Parc National du Delta du Saloum Travel Guide
Also common to this region, is the growing of various grain. On our way to the coast we came across the interesting grain storage by the side of the track.
The finished product
The finished product - mussels cleaned, boiled and ready to eat, are now dried on mats on the ground before being sold in the local markets. It is a very labour intensive process for very little return, but at least it provides an income for the villagers.
Preparing the mussles
The next step in the process is to boil the mussels to get the shells to open up. In the background you can see the huge mountain of mussel shells which is left over after the edible part has been extracted.
Making a living
The inhabitants of this village make their living by collecting mussels from the surrounding mangroves. The mussels have to be manually cleaned as a first step in the process.
We also visited a very different village on one of the many islands, where we were free to walk amongst the huts and the women working. This village had a very different and much friendlier feel to it than the fishing village. The people were very welcoming and charming,...
This being a river delta, fish is plentiful here and most of the population make a living from fishing. We visited a small fishing village on ther banks of the river, to see how they catch, dry and prepare the fish.
Most of the fish which is caught around these waters are air dried on large tables along the coast, before being sold in the local markets.
The ancient baobab tree
Known as the 'upside down' tree because its bare branches look like roots jetting out into the sky, the baobab tree dominates the landscape in this reagion. A local tale tells that devil himself uprooted the tree and placed it upside down. The baobab is also believed to have...
Keur Saloum: A welcome retreat
The lodge is situated on the riverside with its own jetty where boat trips of the area can be arranged. There is a nice pool and the restaurant was super.
Small rondavels dotted around a shady garden, each with a comfortable bedroom and en suite shower. Very welcome after a...
The safest way is to use the green tourist taxis
WanderingFinn 353 reviews
In Gambia (at least to/from the tourist areas) you can get with the green tourist taxis. In some villages they have their fares written down to a table; e.g. how much does it cost to go to a certain village and back. The fares always include a 2 hours' waiting time (if you want to go for a dinner for example). These drivers are loyal, don't overcharge and are trustworthy. They are not necessarily the cheapest ones. A nice thing is, that if you get along well, the driver usually gives his visit card (or you may ask for one), and you can always call to the same driver to pick you up whenever you have a need to go anywhere. They are super flexible and do whatever they can to satisfy your needs.
If you want a cheaper drive, you should try a local taxi. They are yellowish-green, with a stripe on a side. The cars are a bit older and most probably don't have safety belts. These drivers are trustworthy too, and a lot cheaper. The only thing is that they are not allowed to drive to the touristic areas, so you have to walk (not long) and agree a place if you are not lucky enough to catch one. The same applies when you come back at night; they have to leave you somewhere before the touristic area begins (but it is not many hundred meters).
Third opportunity is to take the public transportation which is not recommended. It is like in India's poor cities or corresponding places - they are not actually buses but small buses and vans which are filled with double or triple times the amount of people. Not everyone has a seat; many have to stand and try to hold on from something. Drivers drive fast. But if you want to try or don't have much money - this is for you. It doesn't cost practically anything.
Written Jan 7, 2007
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- Road Trip
In most of the villages in this region, there are no washing machines, launderettes or even running water in the homes - the river dounles as their washing machine.
Even though 90% of the population of Senegal proclaim to be Muslim, animistic beliefs are still very common in rural villages. An animist believes that all earthly objects pocess a soul or spirit. Altars such as this one are found in many villages, with various sacred...
Approaching the fishing village by boat, we were told by the guide to not take any photos in the village of the local people as they were really quite hostile. We did not find the people here very friendly at all, and heeded the warning.
The mini bus we were driving from the Gambia across into Senegal, was not air conditioned, so the only way to keep cool was to have all the windows open. The roads are just dry, sandy tracks, which means that all the dust is blown into your vehicle.By the time we reached the...
Aggressive sales people
Outside the lodge was a small tourist market which sold various local crafts and trinkets. We wanted to have a look around, browsing mainly, but with a view to possibly buying a small mementoe of our visit. We found the sales people very rude, most unpleasant and downright agressive, making the whole visit most unenjoyable.
Unique Suggestions: Instead of spending our time looking for something to buy, we just wanted to escape to the sanctuary of the lodge. We ended up buying our souvenirs from the lodge gift shop!
Fun Alternatives: We went inside one of the small shops on invitation of its owner. When we didn't find anything to our liking, the owner started to verbally attack us, accusing us of misleading him, deliberately keeping him poorr, racial prejudice and worse! I wish we'd never gone inside!
Written Jan 24, 2005
I love sunset photos. In this region the sunsets were rather misty affairs, because of the amount of dust in the air, as you can see from the sand blown up by the lorry on the far right of this picture.
It had been a long and hot day in a tatty old bus with no air conditioning. With the windows open on the dry tracks across the coutryside, the bus became full of dust. We were covered from head to toe in a layer of ed sand (see photo under Warnings and Dangers).
Although we did find many of the local people hostile and aggressive, the people we visited on the island village were most charming.
The women who were cleaning mussels were cheerful, happy, friendly and beautiful! It was a true delight to wander around the island.