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- A gray cat slinks past a wooden house. There’s something a little intimidating attempting to describe.
“I really enjoy your great photography and unique voice – it makes reading about all things Africa a real pleasure”. Ross Hudgens, Travelstart, South Africa
Chez Khady and Simon is an African farmhouse powered by solar energy, with an eclectic alternative library, hearty seasonal food fresh from the organic garden, music and dancing around the campfire, shady jungle hammocks and some chickens. It was a real bugger to build, but we did it. As well as running the lodge, I lead treks throughout the region, arrange music courses, teach photography and much more.
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Simon “Sherrif ” Fenton
I was born and educated near Oxford. After an early career in the morgues and pools of southern England I set off for Asia for several years, staying as far off the beaten track as possible. Travelling independently through bush, mountain, desert and jungle, I financed myself by teaching English and acting in Bollywood movies. Upon return to the UK, I realised that the beaten track was preferable to city life and went back to work as a pig farmer in Vietnam for four years.
Eventually, the call of the not particularly wild was heard, and I returned once more, living in Brighton, whilst setting up the award winning social enterprise StreetShine. A perfect storm of events re-ignited my wanderlust, however, and one day I realised I had forgotten to cross the Sahara.
Reader, I crossed it and as recounted on this site, have relocated to Senegal with my partner Khady and our son Gulliver to indulge in my three passions: travel, writing and photography. To date I’ve written two books in the adventure/travel/comedy/memoir genre: Squirting Milk at Chameleons and Chasing Hornbills. I am also updating the Gambia Bradt guide and contributed to their Senegal book.
Khady Mane was born into the Diola tribe and is from Kagnobo, a small village in the Casamance region of southern Senegal. As a young woman, she joined Casadamance, a troupe that toured and played all over Senegal. As Europe and greater stardom beckoned, the group broke down with power struggles and bickering, much to Khady’s dismay. It is often said that Khady is one of the best female dancers of the region. She returned to Abene and maintained her own independence from her family by working at various tourist lodges and it was at one of these she met me. As well as being a devoted mother, Khady has maintained her love of dancing and now teaches various traditional styles to tourists and visitors. She also whips up the best theiboudjenne in town!