Back in October and just before my trip to Bissau (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4), I took some English clients on a walk to Kouba, one of the Karoninke islands to the south of Kafountine. This is my two day option for those that want to experience island life but can’t spare the one week or more to make the full Casa-trek.
We wandered through Abene, met the chief and then took a shared taxi to Kafountine, stocked up at the market and continued onto Kassel at the fringes of the great mangrove swamp.
It’s a short canoe ride across the river to the island – we were quite surprised to see a mammal staring at us from the mud flats amidst the mangrove roots – a weird black panda shaped bear/rodent type creature with big eyes – it seemed to be smiling. The boatman described it as a rat, but it wasn’t any type of rat I’d seen before. Later, I asked the question on our facebook group and concluded that it was a marsh mongoose.
On we went, walking across the island and arriving rather hot into the village of Hilol a couple of hours later. It’s not far past there to Kouba where we were staying with my friend Jean-Christophe. He was in Ziguinchor, but his son, Sadio, was expecting us and had some chicken yassa ready and waiting. Since my last visit, he’d managed to learn English. Which was nice. We walked across grassy fields and down to the river where we swam in the warm waters as the sun lowered casting a warm glow.
We then walked across mud flats into a rainbow, jumped into a dug out canoe and paddled up the river towards some rice fields as the sun set. Another sublime African moment.
There was a huge storm overnight and the roof leaked. Slightly damp we set off back the next day, wading for most of the way. As a large sand plain where I can usually follow a path was now a marsh, I lost track of the way at one point. Thankfully we saw some cow herders heading the right way so made it back in one piece. Here’s a short three minute video of the trip:
Upon return, my friend Taga had found a chameleon strolling past the well: