Posted by: tim ellis | July 15, 2007

Friday June 29, 2007

We set off for the Abuko nature reserve, stopping only to visit the Scout Divisional Commissioner at his day job in the technical college, and Baboucarr’s bank, which, it being Friday, is shut until 4:00pm. In order that he can visit a different branch this afternoon we call in to his Serrekunda compound to collect his ID (and Madi and Modou).

A guide takes us around the nature reserve, where we see green vervet moneys, red colobus, bushbuck, crocodiles and agami, as well as hyena, baboons, tortoises and vultures in the animal orphanage in the centre of the reserve.

Our next scheduled stop is the reptile farm at Kartung, but first we have to visit the bank in Brikama, which takes an hour… Theoretically this means we are too late for the reptile farm, especially as we miss it the first time and have to turn back to find the turning (it is down a dirt track off the main road). Fortunately the owner, a Frenchman, is happy to show us around. He ha built the place up as a research institute from nothing, and lets Gambians in for free to try and educate them about snakes. The fee for tourists is a hardly extortionate 100 Dalassies (about £2) for a guided tour with an interesting and knowledgeable guide (the owner).

Our trip home is broken only by a side trip to see off the Scout Band, who are heading up to the camp house for tomorrows big day.

We eat out again tonight, this time at the “African Queen”.

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