Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Kanilai and Tendaba

 We took another field trip this past weekend! This time we went to Kanilai which is about two hours up country and Tendaba which is 2 hours up country from Kanilai. 

Kanilai is the presidents village, where he grew up. It is still a village where people live, but the President Jammeh has built it up in his years of presidency. It is now also a safari and safari lodge. The safari lodge is like a very fancy restaurant with a beautiful pond and garden. The restaurant was amazing. A three course meal of vegetable soup, spaghetti (SO DELICIOUS) and pineapple dessert. I was in heaven with the food.
In the garden at the safari lodge
Then we went on the "safari." It's more of a zoo, but the kind of zoo where you can go in the animal cages lol so it's a bit different. Many of the animals were dead unfortunately.. They don't take too good care of the place. There used to be zebras, big cats like lions, wild dogs, giraffes and more. Now there are some camels, ostriches, hyenas, baboons and lots of goats...
We hope to go camel riding soon! 
Then we saw some crocodiles. Not as nice as the ones at the crocodile park. This one was HUGE too.. I wouldn't have gotten closer to that thing if you had paid me. 
THE HYENAS WERE SO CUTE! But really really big and I know they could eat me in one bite if they wanted to.. The Gambia has wild hyenas but luckily I have not encountered them and hopefully never will.

This is my father in The Gambia, Baboucarr Jallow!  His daughter is my toma and he is also our language and culture teacher, if you remember. He comes with us on all our trips. We got to hang out with a python around our necks for a bit... Not at all scary... I'm pretty sure the guy who was handling the snake was just some random guy too. Not at all a certified snake holder.
Our next stop was Tendaba. Established in the early 70's it was one of the first eco tourist accommodations in The Gambia. And of course it is beautiful. We stayed Friday and Saturday nights here. Right on the River Gambia.

I think this picture speaks for itself..
This looks fake but it's real I promise. Julbrews and a sunset. What more could you ask for?
This is our cabin! Bathrooms in the room and a fan! SCORE!

Saturday morning we went on a "safari." I say "safari" because the safari's in The Gambia are different than in South or East Africa. West Africa doesn't have any big cats anymore or elephants or giraffes. We saw lots and lots of birds and some baboons. It was a cool adventure in the jeep, though, and baboons are pretty cool! It was a beautiful morning, cool for here. But we were on the safari from 9 am to 1:30 pm so it got very hot and we all got sunburnt. We get to go on another safari in Senegal which we are all excited for!

We saw so many baboons, I can't count! We had a guide with us who was calling to them and they were calling back. They sounded so funny.

Of course whenever we passed by a village a bunch of kids came out running along the bus and yelling "tubab"
After lunch we went on a boat ride. It was a looong day in the heat, but we love our boat rides. We went down the River Gambia into some side creeks. We passed through the largest estuary in The Gambia. There was a lot of wildlife around. We saw a monitor lizard and a lot of birds. But there are crocodiles that live there as well as baboons with the occasional hippo.

We were exhausted, but the boat ride was relaxing and beautiful. 

Here is one of the many birds we saw, a huge pelican. Maribeth, the professors wife, loves birds so she kept track of all the birds we saw. We saw 61 different types of birds is what she counted. 
This is all for now, but I will probably put more pictures up of the trip later, so look out for em! All in all it was a nice trip. We left Tendaba on Sunday morning and of course we spent our Sunday afternoon at the beach. It's actually very popular for Gambians to spend Sunday's at the beach (at least in Kombo, the city area) after a long week working or going to school and then the weekend of cooking and socializing. Sunday is a rest day to recuperate. We are completely embracing this Gambian concept. Along with the Gambian concept of time (everyone always being late/taking their time), we've gotten very good at that one.. Look out for me soon, Inshallah (Literally: "God willing," kind of means hopefully, it's a very popular phrase in The Gambia because you never know if something is going to happen or it just isn't) 

1 comment:

  1. Soooo.... I finally got to catch up on your posts. I didn't get a chance to read for about 2 weeks. But now that I'm catching up, I can safely say I'm still jealous. :)

    Love all the pictures - especially the one with the Julbrews and sunset...