From the town Basse Santa Su in Gambia.
My trip to Gambia and Senegal in February 2004 was a great experience. We started in the Gambian town of Banjul at the Atlantic Sea at the coast of West Africa, and during a week, we moved eastwards into the African wilderness, following the direction of the Gambia River into the neighbouring country of Senegal and back - altogether a trip of more than 1.000 kilometres. However, the 55 kilometres were spent onboard an open boat on the Gambia River between Jang Jang Bureh (former Georgetown) and Basse Santa Su, enjoying the beautiful landscape and the exotic birds. From Basse, we crossed the border of Senegal and continued into the huge sanctuary Nikkolo Koba where we stayed 2 days, watching hippos, crocodiles and a rich variety of exotic birds. However, the greatest experience was the encounter with the local people with their tradition and culture. Their way of living is so different from western life that you sometimes felt like visiting another planet.I have visited Africa several times, but most of my travels have been to the North African countries at the Mediterranean coast like Morocco, Tunesia and Egypt where the people and the culture are very different from the area south of the Sahara desert. However, many years ago, during the summer 1972, I travelled around in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania) after having joined a work camp project in Kenya, arranged by a Danish help organisation. Ever since that visit, I have had a desire to revisit the black Africa with its special colours, sounds and sceneries, and that wish came trough during my recent West African trip. It's fascinating, that although the language, the culture and the landscapes are very different from East Africa, there is something undefinable connecting the huge continent when you are south of the Sahara Desert. Some of the keywords are the people's musicality, their language and their way of thinking - and of course the hot climate, which in many ways creates common vital necessities.
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