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MacCarthy Island Central River Region, Janjanbureh Gambia
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#2 of 5 Specialty lodging in Janjanbureh
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Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Laundry service


MacCarthy Island Central River Region, Janjanbureh Gambia
70Reviews2Q+A9Room tips
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Albeit too late (we visited quite a while ago) I just want to say that for my husband and I this was one of our most memorable life experiences . We found Bird Safari Camp to be a magical place which provided us with unique opportunities to meet local people and the privilege of finding out something of their lives and culture. Also the thrill of being so close to the wildlife has been unequalled. I would not have swapped any of it for a sanitised safe safari which unfortunately a lot of reviewers seem to have wanted. So Mark, if you read this thank you for giving us the time of our life.
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Closed down. Its no longer operating ,its finished,tax reasons,kaput.non longer operating,only janjanbureh guest house left in the area,nothing left here.The other guesthouse in the area is the Boabolong guesthouse,very nice ,situated on the river you can have various excursions including boat trips to see the chimps,crocodiles and hippo,they also do fishing trips for Tigerfish and Vundu Catfish,nice place to stay.
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Response from Mark T, Owner at Bird Safari Camp
Responded May 5, 2018
Yep, it's all over. But nothing to do with "tax reasons" (where did you hear that?!). Much more to do with a corrupt lawyer / politician who decided to register all the shares in his "nephew's" name, thus defrauding several bona fide foreign investors to The Gambia... and making his own countrymen & women that much poorer :-(
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Sadly, this once beautiful camp is now a shadow of its former self. Dirty, uncared for with staff (if you can find any) who have no idea of how to look after tourists. While the camp used to have excellent facilities,now it is run down and just a shell. Avoid at all costs.
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I was looking for a place outside the village and ended up in this place that was now in ruins. Wat was left were a few tents with a stone sanitary part. There was no running water So I got water from the river that I had to purify. There were two men who looked after the remains of once a nice place. I think TripAdvisor should remove this place from their site.
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As others have said words can't begin to describe the thrill of the adventure with Hidden Gambia which is run by Mark Thompson. Due to tough circumstances beyond Mark Thompson's control we were unable to stay at his Bird Safari Camp, which he has worked so hard to create, creating welcome business and employment for locals. Mark went the extra mile to reorganise our trip with 3 nights at the Baobolong Annexe in Janjanbureh, one night at Tendaba and two at Nemasu lodge on the coast. It was non-stop excitment with 7 boat trips, a stunning sunset combined with full moon rise, beating drums by a BBQ banquet, beautiful birds, thrilling wildlife and freshly cooked food with local ingredients. Adventures like this are difficult for us with challenging arthritic problems but Mark's thoughtful touches to secure seats we could manage and hire bikes for us one morning made this holiday of a lifetime possible. The Hidden Gambia staff were friendly and excellent to spend time with. Our room at Tendaba was very acceptable - in fact much larger and lighter than the one at the Annexe and hence much easier to manage. The food at Tendaba was weak compared with elsewhere but more than compensated by the magnificent boat trip though the mangroves. We just pray that Bird Safari Camp will return to Hidden Gambia very soon so that future travellers and all the local businesses and staff can continue to benefit from Mark Thompson's dedication to the Gambia for many years to come. Thanks!
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Response from Mark T, Owner at Bird Safari Camp
Responded Aug 23, 2013
BIRD SAFARI CAMP IS CURRENTLY CLOSED First of all, a big thank you to all our clients who have stayed at Bird Safari Camp over the years and especially if you have taken the time to write a review on Trip Advisor. Unfortunately, we are currently experiencing some frustrating difficulties at the up-river lodge I built 15 years ago. This involves our Gambian director who should own 3% of the camp, but is claiming to be the sole proprietor based on flawed documents drawn up by our solicitor, his 'uncle', in 1998. Mr. Bithaye has been occupying the premises with his wife & family since July 2012 and is denying both me and our staff access to the company. He appears to have been backed by some unscrupulous men in high places, one of whom, the ex-Minister for Justice, has been remanded in jail and is facing various charges of corruption and misuse of power. We have discovered that over £12,000 of company property has gone missing since Mr. Bithaye has been residing at Bird Safari Camp; however, the police have taken no action against him. By contrast, it took them only a few hours to arrest me for "stealing" my own property when I recovered my solar-powered boat from the camp in November 2012! The boat is still being held by the police "on neutral territory", despite the fact that I have shown proof of ownership. A long awaited report by the Company Registrar came out recently; however, it is extremely biased towards the interests of Mr. Bithaye and despite the Registrar's own conclusion that "Mark Thompson could be considered as a bona fide director and shareholder of Bird Safari Camp", he is still refusing to register my shares and those of the other investors. Until that happens, we cannot legally remove Mr. Bithaye from the premises. We did operate my UK-registered tour operation, Hidden Gambia Holidays, last season (2012/13) - without Bird Safari Camp - as I wanted to honour our commitments to our existing clients (we even transferred all of our BSC staff to another lodge), but it just wasn't the same. The alternative accommodation in town isn't nearly as nice as Bird Safari Camp and whilst we made every effort to ensure that food & drink etc. was of a high standard, the overall experience fell far short of what we would like to offer. Given the current situation (August 2013) with no camp and no boat(!), I have decided to suspend our Hidden Gambia operations for the 2013/14 season, fight our legal battles in court - and hopefully resume business from November 2014. So, I'm sorry we won't be able to help out this winter, but provided all goes well, we'd love to welcome you up-river in 2014/15. Even if there's only a slight chance you might wish to join us, please register your details on our Hidden Gambia web site and I will keep you informed of developments. As a token of appreciation for your support, you will also receive an "early bird" discount on our 2014/15 holidays. Thanks again for your interest in staying at Bird Safari Camp. I hope to see you there soon and look forward to helping you plan your next holiday to The Gambia! Kind regards, Mark Thompson PS. Warm greetings also from Binta, Sam, Salif, LB, Yaya, Abdou, Isatou and the rest of our wonderful staff !
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GambiaCentral River DivisionJanjanbureh
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Frequently Asked Questions about Bird Safari Camp
What are some of the property amenities at Bird Safari Camp?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
What food & drink options are available at Bird Safari Camp?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant during their stay.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Bird Safari Camp?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.