Once again, less than a week since my last visit, I was heading into the Karone islands south of Kafountine. This time leading three people on a trek from Abene to Cap Skirring one hundred kilometres or so to the south.
After a certain amount of investigation and discussion along the way, I think I’m probably the only person leading treks into this region and I’ve even had a couple of locals ask if I can take them along to see their country.
I’ve also discovered that I can operate these trips on slightly different levels of comfort – last time we were staying with local families whereas this time, aside from the first night, we stayed in guest houses and hotels as well as hiring boats and cars rather than relying all the time upon public transport. There’s a Casatrek to suit every budget.
Mart from Holland is a Little Baobab veteran having visited us a couple of times in 2014 when he documented the bird life in our garden. Jeremy and Carol from Minnesota were visiting for the first time and Jeremy, an eminent restaurant critic, delighted me by loving Khady’s food.
The tide was out when we arrived at Kassel and so we waded for several hundred meters down the mangrove channel where we met the boatman who took us across to our first island. I assured everyone that the crocodiles rarely attack.
Although the walks were not overly strenuous, I’d perhaps underestimated the heat – for myself its the cool part of the year. Jeremy and Carol had arrived two days earlier from the state where Fargo was filmed and temperatures dip to -20 degrees celsius or cooler.
We arrived into the village of Couba in the early evening as it cooled pleasantly and Jean-Christophe was happy to see me again, welcoming us into his home where we were given a large bowl of locally grown rice, catfish and yassa sauce.
We then ate grapefruits picked straight from the tree under a full moon and the African sky. It was simply wonderful.
Click here to read part 2: Three mad dogs and an English man