Around 3km north of the fishing village of Tanji is the Tanji Bird Reserve. It was established in 1993, and its 6 square kilometres is made up of woodland, scrub and lagoons including mangrove swamps and reefs, and it encompasses the Bijol Island (Kajonyi), Gambia’s only offshore island. These different environments attracts a wide range of more than 300 bird species which offer a fantastic opportunity for bird watching. Tanji Bird Reserve is only a few minutes drive from Kotu. Tanji Bird Reserve is one of the Gambian officially protected areas, and is an excellent birding site.
A good time for a Guided Bird Tour with experienced Bird Guide, Ebou Barry, to Tanji Bird Reserve is late afternoon, when a vast number of special birds can be seen. These include Green Crombec, White-crested Helmet-shrike, Northern Black Flycatcher, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, African Green Pigeon, Grey-headed Bush Shrike, African Pygmy Kingfisher and African Golden Oriole.
Other birds to be seen at Tanji Bird Reserve are Yellow-legged Gull, Kelp Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Pomarine Skua, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Sulphur-breasted Bush Shrike, Giant Kingfisher and Four-banded Sandgrouse. Many European migratory birds make this reserve their first port of call. Over thirty species of birds of prey have been sited.
The main features of the village are its bonga fish smoking houses, the lines of African pirogues and fishermen and housewives lining the shore and haggling over prices. There is also a market incorporated into the seaside village selling plastic bowls and other goods.
It could be described as a 'Living Museum'. The exhibits are clearly labelled and explanations given about each including the vegetation section. You can also talk to and interact with the craftsmen at work. There’s also a nature trail and a crafts area, plus a small restaurant serving traditional food and drink which sometimes puts on live music and dancing shows, too. There is also a Mandinka traditional family compound on display in the museum complex. The museum is well worth visiting if you want to get away for a quiet bit of cultural tourism. Look out for the local honey on sale.
The museum is actually more like an African village, with mud and thatched huts containing displays of traditional artefacts and furniture.
For latest information about guided birding tours and pricing at Bird Tours Gambia please see the Contacts Page
While at Tanji Bird Reserve, it is also worth visiting Tanji Fishing Village and Tanji Museum.
|Bird Tours Gambia Credits|
|Testimonial 24th Feb - 10th Mar 2014|
|Testimonial 4th Nov - 20th Nov 2013|
|Testimonial 1 Mar - 15 Mar2013|
|Testimonial - 13th - 24th November 2014|