14 days plus extension
An expedition is defined as a journey undertaken by a group of people with a particular purpose, especially that of research, and our Project Wild Gambia team delivers precisely that. We have been conducting valuable research for the last 20 years with the help of participants from our conservation research expeditions.
Our conservation research expeditions (open groups) and university field courses (usually closed groups) are suitable for all participants including individuals with little knowledge of conservation, wildlife organisations and academic groups as the first week provide an excellent introduction to African wildlife. We only require you to have a passion and interest in wildlife as our British zoologists and Gambian experts will accompany you every day, offering insight that no other trip provides.
What to expect
For over 20 years, we have specialised in formulating ‘world-class’ inspirational trips to The Gambia. We pride ourselves in allowing individuals to gain real-life, hands-on conservation experience with leading professionals, where they can live and breathe the social, economic, physical and emotional challenges conservationists encounter.
During your expedition, you will delve into the African bush and be presented with unique opportunities such as researching Critically Endangered (CR) primates, hippos or even discovering a new shark species; anything is possible in The Gambia.
Participants will gain a new understanding of the threats climate change and exploitation has on ecosystem function and a new urgency for encouraging the restoration of habitats, mitigation of human-wildlife conflict and recovery of species from the brink of extinction.
Our expeditions and field courses are 14 days long and packed with inspiring conservation opportunities! The first week will be an excursion of the highlights and main habitats found in this incredibly diverse country, maximising your chances of seeing the widest range of species possible. The second week of the expedition is focused on research, data collection and conservation initiatives of your project choice. This is just an example itinerary as we try not to give too much away about what you will experience in the smiling coast.
Our team are more than happy to prepare bespoke trips to create the most awe-inspiring expedition or field course which is educational and leaves a huge impact on both you and the wildlife. We can adjust activities, duration and trip dates to suit each group. Specialist trips can be prepared; for example, herpetology focused trips will take place for organisations such as the Cumbrian Amphibian and Reptile Group (CARG). These trips will take place during the wet season, in order to optimise sightings of amphibians. Activities will include surveys to fill in the huge gap in information regarding amphibians in The Gambia and setting up a breeding programme for the vulnerable West African dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis) that was rediscovered in the country, by our team.
It’s always fun to welcome new faces to The Gambia! After the flight from the UK, often departing in grey, cold conditions, the explosion of heat, bright sunlight, vivid colours and huge smiles can be a lot to take in.
After arriving at the hotel we will head out for an evening walk along the beach, dipping our toes in the warm, tropical Atlantic as lines of egrets head to roost and the sun dips into the horizon. We will beachcomb as we walk while keeping our eyes on the tropical forest at the back of the beach. If we’re lucky, monkeys may be seen and distinctly tropical species will call from the edge of the jungle, including the bizarre palm-nut vulture, Senegal coucal and little bee-eater. By the end of the walk, the sun will be gone and bats come out to forage along the forest edge.
In the evenings we head to “the strip” for food and occasionally drinks and dancing. On other nights we will go on walks through natural habitats to find geckos, whip scorpions, and many other nocturnal species. We may also have drinks and a little bonfire on the beach!
ARRIVAL AND BEACH
expedition and field courses costs and dates
Our 14-day conservation expeditions and field courses cost £950 (£475/week) and are available all year round. This includes accommodation, a hearty breakfast, park admission fees, research permits, guide fees and group transport in The Gambia. Prices do not include flights.