Updated: May 7, 2019
We found them!
Where? Bandia Reserve is a 15 hectare (3,700 acre) wildlife reserve about 65kms (40 miles) drive from Dakar, Senegal.
You can shoot down the new A1 freeway or go the back way which is way more interesting.
Through market gardens
(Video of this is on my Instagram )
Off the black top road and into the Reserve.
We didn’t pre book, just rocked up and entry cost just under 30,000 CFA (US$60) for us to take our car (with up to 3 people in the car) as opposed to getting on the group truck, which I think was half that price. Once you get your ticket you have to line up and wait for a guide to hop into your vehicle with you. They only allow a certain number of vehicles in the park at one time.
That’s the group truck ahead of us.
We only had to wait about 20 minutes to get in and there are monkeys all around which are very entertaining to watch. They’re so cute.
The tour inside the reserve lasts for an hour and a half and you really do need the guide. It’s a maze of dirt tracks and the guides know where the animals are cause there are no enclosures. They are all roaming free. The best way to see them!!
Right inside the gate is the hyena enclosure. Looks like a villa ... Villa de Hyena???
They have to keep the hyena (we only saw one) in lock up cause they have breeding programs in the reserve and they don’t want the hyenas eating the babies.
This hyena was trying to catch a snooze but the guide clapped his hands and he popped his head up to see what was going on.
Ok there are two enclosures. The giant tortoises are in an enclosure also. Well you don’t want giant tortoises racing around everywhere!
They don’t have many species in this reserve so don’t worry I’m not going to be posting photos of hundreds of animals.
“Kiss my tail feathers!” said the female ostrich.
There are two white rhinoceroses (or is it rhinocerii?) in the park. The guide told us that their horns were cut off for their own protection. Otherwise they would still be under threat from poachers. I’ve seen quite a few YouTube’s where they still had their horns so it would seem this was a recent decision. And maybe it was for the protection of the warthogs! Check this out
I took a video but the only movement was an ear twitching now and then.
This gorgeous blue bird is an Abyssinian... something or other. After asking the guide to repeat the name twice I gave up. If any birdwatchers out there know what it is, please let me know.
This impala was all about posing for a photo!
See the zebras on the other side of the water hole?
And giraffes !!! Love these creatures. The guide told us they have 65 in the Reserve.
I managed to take a great video of the giraffes including one big old male, on my Instagram with an ostrich thrown in.
Here is a photo of him.
Apparently as they get older they get darker. He’s almost black.
Baobab trees are everywhere here. They live to over a thousand years old and the one below is over 600 years old. Because they live so long they become landmarks and were (are ?) used as meeting points for ceremonies. The insides of the trees decay and create caverns and this one is an example of one used as a cemetery.
The inside is filled with the bones of people who died and were placed inside. You can peer in through a large crack but I think layers of accumulated dust have covered everything so there was nothing to see except the two skulls I think they put out for the benefit of we tourists.
This is a very in-depth article about the role of Baobab trees in Africa.
Final stop was at the restaurant which overlooked the crocodile pond.
Those logs scattered around the waters edge are not logs! They’re crocodiles.
And of course there are monkeys everywhere.
This little guy was sitting in a tree right beside the tables where people were eating. I guess he thought he was at a people zoo.
The big cats are at Fathala Reserve which is too far away to do in one day and I only get a part day off at a time.
If you want to read more about this place here is
Next weekend I think will be Goree Island.