30 December 2017-4 January 2018
Saloum National Park is a must for birdwatching in Senegal ! beautiful mangroves, fresh water spots, wooded savannahs…enough to observe a beautiful diversity of species.
Unfortunately, despite the classification of the National Park, the management is very dubious: wood cutting, overfishing, hunting, chaotic constructions are common practice. Enough to worry about the conservation of this delta which has been listed as a World Heritage Site in 2011, as well as a biosphere reserve by Unesco and as a Ramsar site in 1984 for the importance of its wetlands.
Despite this, we had the good surprise to discover Fagaru center as well as its founder, Birame Diouf, a visionary Senegalese living between Norway and his native country. This center aims to preserve the surrounding forest, to draw up an inventory of animals and plants species and integrate young people from local communities in ecotourism and sustainable agriculture projects.
We stayed 7 days in this center, which has been a real haven of peace and naturalistic happiness. Indeed, Birame preserves this forest from all cuts and other intrusions and he has succeeded in saving its primary character.
Despite its small size, this forest remains exceptional : in only 6 days we were able to observe, among others, four distinct groups of Galagos, several species of snakes, two species of mongooses and hear four species of Owls.
Center website: http://www.fagaru.org/
From Fagaru center we have been as much on land as on water !
A special mention for the valley of Nema Bâ which offered us many surprises like a Giant Kingfisher, Jack snipe, Greater painted-snipe and a big African rock python.
Behind the village of Soucouta, next to Toubacouta, a splendid forest on the edge of the mangrove is suspended : an oversized tourist project not really endorsed by the villagers threatens it. Its ornithological richness is undeniable as we have seen for an afternoon.
The other visited sites :