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Senegal

On this very comprehensive tour to one of the safest and most welcoming countries in West Africa we will visit a variety of habitats in search of a number of Sahelian specialities. Main targets include White-crested Tiger Heron, White-backed Night Heron, Scissor-tailed Kite, Savile’s and Arabian Bustards, Quail-Plover, Golden Nightjar, Little Grey Woodpecker, Sudan Golden Sparrow, Sennar Penduline Tit, Cricket Warbler and Mali Firefinch.

Next dates

11-26 January 2025

Tour length: 16 days

Group size limit: 8

Leaders:

Joachim Bertrands and a local leader

Guaranteed departure

11-26 January 2026

Tour length: 16 days

Group size limit: 8

Leaders:

Chris Venetz and a local leader

Spaces available

Last year’s tour report can be found here!

Day 1: The tour starts this evening at Dakar Airport. Overnight in the outskirts of the city.

Days 2-3: In the early morning we will head towards Podor, stopping en route near Richard Toll. While birding this semi-desert area for the next two days, we will be searching for several Sahelian specialities such as Cricket Warbler, Little Grey Woodpecker, Sudan Golden Sparrow, Sennar Penduline Tit and hopefully the amazing Golden Nightjar. We should also see a recently discovered colony of Horus Swifts, Black Bush Robin, Vieillot’s Barbet, Senegal Eremomela, Senegal Batis, African Collared Dove, Fulvous Babbler, White-rumped Seedeater and Pygmy Sunbird, as well as other widespread african species and palearctic migrants. Nights at Podor.

Day 4: After some early morning birding we will embark on the long drive towards Djoudj National Park, where we will focus our attention in finding the endangered Arabian Bustard. The little-known River Prinia should be seen easily too. Sheer numbers of waterbirds will be present here, and are definitely a highlight of any visit to Senegal. We will also see Greater and Lesser Flamingos, Great White Pelicans at their breeding colony, Fulvous Whistling Duck, Allen’s Gallinule, Greater Painted Snipe, and many others. Overnight at Djoudj camp.

Day 5:  We will spend the morning doing a very enjoyable boat trip at the Djoudj, getting close-up views of many waterbirds. Afterwards we will head towards Saint Louis area, where we will spend the afternoon searching for the scarce Savile’s Bustard. Other species such as Temminck’s Courser and Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse are possible. At night we will search for the smart Northern White-faced Owl on the hotel grounds. Night near Saint Louis.

Day 6: Birding some coastal areas near Saint Louis should produce good numbers of shorebirds, gulls and terns, including the sought-after West African Royal Tern, as well as more River Prinias. In the afternoon we will pay another visit to the Savile’s Bustard area. Overnight near Saint Louis.

Day 7: Today we will drive towards Kaolack, stopping en route in a reliable area for the enigmatic Quail-Plover, where we will spend as much time as necessary searching for this rare species. Night at Kaolack.

Day 8: Today we will drive towards Wassadou, where we will spend 2 nights at the edge of Niokolo-Koba National park, followed by another 2 nights at Kedougou.We should encounter some vultures on the journey, that can include Rüppell’s, Lappet-faced, Eurasian Griffon, Hooded and White-backed, although sadly numbers have greatly declined in recent times. Sahel Paradise Whydah, amongst other more widespread species, is also possible on the journey. Overnight at Saint Louis.

Days 9-10-11: A number of interesting species will be searched for in this area, including the rare Mali Firefinch, as well as Stone Partridge, Adamawa Turtle Dove, Fox Kestrel, Violet Turaco, Sun Lark, Dorst’s Cisticola, Bronze-tailed Starling, Black-faced Firefinch, Lavender Waxbill, Gosling’s Bunting and Neumann’s Starling on an optional hike. Our boat trips at the comfortable Wassadou Camp should bring us up close with the fantastic Egyptian Plover, as well as African Finfoot, White-backed Night Heron, White-crowned Lapwing, Giant Kingfisher, Oriole Warbler and many more. The stunning Pel’s Fishing Owl is also present, but we will need some luck on our side to see it. A variety of raptors is possible here too, including the uncommon Beadouin’s Snake Eagle.

Day 12: After some morning birding near Kedougou we will drive towards Kaolack, making several birding stops on the way. Night at Kaolack.

Days 13-14-15: After some early morning birding, with a second chance of going to search for Quail-Plover if needed, we will pay an afternoon visit to the incredible Scissor-tailed Kite and Lesser Kestrel roost site, which can hold tens of thousands of birds at this time in January! We will then drive to our lodge by the Saloum Delta. During our time in the delta we will concentrate our efforts in finding the rare White-crested Tiger Heron by boat. We will also look for Greyish Eagle Owl, Four-banded Sandgrouse, the uncommon Yellow Penduline Tit, Blue-bellied Roller, Fine-spotted Woodpecker, amongst many other species. Nights at Toubacouta.

Day 16: After some early morning birding we will head north towards Dakar, where the tour will end in the evening.

 

 

 

Tour details

MAIN TOUR 2025
Cost:
$ 5,400
Deposit: $ 750
Single room supplement: $ 400

Accommodation: Medium to good standard accommodation throughout the tour.

Walking difficulty: Mostly easy roadside birding.

Tour cost includes: All accommodation, main meals, drinking water, internal flights (as stated in itinerary), overland transport, tips to local drivers and guides, travel permits, entrance fees, and guide fees.

Tour cost excludes: Flights before and after the tour start/end, visa, travel insurance, tips to tour leaders, laundry, drinks and other items of a personal nature.