Senegal
Keur Dâli

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    • Day 97

      Senegal: Bandia Wildlife Preserve

      March 18, 2023 in Senegal ⋅ ☀️ 88 °F

      Part 2 of our day in Senegal (actually, part 1 since we went here first thing to improve our chances for seeing wildlife) …

      The 3,500 hectare Bandia Wildlife Reserve is considered an ecological jewel in Senegal. From what I understand, many of the fauna native to the country had disappeared over time. Some due to urban growth. Others due to poaching. Thus, according to the website, the idea behind developing Bandia was to create “… a small-scale Ngorogoro Crater … . In the grandiose setting of giant baobabs, thorny scrub, and lush vegetation … .”

      Once we arrived at the game reserve, we piled into a game vehicle … open air, with three rows of staggered bench seats that could accommodate three people each. In our case, even with Oumar and Ismail (the park ranger) joining us for the game drive, it was nice that no one had to sit in the middle.

      We’d already seen some vervet monkeys scavenging around while we were waiting for the game vehicle to arrive. But once inside the reserve, we came to a couple of fenced enclosures … ostriches, tortoises, and a sleeping hyena. My heart sank. Were we going to be seeing all of the animals like this?

      Then, almost immediately, we began to see free-roaming animals.

      During our nearly two-hour game drive, we saw Rothschild giraffe; impala with the signature “M” on their butts; roan antelope; white rhino; warthog; zebra; savannah buffalo; ostrich; long-tailed glossy starling; ox pecker; patas monkey … aka red monkey; African spoonbill; common eland and Derby eland (for which Bandia runs a conservation program); crocodile.

      It was a terrific “mini-safari” experience … even with no predators (except for the hyena that is kept in an enclosure) or elephants.

      We did a two-week photo safari in Botswana in 2009 and have been trying to find space in our travel calendar to return to Africa to repeat the experience. Today’s game drive solidified that desire.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Keur Dâli, Keur Dali

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