out in a peaceful hideaway then you have to go!! Just be warned... you won't want to leave!!

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Kept123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2013

We have recently returned to England after a fabulous 2 week holiday in The Gambia thanks largely to the superb organisation offered By Mark Thompson of the company Hidden Gambia. We asked to stay near the coast for a few days and then up river for 5 days and then the rest of the time near the coast. We didn't want to stay in the large hotels on the coast and Mark arranged for us to stay in eco-lodges throughout. We stayed at Farakunku lodge for 3 nights which had just 4 really nicely appointed "bungalows" and then wemade the trek up river via a combination of 4x4 and river boat stopping on the way at Tendaba camp which to be fair was a bit basic but hey it adds to the adventure. WE then spent 4 nights at the old town of Georgetown, now renamed Janjanbureh where the staff and the food, freshly prepared were excellent and very welcoming. The last 4 nights were at Footsteps lodge 25mins walk from the deserted beach. We wanted this to be a wildlife adventure and we were supplied with a nature guide (sometimes 2!) every day as well as a driver. They were superb and every day was different. We managed to see all the monkey species, crocodiles, hippos, bats, mongoose as wel as over 270 species of birds. If you decide to visit the Gambia, please don,t just stick around the tourist hotels but get out and see the wonderful country with its really friendly people. I highly recommend Mark Thompson and Hidden Gambia to enable you to get the best out of your time there

Room Tip: Go for the eco lodges. In addition to the 2 above, try Nemasu or Sandele or Kartong
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Howie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2013

My wife and I visited The Gambia over Christmas and New Year 2012/13. Our itinerary was arranged through Hidden Gambia Holidays which is owned and operated by Mark Thompson. We arrived in The Gambia on Christmas day and spent our first four days on the coast in Hisbisus House, a lovely boutique hotel in Brufut away from the main tourist areas. Our itinerary then took us on a journey up the river Gambia mainly by boat. This was a fantastic two day journey spent in the company of a small group of fellow travellers (9 of us in total) with an overnight stay at Tendaba camp. This was a very peaceful and relaxing way to see the real Gambia where very few tourists go. Our second night was due to be spent at Bird Safari camp but due to operationl resons we were redirected to Baolong Annexe in Georgetown. Here we were met in person by Mark Thompson and his wife who made us very welcome. The following day was New Year's eve. The morning was spent leisurely either exploring Georgetown and it's history with one of Mark's wonderful staff or going bird watching with one of his very knowledgable guides. Mid afternoon we were taken by Mark and his staff down by the river where they had set up a lounging and dining area by the water. We spent the rest of the day socialising with our fellow travellers, Mark, his wife and staff. As darkness decended, a bonfire was lit and later we had a sumptious BBQ and banquet befitting the occasion. We were entertained by African drumming provided by the staff and celebrated and danced our way to midnight and into 2013. What a fantastic way to celebrate New Year! The next day we travelled back to the coast arriving at Hibiscus House in time for dinner. We spent our last three days there exploring the coast from north to south. The whole trip was co-ordinated by Hidden Gambia from airport pick up to drop off and went without a hitch. We certainly had a fantastic holiday we shall remember for a long time to come. Thanks to Mark and all his team.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank TJPoole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2012

Spent 8 days in The Gambia in May and am only now getting around to submitting this review... better late than never! Mark Thompson, the owner/operator of Hidden Gambia Holidays and Bird Safari Camp, arranged our trip from start to finish and on very short notice. We could not have asked for better service or a better host. We began our stay with a couple of days at the Lemon Creek Hotel Resort in Bijilo and used that as a base for trips to Serekunda, Banjul, and Tanjir. The resort is a pretty little place with nice clean rooms and a terrific staff who go out of their way to be friendly and welcoming. We made part of the journey up river by boat (with one stretch on the Solar Queen and one on the Lady Hippo), and the other part by road (one stretch on the South Bank and one on the North Bank). We stayed at Tendaba Lodge on the way up river. This accommodation is VERY basic, but we enjoyed a great boat trip into the Baobalong wetlands and a bird-watching hike with Ebrima, as well as having the chance to watch the Euro Champions league final with folks from the village (Chelsea has some BIG fans in The Gambia). As we traveled up river we saw chimps, hippos, and lots and lots of birds, of course. We then spent a couple of nights at Bird Safari Camp with just two other guests (a big advantage of traveling at low season) and had a wonderful stay. We went fishing for tiger fish (but didn't catch any), visited Janjanbureh town, went to Basse Quarry to see the bee-eaters, and spent half a day in a small village across the river. Anything we were interested in doing, the staff was there to help us. The tent-style accommodation was great (we can vouch for the fact that it holds up well in a thunderstorm) as was the food. But most of our good memories of out time in The Gambia revolve around the people we met there. We are already looking at plans to return and visiting BSC again.

Room Tip: The tents by the river are great.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Brenda K K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Bird Safari Camp

Address: MacCarthy Island | Central River Region, Janjanbureh, Gambia
Region: Gambia > Central River Division > Janjanbureh
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Janjanbureh
Number of rooms: 10

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