Senegal day twelve
12.02.2016 - 12.02.2016
Our final night of this trip had been spent in Gambia, as it would have been impossible to do the long drive back from Fimela in Senegal, catch the unreliable Barra-Banjul ferry and be confident of making it to the airport in time for any flight, let alone the regular chartered mid-afternoon one to London. The bonus was a few final hours in the hot African sun before flying back to the February chills of home.
Sunrise, Kotu Beach
The balcony of our top floor room at the Kombo Beach Hotel gave us a great view of a lovely sunrise through the palms.
And after a decent buffet breakfast we took a walk along the beach.
On Kotu Beach
There was just time too to head along the road to a popular Kotu Beach spot. The road that leads off to the Kombo Beach and a few other hotels crosses the Kotu Stream, and the bridge here is a popular spot for bird-watching. In fact, at 10.30 every morning you can come and watch the vultures being fed. That would have been a bit late for us, with a flight to catch, but even earlier in the morning there was plenty of activity to enjoy.
The view from Kotu Bridge
The downside was that, as everywhere in The Gambia, we were hassled by would-be guides, taxi drivers, boat owners and sellers of all kinds, both during our walk and while standing on the bridge trying to take photos or simply enjoy the view.
I did my best to repel or tune out those clamouring to sell me a tour or drive me anywhere else other than here, and found this despite the hassle a pleasant place to while away some time. Bird sightings were good and included various herons (a Western Reef Heron and a Grey Heron), Hooded Vultures, Long-tailed Cormorants, a Spur-Winged Lapwing, Pied Kingfishers, a Red-eyed Dove, Wide-tailed Swallows, Whimbrels and more.
Western Reef Heron, and Grey Heron
As well as the birds we enjoyed watching the fishermen with their traditional nets.
Fisherman by Kotu Bridge
There was a small and rather exposed hide right by the bridge, and there may well have been others along the nature trail but we didn't have time to explore that as we had to get back to the hotel for our airport pick-up.
Our flight home was so uneventful I kept no notes! And after an equally uneventful overnight stay at Gatwick’s Hilton hotel, we braved the chill of London and headed home.