Bird Safari Camp lies up-river on the tropical river banks of MacCarthy Island in The Gambia.
We are located approximately 200 miles (300Km) inland in the fresh water region of The Gambia, close to the River Gambia National Park. You can reach us from the coast either by road or river (see below).
Map of MacCarthy Island
By far the best way to travel inland is by boat. We have 2 boats - the Safari Queen and Lady Hippo which sail up and down the river on a regular basis, enabling you to discover the wildlife and nature along the way. Click here for further information on holidays to The Gambia
Beware of looking at a map and thinking the journey will take about 4 hours... Gambian roads up-country are known to have the odd pothole (see photo) and driving all the way will usually take you a minimum of 6 hours, sometimes much longer.
Since Bird Safari Camp was built in 1998, the south bank road has deteriorated considerably (although they are working on it!). The north bank road is now is good condition, although you will need to cross on the public ferry between Banjul and Barra. This can cause considerable delays and frustration - so we wouldn't really recommend car hire as a means of reaching us.
Not for the faint hearted! Bush taxis are basically shared taxis for people with a similar destination and only leave when all seats are taken. They're OK if you're young, adventurous and are visiting The Gambia on a shoestring budget. However, you must be prepared to travel along with a few chickens, angle-iron seats at knee-cap height and maybe a live goat strapped on to the roof rack!
Rather than attempting the south bank road, you'll be better off crossing from Banjul to Barra on the (crowded) public ferry. N.B. Although crime levels are generally very low in The Gambia, you should be wary of pickpockets here. The ferry crossing takes approx 1 hour. Once you disembark, you'll need to carry your bags to the bush taxi 'garage' which is some distance from the ferry, perhaps 1 km. Expect hot, dusty chaos - and who knows, you might be pleasantly surprised?
Some bush taxis run all the way to Georgetown (a.k.a. Janjangbureh or MacCarthy), though most only go as far as Farafenni where you will be directed to another vehicle for the second leg of your journey. You may also need to change vehicles in Kau-ur and Wasu. On arrival at the ferry terminal in Lamin Koto, opposite Georgetown, you can either cross on to the island and negotiate a taxi to Bird Safari Camp (3 km - approx D300), or do the sensible thing and give us a call to see if we can collect you by boat (also D300, which we'll waive if you're staying with us for more than one night).
Unfortunately there is no longer any public bus service to speak of on the south bank as the roads have had the better of these. There are some buses which operate along the north bank (big green ones). They tend to be quite busy and don't really run to a timetable, but if you're determined to travel up to Georgetown as cheaply as possible, they might be an option for you?
As said above, you won't regret travelling here - at a relaxed pace, by boat - with Hidden Gambia holidays.
Email: Please contact us via our www.hiddengambia.com web site
Tel: (220) 7336570 / 6467381
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