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


Dani Lopez-Velasco and a local leader

Spaces available

Day 1: The tour starts this evening at Dakar Airport. Overnight at Saly Portudal.

Day 2: In the morning we will head to a good area for the enigmatic Quail-Plover, where we will spend some time searching for this rare species. Afterwards we will drive towards the Saloum Delta, where we will arrive in time for some initial exploration.  We will spend 3 nights at a comfortable lodge near the delta.

Days 3-4: During our time in the Saloum Delta we will concentrate our efforts in finding the rare White-crested Tiger Heron by boat. White-backed Night Heron, Goliath Heron and African Finfoot should be seen during our time here, and we also have chances of coming across Beadouin’s Snake Eagle, Standard-winged Nightjar and Four-banded Sandgrouse, amongst many other species. If conditions are right, we should see fair numbers of Scissor-tailed Kites and Lesser Kestrels at a roost site.

Day 5: 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.

Days 6-8: 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, Sun Lark, Dorst’s Cisticola, Gosling’s Bunting and Neumann’s Starling.  We should also see the fantastic Egyptian Plover, as well as African Finfoot, White-crowned Lapwing, Giant Kingfisher and Northern Carmine Bee-eater. Pel’s Fishing Owl and Yellow Penduline Tit are both present, but we will need some luck on our side to see any of these two rare species.

Day 9: Today we will drive towards Tambacounda, making several birding stops on the way. Night at Tambacounda.

Day 10: In the morning we will drive towards Saint Louis. 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. Overnight at Saint Louis.

Day 11: All day birding in Saint Louis area, searching for Savile’s Bustard in case we haven’t seen it earlier on the tour. We should also see West African Royal Tern, Double-spurred Francolin, Allen’s Gallinule, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Western Plantain-eater and Anteater Chat, as well as many other species. Overnight at Saint Louis.

Day 12: Today we will drive towards Djoudj National Park, where we will focus our attention in finding the endangered Arabian Bustard. We will also search for the little-known River Prinia. Large numbers of waterbirds might be present here, and we should also see numerous Greater and Lesser Flamingos and Great White Pelicans. Overnight at the national park.

Day 13:  Birding at Djoudj National Park, searching for anything we might have missed the previous day. In the afternoon we will drive towards Richard Toll, where we will overnight.

Day 14: All morning birding around Richard Toll, then we will head towards Podor, where we will spend the night.

Day 15:  All day exploring this semi-desert area, where 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 Black Bush Robin, Vieillot’s Barbet, Senegal Eremomela, African Collared Dove, Fulvous Babbler, White-rumped Seedeater and Pygmy Sunbird, as well as other widespread african species and palearctic migrants. Night at Podor.

Day 16: Early morning birding at Podor, then a long road transfer to Dakar where the tour will end in the evening.

Tour details

$ 4,800
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.