martedì 24 aprile 2012

Iles du Saloum

Our last excursion was on the Iles du Saloum which is the estuary between the rivers Sine and Saloum on the north of the Gambia. Here are a huge number of small isles, mangrove trees, baobabs, fromagere trees and lot of bolongs (swamp canals) with a mixture of salt and sweet waters. This is another wonderful wildlife sanctuary inhabited by over 250 birds species (herons, pelicans, terns) but also wild pigs, snakes, monkeys, manatees, dolphins, hyenas and turtles. We found quite easily an unconfortable "SeptPlace" ( collective taxi) where I had a nice talk with Mami Sonko, a pretty girl living in Dakar. We then searched in Toubacouta for a pirogue to take a visit of this beautiful park. Toubacouta seemed a quite desert hamlet, with many artesanal huts, almost no tourists. Probably the end of February means that the tourist season is almost finished anyway we spent lot of time to bargain a pirogue ballade at a decent price which was around 15.000CFA (something more than 20 euro) despite the first 30.000CFA request. The ballade was nice althought we lost the best time which is the early morning, we skipped the birds' isle (because we wished to finish the tour before the sunset, when the birds return to this isle) and headed to Ile de Coquillage (shell's isle). This Isle is wonderful, entirely made of shells, where there are beautiful beaches, clear waters, many trees and some huge baobabs, one of them used by the local sorcerers.
Returning to Kaolack was a completely different task, really difficult to find a minubus which stopped too many times and finally was even fined (thus a longer stop) because loaded some passengers from a local garage, stealing work to the SeptPlace.

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