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Janjanbureh
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53 - 58 of 70 reviews
Reviewed July 14, 2009

Bird Safari Camp is a fabulous contrast to staying on the coast. I thought it was a great deal, and really appreciated that I didn't have to think about anything as I was so well cared for! I enjoyed my trip to the camp so much that I extended and stayed an extra night. I am now booking my next trip in November and look forward to returning!

Travelling up to the camp by boat was fantastic, a leisurely afternoon spotting exotic birds along the river and watching the antics of the baboons in the trees. The sun setting was almost as spectacular as the moon rising reflected in the river - some of the best photos I took on my two week holiday!

I chose to stay in a safari tent (which barely felt like a tent it was so well equiped) and was delighted to wake up and be able to see the river from the tent. The dawn chorus was a lovely replacement for an alarm, and there was no need to seek the birds out as they are everywhere! We walked through the trees and took boat rides on the river, swam in the pool and relaxed in the sun.

Mark was a great host, playing guitar and making sure everyone had everything they needed at all times. The staff at the camp were friendly and made us all feel like we'd been there for ages.

As I said before - can't wait to return!

Date of stay: March 2008
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
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1  Thank egavaghan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2009

I went to Bird Safari Camp with my wife in Feb 2008 and have been meaning to give it a review since but haven't got round to it. It was such a terrible place, though, that it's worth me giving a review now if that will help to persuade people not to stay here.

It sounds like a lovely idea - riverside location, sleeping in a tent or in a thatched cottage, no electricity and lamps at night... But it's difficult not to think that the only reason that there isn't electricity is to save them money. The whole place is cheap - pretty grim food, staff are friendly, numerous, and hopeless when it comes to doing anything. We had a guide, Ibrahim, who wouldn't leave us alone. We bumped into one of the cooks in town and he "helped us out" - turned out he ripped us off on some money we exchanged. Not much, but you don't expect to get ripped off by hotel staff (not ripped off by much, but it was so obvious the way he did it...).

As for the hotel and facilities...in a country where peanuts are one of the main crops, they didn't have peanuts as a snack. The swimming pool was a bit of a building site. We were told there would be bicycles for rent - they didn't have brakes, not much of a seat, and they tried to charge us £1 an hour rent for each of them (more expensive than central London). We went for a "bird safari", which it turns out was a stroll through the forest for about an hour. On that basis, I went for a "safari" to the shops the other day. Went on a boat trip which was nice. Um, that's about it for the hotel facilities.

If you went there for an afternoon, you'd be charmed. If you stayed there for a night you might be. If you stay there for 6 nights, as we were meant to, you leave early. This is a lazily put together hotel, which charges a lot for the very little it gives. If you consider this sort of thing to be a taste of local culture, this is the place for you. If you recognise that it's a pretty cynical scam, then stay away.

Date of stay: February 2008
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Lincolnsinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2009

Bird Camp was an oasis in a very dry part of the Gambia when we went in April after returning from doing project work near Bangsang. As soon as we arrived we were welcomed by Mark and his staff with cold drinks, a cool verranda and views onto the river Gambia.

After we had chosen between safari tents or traditional round huts (we all went for tents right on the river bank) we had time for a dip, sunbathe or in my case a tour of Osmans Mandinka garden where we discussed the problems of termites and monkey and the growing conditions required for bananas. This was followed by learning how to wash clothes Mandinka style - really good way to get to know the locals even though my Mandinka was limited!

Then the real treat - a boat trip on the river to see the hippos. We saw 7 that day but up to 12 have been seen. The crew pointed out birds, baboons and various other natural attractions while we lazed on deck or got a suntan on the top of the boat. Once we turned back the boat stopped and some of us (including me) jumped in for a dip - fantastic!

That evening we were served with lovely food and finished up the evening chatting into the early hours about environmental tourism. Breakfast the next morning was filling and got us off to a good start for our long journey back to the coast. However next time I may do it by river - again something Mark can organise.

The best of all though was waking up to an orchestra of birds - absolutely amazing place and one I have already planned to return to with my family in October.

Date of stay: April 2009
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2  Thank heavenfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2009

If you don't mind living without a few luxuries and you want to get close to nature, then this is the place to be.
We recently spent five nights at Safari Bird Camp and enjoyed every minute of it.
Starting with the fantastic cruise up the river, including trips to a local village, into Janjanbureh, several bird watching walks with very knowledgable guides, a fishing trip, hippo spotting and just lazing about in and out of the pool.
The staff are very friendly and helpful, not on the scrounge all the time and the food is good.
Accomodation is basic, but adequate. We chose the tents as they were cooler and waking up to the bird song and looking out at the sunrise over the river was wonderful.
If you expect everything to be 100% and to run to a tight schedule, then you don't really understand the point of this place.
Bring a few good books, find a couple of trees to string your hammock, pick up a drink and chill out.
The lack of electricity was not a problem as the solar lanterns supplied were excellent - good idea to bring head torches though.

Date of stay: April 2009
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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1  Thank rcwisleofwight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2009

Great experience at Bird Safari Camp up river! Fascinating boat trip over the Gambia (hippos!), bird-watching with an experienced guide, friendly visits to neighboring villages, evenings with music and dance, good food, and much rest. The staff was very pleasant and accommodating and there were many hidden perks, such as free internet, free laundry, and guides and kora player included in the price.
This is not a luxury destination, but comfortable enough (yes, I slept very well on the concrete bed in the hut!) to give the lover of nature & wildlife, and of spontaneous encounters with the locals, a wondeful stay in a wonderful spot.

Date of stay: March 2009
  • Trip type: Traveled solo
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3  Thank groengras
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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