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Otok Tiwai, Sierra Leone: 11 vrst primatov, 5 šotorov, 1 kuhar

Otok Tiwai, Sierra Leone: 11 vrst primatov, 5 šotorov, 1 kuhar



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Naši neposredni vtisi o otoku Tiwai, zavetišču za divjad/raziskovalnem objektu in pobudi za ohranjanje skupnosti na jugovzhodu Sierre Leone, niso bili najboljši: tu smo se znašli na vročem tropskem tropskem otoku v izolirani reki Moa z dvema zelo tihe noči so pred nami. Skupni prostor za goste, velika kupolasta, odprta koča na sončno energijo sredi gozdne jase, je poleg informacijske table in nekaj lesenih miz ponujala le malo motenj. Enako velja za preproste lesene strešne ploščadi, od katerih ima vsaka po en ali dva šotora, ki obkrožajo obod jase. S Scottom sva bila relativno odklopljena od prihoda v Sierra Leone teden in pol prej, vendar je bila to za nas povsem nova raven samote. Ali smo naredili napako, ko smo rezervirali dve noči in ne samo eno?

Ne, seveda nismo. Pravzaprav smo si ob koncu vsega želeli več časa v raztrganih visečih mrežah in se zazrli v čudovito, bujno reko; več časa pohod proti zvoku opičjega klepetanja; več obrokov, ki jih streže otoški, iznajdljivi kuhar.

Na majhen celinski otok smo prispeli po neravni dve uri vožnje od Bo Towana, drugega največjega mesta Sierre Leone. Pravzaprav opraskaj to-najprej smo prispeli v prašno vasico Kambama, ki deluje kot izhodišče za otok, kjer smo ob reki čakali, da nas bo vaščan poklical s čolnom. In s klicem, mislim z njegovim glasom, v čudovitem dolgem, visokem tonu wooooo.

Motorni čoln, ki se je na koncu pojavil, nas je popeljal po Moai, obrobljeni s palmami, neokrnjeno sladkovodno reko z bregovi, tako gostimi z listjem deževnega gozda, da komaj opazimo drugo vas. Tudi otok Tiwai je prav tako bujen; marca, ko smo obiskali, se je zdelo, da je skozi drevesa pronicala debela odeja vlage. (Na srečo so bile noči dovolj hladne, da je bilo v šotoru udobno spati.) Prav v tej lepljivi vročini so nas prvič predstavili zavetišče za divje živali na otoku Tiwai, kjer živi ena najbolj koncentriranih in raznolikih populacij primatov na svetu (vključno z divjimi šimpanzi) ), več kot 135 vrst ptic, več kot 700 vrst rastlin in zelo redek, endemičen pigmejski povodni konj. Na 12 kvadratnih kilometrov je veliko stisniti.

Vse, na kar smo takrat lahko pomislili, je bil skok v to mirno reko, da se ohladimo, vendar nas je skrbelo, nevarnost okužbe s sladkovodnim parazitom (mimogrede, tema se bo tako ali tako zagotovo pojavila med popotniki v Sierri Leone). Še en gost na odhodu pa je bil zdravnik, pa je rekel bi šel se kopat - ker se v vasi ne umiva in kopa le malo vasi, je bilo tveganje relativno nizko, je menil; zaradi varnosti ne bi smeli plavati več kot 10 minut in se močno brisati.

Zdelo se nam je kot dober načrt. Naše plavanje je bilo kratko, a nebeško - in ko smo nato zapustili območje majhne viseče mreže, se je nekaj opic igralo na drevesih tik za nami.

Nato smo spoznali Lahai Sesey. Otoški kuhar je bil miren, resen človek, a se nam je hitro razgrel, ko se je pokazalo naše navdušenje nad »chopom« v Sierri Leone. Navdušen nad našimi zahtevami po binču (črnooki fižol) in enolončnici iz listov kasave je pojasnil, da lahko kljub objavljenemu jedilniku kuha le z vsemi sestavinami, ki bi mu prišle v roke z otoka. To je pomenilo, da so listi manioke zunaj - očitno jih na tem območju ni bilo na razpolago - vendar je zmogel. Naslednji dan je odšel v mesto po fižol, da bi ga čez noč namočil in mu naslednji dan postregel za zajtrk z garijem (naribana kasava, posebnost območja Bo). Je bila za ta večer OK arašidova juha?

Tako je bil vzpostavljen zelo udoben, zelo miren ritem. Prehodili smo kratko 20-minutno samoupravno zanko narave; ko smo se pregrevali, smo se potopili v reko; igral Yahtzeeja v skupnem prostoru, ko je padla tema; klepetal z edinimi drugimi gosti, nemško družino, ki je prišla iz bližnje Liberije. Na prvi svetlobi smo se z Mohamedom, ki je hodil hitro, a spretno prikrito, odpravili na dve uri vodeni gozdni sprehod po poti, polni listja, in se pogosto ustavili, da bi poslušali in tiho opozorili na desetine opic-čudovito (in ogroženo) opico Diano , igriva opica s pestnim nosom, zahodni rdeči kolobus (žal, nedostopnih, nočnih pigmejskih povodnih konjev je skoraj nemogoče videti). Popoldan smo rezervirali drugega vodnika, ki nas bo popeljal po otoku na izkopanem kanuju, za drugo perspektivo.

Vmes smo vse skupaj pojedli Lahaijevo okusno hrano, postreženo v lončkih, da smo si lahko pomagali. Zajtrk? Bananine palačinke v slogu Sierra Leone, ocvrte na arašidovem olju in jih spremlja oljnata, a okusna paprika (znana tudi kot "ocvrta obara") iz paradižnika, čebule in suhih rib. Kosilo? Najboljša bučna (ali "punky") enolončnica, ki smo jo pojedli na deželi, postrežena z lokalnim podeželskim rižem (Lahai se je za to dodatno odpravil čez reko). Večerja je bila super začinjena paprika, narejena iz čebule, česna, tilapije, začimb (na žalost kocke Maggi), lovorjevega lista in veliko čilijevega popra. Ko je postregel z vsakim obrokom, je kuhar prišel k mizi, da bi odgovoril na naša vprašanja o jedeh in nam ponosno povedal sestavine in metode, ki jih je uporabil.

Tisto drugo noč je deževalo, močno. V notranjosti šotora smo bili hladni in zadovoljni, zaščiteni pred vlago, ne pa tudi prepiha s strehe nad glavo, tesno pritrjeni na naši majhni, osamljeni jasi sredi toliko dragocene, eksotične flore in favne. Nikoli nismo pričakovali, da bomo tako dobro jedli ali se počutili tako sproščeno - in vse, kar smo si lahko mislili, je bilo: Kakšna škoda, če bi ostali le eno noč.

Priti tja: V Sierri Leone smo najeli lasten avto in voznika, saj država nima sistema javnega prevoza. Od Bo je bila vožnja približno dve uri; iz Freetowna je bolj kot pet ali šest. (Zdaj obstaja nov pustolovski opremljevalec s sedežem v Freetownu, Sierra Leone Adventures, ki ponuja izlete po meri, tudi v Tiwai.)

Rezervacije in cene: Namestitev v šotoru znaša 20 USD na osebo na noč; za rezervacijo nočitve ali dnevnega bivanja pokličite 232-76611410 ali 232-076755146 (poiščite e-poštne naslove tukaj). Iz vasi Kambama stane vožnja z ladjo in vstopnina v Tiwai 10 USD na obiskovalca (ki ni iz Sierre Leoneja); izleti na otok stanejo dodatno (vodeni sprehodi po gozdu: 6 USD za eno osebo (cena se zniža za 2-4 osebe); izleti po reki: 10 USD/osebo; izlet na plažo Moa, na skrajnem koncu otoka: 50 USD na čoln). Hrana je tudi a la carte, in čeprav lahko na otok prinesete svojo, vam bodo zaračunani stroški drv (če obstajajo). Opomba: Če se zdijo cene za Sierro Leone visoke, ne pozabite, da so sredstva namenjena ohranjanju tega pomembnega programa ohranjanja skupnosti, v katerem se otoške okoliške skupnosti strinjajo, da bodo zaščitile zemljo pred sečnjo, rudarjenjem in krivolovom v zameno za razvoj skupnosti in pomoč pri preživljanju.

Laura Siciliano-Rosen je soustanoviteljica Pojej svoj svet, spletno mesto, ki osvetljuje regionalno hrano in pijačo po vsem svetu. Spremljajte Eat Your World na Twitterju @eat_your_world.


Ritmi in kraljestva Zahodne Afrike

Mit o zahodni Afriki je, da ni več prosto živečih živali. Po dveh nočeh bivanja v svetišču vidov na otoku Tiwai v Sierri Leone in ob ogledu do 11 različnih vrst primatov, vključno s šimpanzi, vidrami in morskimi želvami ter celo morda nedosegljivim pigmejskim povodnim konjem, boste spoznali, da je to mit . Če gre za plemensko kulturo in divjo pokrajino, po kateri se pomešate s surovo avanturo in izven uhojenih poti, potem je to res potovanje, ki ga morate upoštevati. Ceste skozi večji del Gvineje in Slonokoščene obale so lahko zelo slabe, vendar je to del izkušnje, saj lahko vidimo stvari, ki jih drugi običajno vidijo le iz naslanjača na televiziji. V gozdovih severne Gvineje bomo iskali neverjetne vinske trte, medtem ko bomo na severu Slonokoščene obale raziskovali kulturo, glasbo in vasi narodov Korhogo. Potem so tu osupljive atlantske plaže, tiste v Gani so še posebej lepe in odličen kraj za sprostitev.

To je težko in zelo nenačrtovano potovanje. Ceste so lahko slabe, podnebje pa zahtevno, vendar je zelo koristno za nekoga, ki se želi povezati z vsakdanjim življenjem v Zahodni Afriki. Da bi olajšali življenje, kampiranje mešamo z nekaterimi nočitvami v hotelih, a pričakujemo, da bomo kampirali v divjini Afrike.

Obiščite zavetišče za divje živali na otoku Tiwai, kjer živi ena najgostejših populacij primatov in pigmejskih povodnih konjev v Afriki, in uživajte v več sprehodih po spletu poti na otoku

Treking do Pont de Liana, enega od fenomenalnih starih mostov vinske trte v gozdnati regiji Gvineje

Odpravite se na poldnevni izlet in raziskujte številne lokalne ročne izdelke s tega območja, vključno s slikarskim kolektivom, delavnico rezbarjev, delavnico izdelovanja kroglic in skupnostjo bombaž

Obiščite bogato baziliko Notre Dame de la Paix, največji krščanski bogoslužni prostor na svetu

Pomagajte pri projektu Sabre Trust School

Izvedite vse o grozljivi zgodovini atlantske trgovine s sužnji z ogledom zgodovinskega gradu Cape Coast

Obiščite neverjeten projekt, ki ga vodi Global Mamas

Obiščite osupljive džungle narodnega parka Kakum in se ponoči sprehodite po deževnih gozdovih

Raziščite neverjetno krošnjo deževnega gozda z edinstvenimi visečimi mostovi v narodnem parku Kakum

Podatki o meji: če se pridružujete Freetownu, boste najverjetneje vstopili v Sierra Leone na mednarodnem letališču Freetown Lungi (koda IATA: FNA).

Ob 10.00 bo v hotelu, ki se pridružuje, pomemben sestanek skupine - prosimo, poiščite na recepciji hotela sporočilo svojega vodje z več podrobnostmi o tem pomembnem sestanku. Vaš vodja bo na tem sestanku pobral vašo muco in preveril vaš potni list, vizume in podatke o zavarovanju.

Popoldan bo prosto za raziskovanje Freetowna in okolice.

Upoštevajte, da bodo številne spodaj navedene možnosti možne le tistim, ki imajo v Freetownu dodaten čas pred začetkom potovanja z nami - obrnite se na prodajno ekipo, če želite pri nas rezervirati nastanitev pred potovanjem, da boste imeli dodaten čas raziskovanje Freetowna.

Najhitrejši in najbolj zanesljiv način do Freetowna z letališča je vodni taksi, saj je Lungi čez zaliv od mesta. Časi odhoda vodnih taksijev so povezani z vsakim letom na letališče in z njega, zato vam bo ob pristanku na voljo prevoz. Zapustite letališče in pojdite desno, nato pa boste na koncu videli pisarno vodnega taksija - tam boste morali kupiti vozovnico za 40 USD ali 35 EUR in se prijaviti v velike prtljage. Z minibusom se boste vozili 15 minut, nato pa 30 minut z vodnim taksijem. Čoln pristane na pomolu, kjer predate prtljago, da vrnete velike prtljage.

Pristanišče je v okrožju Aberdeen v Freetownu, le 200 m hoje od našega hotela. Le hodi v hrib do glavne ceste - Gostišče Raza je nekoliko nižje in na drugi strani ceste.

Namestitev: Hiša za goste

Izbirne dejavnosti

Oglejte si Freetown Cotton Tree, najbolj znano znamenitost mesta in dom stotinam netopirjev, ki odletijo v mraku

Spoznajte tradicionalno zgodovino in kulturo Sierre Leone v Narodnem muzeju

Obiščite Narodni železniški muzej Sierra Leone, izjemno zbirko starih vlakov, ki je bila 30 let skrita pred uničenjem

S čolnom se odpravite do zaraščenih ruševin stare suženjske utrdbe na otoku Bunce, od koder so bili predniki večine sodobnih Afroamerikancev poslani v Novi svet

Danes odhajamo iz Freetowna na osupljive plaže polotoka Freetown, kjer bomo prenočili 3 noči.

Obstaja nekaj različnih možnosti, za katere plaže bi se lahko odločili obiskati, najljubša pa nam je plaža Bureh na jugu polotoka in plaža River Number 2 v zahodnem delu.

Obroki: Zajtrk kosilo večerja

Namestitev: Kampiranje

Današnji približni čas vožnje (ure): 4

Izbirne dejavnosti

Obiščite šimpanze sirote v svetišču za šimpanze Tacaguma zunaj Freetowna, čudovite organizacije, ki rehabilitira rešene šimpanze za njihovo vrnitev v naravo

Imeli bomo 2 polna dneva za izbirne dejavnosti na čudovitih plažah - lahko bi se odpravili na ribolov, se z ladjo odpravili na raziskovanje Bananskih otokov, spoznali lokalne skupnosti in se seveda sprostili na čudovitih plažah!

Obroki: Zajtrk kosilo večerja

Namestitev: Kampiranje

Izbirne dejavnosti

Odpravite se na izlet z ladjico in raziščite čudovite in zaraščene bananske otoke ob obali polotoka Freetown

Obroki: Zajtrk kosilo večerja

Namestitev: Kampiranje

Izbirne dejavnosti

Odpravite se z domačini v njihovih tradicionalnih lesenih čolnih, da se preizkusite v ribolovu

Najemite deske za deskanje, da se odpravite na valove plaže Bureh, ene najboljših deskarjev v zahodni Afriki

Odpravite se na potapljaško popotovanje okoli grebenov in brodolomov ob Bananskih otokih

Če pustimo polotok Freetown za sabo, imamo danes celodnevno vožnjo skozi Sierra Leone do svetišča na otoku Tiwai, enega največjih celinskih otokov Sierre Leone.

Obroki: Zajtrk kosilo večerja

Namestitev: Kampiranje

Današnji približni čas vožnje (ure): 10

Vključene dejavnosti

Obiščite zavetišče za divje živali na otoku Tiwai, kjer živi ena najgostejših populacij primatov in pigmejskih povodnih konjev v Afriki, in uživajte v več sprehodih po spletu poti na otoku

Izbirne dejavnosti

Po želji se odpravite na izlet s kanujem ali motornim čolnom skozi zavetišče za divje živali na otoku Tiwai (če je na voljo)

Danes bomo uživali v različnih sprehodih v naravi po spletu poti, ki se prepletajo skozi gozd Tiwai. Iskali bomo redke in pisane primate, ki naseljujejo svetišče, in če bomo imeli veliko srečo, bomo morda opazili zelo redkega pigmejskega povodnega konja!

Obroki: Zajtrk kosilo večerja

Namestitev: Kampiranje

V naslednjih dveh dneh bomo potovali proti severu navzgor skozi Sierra Leone do mesteca Kabala. Kabala je znana po tem, da je oaza hladnega zraka v hribih severne Sierre Leone in po svojih tradicionalnih oblečenih v Ronko oblačilih-srajcah ali haljah iz trakov tkanine, običajno obarvanih z rjavo rdečkasto rjavo barvo z uporabo lokalnih pigmentov.

Obroki: Zajtrk kosilo večerja

Namestitev: Kampiranje brez objektov

Današnji približni čas vožnje (ure): 8

Obroki: Zajtrk, kosilo

Namestitev: Hiša za goste

Današnji približni čas vožnje (ure): 5

Izbirne dejavnosti

Prosto raziščite trge Kabala ali se sprehodite do vrha bližnjega hriba Gbawuria

Sodelujte v tradiciji barvanja tkanine Ronko v značilno rdečo barvo.

Podatki o meji: Zapustite Sierra Leone in vstopite v Gvinejo na Gberia-Fotombu.

Naslednja 2 dni bomo preživeli na potovanju po odmaknjeni obmejni regiji med Sierro Leone in Gvinejo, vožnjo po slikovitih območjih, ki jih turisti zelo redko obiskujejo, in divjo kampiranje na poti na poti. >

Obroki: Zajtrk kosilo večerja

Namestitev: Kampiranje brez objektov

Današnji približni čas vožnje (ure): 5

Ceste na tem področju so lahko precej težke in nepredvidljive, na napredek pa lahko močno vplivajo vremenske razmere, zato je prilagodljivost v teh dneh zelo pomembna.

Obroki: Zajtrk

Namestitev: Osnovni hotel

Današnji približni čas vožnje (ure): 6

Danes bomo potovali skozi osrednjo regijo Gvineje in se ustavili za eno noč v enem od mest na poti (odvisno od tega, kako bo vožnja potekala, je to lahko Macenta ali Guéckédou).

Obroki: Zajtrk

Namestitev: Osnovni hotel

Današnji približni čas vožnje (ure): 9

Danes bomo nadaljevali skozi gozdnato območje Gvineje, kjer bomo obiskali enega od znamenitih vinskih mostov (Pont de Liana). Prispeli bomo v mestece Nzerekoré v osrčju gvinejske gozdne regije.

Obroki: Zajtrk

Namestitev: Osnovni hotel

Današnji približni čas vožnje (ure): 10

Vključene dejavnosti

Treking do Pont de Liana, enega od fenomenalnih starih mostov vinske trte v gozdnati regiji Gvineje

Danes bomo imeli prosti čas za raziskovanje mesta, bližnjih vasi in okoliških gozdov.

Obroki: Zajtrk

Namestitev: Osnovni hotel

Podatki o meji: Zapustite Gvinejo pri Gbakoréju, vstopite v C & ocircte d'Ivoire pri Gbapleu.

Naslednja 2 dni porabite za prestop meje in vožnjo skozi osrednji C & ocircte d'Ivoire. Ti dnevi nas popeljejo skozi nekatera zelo odročna območja in nekatere zelo kakovostne makadamske ceste, zato je potrebna velika mera prilagodljivosti, saj bo naš napredek v veliki meri odvisen od stanja cest.

Današnji približni čas vožnje (ure): 10

Danes nadaljujemo pot po divjini Slonokoščene obale. Prav v takih dneh lahko vidite, kako neokuženo je to območje, in cenite, kako srečni ste, da okusite življenje tukaj.

Današnji približni čas vožnje (ure): 10

Danes se bomo po bujnem podeželju odpeljali do severnokoščenega mesta Korhogo, ki slovi po množici obrti, ki jih tam izdelujejo.

Obroki: Zajtrk

Namestitev: Osnovni hotel

Današnji približni čas vožnje (ure): 10

Danes se bomo odpravili na vključen ogled številnih rokodelskih delavnic na tem območju, obiskali slikarje, izdelovalce kroglic, rezbarje lesa in tkalce tkanin. Imeli bomo tudi čas za svobodno raziskovanje mesta in okolice.

Obroki: Zajtrk

Namestitev: Osnovni hotel

Vključene dejavnosti

Odpravite se na poldnevni izlet in raziskujte številne lokalne ročne izdelke s tega območja, vključno s slikarskim kolektivom, delavnico rezbarjev, delavnico izdelovanja kroglic in skupnostjo bombaž

Izbirne dejavnosti

Oglejte si predstavo bobnanja in akrobatskega plesa v vaseh v bližini Korhoga

Danes se bomo odpeljali v Yamoussoukro, majhno in bizarno prestolnico C & ocircte d 'Ivoire. Yamoussoukro je bil rojstni kraj Felixa Houphouja & eumlt-Boignyja, prvega predsednika neodvisnega C & ocircte d 'Ivoire, in je tudi nenavadna lokacija ogromne in dih jemajoče bazilike Gospe od miru, največje krščanske cerkve na svetu.

Popoldan bo vključen obisk bazilike Gospe od miru, nato pa prosti čas za nadaljnje raziskovanje majhnega mesta.

Obroki: Zajtrk

Namestitev: Osnovni hotel

Današnji približni čas vožnje (ure): 7

Vključene dejavnosti

Obiščite bogato baziliko Notre Dame de la Paix, največji krščanski bogoslužni prostor na svetu

Danes se bomo odpeljali do atlantske obale in prispeli v staro francosko kolonialno prestolnico Grand Bassam vzhodno od Abidžana.

Obroki: Zajtrk

Namestitev: Osnovni hotel

Današnji približni čas vožnje (ure): 8

Danes bomo imeli prosti čas za raziskovanje starega kolonialnega mesta Grand Bassam in doživeli znamenitosti, zvoke in okuse tega neverjetnega kraja.

Obroki: Zajtrk

Namestitev: Osnovni hotel

Izbirne dejavnosti

Obiščite Narodni muzej kostumov, ki prikazuje kulturne obleke različnih plemen C & ocircte d'Ivoire

Odkrijte osupljive plaže in stare kolonialne zgradbe Grand Bassam, prvotne francoske prestolnice C & ocircte d'Ivoire

Danes je dan za sprostitev na čudovitih plažah okoli našega hotela.

Obroki: Zajtrk

Namestitev: Osnovni hotel

Podatki o meji: Zapustite C & ocircte d 'Ivoire pri Elubu, vstopite v Gano pri Elubo.

Danes prečkamo Gano in se nato odpravimo proti vzhodu vzdolž atlantske obale do plaž Beru Akyinim v bližini zgodovinskega mesta Elmina.

Obroki: Zajtrk kosilo večerja

Namestitev: Kampiranje

Današnji približni čas vožnje (ure): 8

Danes se bomo vključili v projekte skupnosti, ki jih na območju Elmine trenutno izvaja Dobrodelni sklad SABER. Trust opravlja zelo dragoceno delo pri razvoju izobraževalnih projektov po vsej Gani, s poudarkom na zagotavljanju izobraževanja v zgodnjih letih - obiskujemo njihove projekte in že vrsto let nudimo en dan pomoči in donacijo, kar nam omogoča, da damo malo nazaj in doživeti čudovit del interakcije v skupnosti. Natančne izkušnje bodo odvisne od tega, kaj potrebuje sklad v tistem času, vendar bi nas lahko prosili, da pomagamo pri barvanju učilnice, malo vrtnarimo v eni od šol ali pa preprosto pridemo in se z otroki igramo !

Imeli bomo tudi čas za neobvezen obisk gradu Elmina in za sprostitev na čudovitih plažah na atlantski obali Gane.


Otok Tiwai, Sierra Leone: 11 vrst primatov, 5 šotorov, 1 kuhar - recepti

Ko pomislim na Afriko, mi ena glavnih stvari pride na misel populacija velikih opic. Če resnično želite odkriti Sierro Leone, je treba obiskati svetišče za šimpanze Tacugama Tacugama#8217.

ODKRIJTE SIERRA LEONE: VSTOP V SANCUTARY - SLIKA, VZETA S NJIHOVEGA Spletnega mesta.

To svetišče se nahaja v narodnem parku polotoka zahodnega območja in ga je leta 1995 ustanovil naravovarstvenik Bala Amarasekaran. Bil sem nekajkrat, vendar smo nazadnje prenočili v eni od njihovih eko hiš, ki je v bistvu hišica na drevesih.

Ogled po objektu je odličen. Greš z uslužbencem, ki ti povedo vse o svetišču in šimpanzih, ki tam živijo, o tem, kako so nastali in o njihovi rehabilitaciji. Kar je super in zelo poučno – lahko vidite šimpanze v njihovem naravnem okolju –, saj je v svetišču dom velikih zunanjih ograjenih prostorov, kamor prosto prihajajo in odhajajo.

ŠIMPANE LENE, A ČUDOVITE.

Zelo priporočam prenočevanje v eni izmed hišic na drevesih. Čudovito doživetje je poslušati gozd okoli sebe, medtem ko se ziblješ v viseči mreži. Na voljo je žar, zato si za večerjo privoščite hrano.

ŽELTVOVI OTOKI

ODkrijte SIERRA LEONE

ODKRIJTE SIERRA LEONE: MANGROVI OTOKOV ŽELV - MALI LABORITET.

Res razburljiv del našega zadnjega potovanja v Sierro Leone je bil obisk skupine otokov, znanih kot Želvini otoki. Prihod vseh teh izoliranih otokov je bil velik.

Začelo se je z nekajdnevno pripravo: hrana, tekočine, spalni pripomočki itd. So sledili 4 urni vožnji do majhne vasice Shenge. Tu smo se srečali z vaškim poglavarjem, si izmenjali nekaj denarja in hrane ter prenočili, potem ko smo si zjutraj uredili čoln, ki nas je odpeljal na otoke.

NAŠ PRIJATELJ JE LJUBLJEN POKAZAL OTOK IN NJEN NAČIN ŽIVLJENJA

Ko smo prišli na drugi otok, smo se srečali z načelnikom, pokazali in bili smo dobrodošli, da ostanemo 3 noči. Taborili smo na plaži pod komarniki, spretno narejenimi v majhne šotore. Otoki nimajo veliko obiskovalcev in ni na voljo nobenih objektov, vendar je skupnost prijazna in potovanje je vredno, če imate radi nedotaknjene plaže in čudovite sončne zahode.

ODkrijte SIERRA LEONE: ZANETA PIJE IZ COCO -a NA PLAŽI

LAKKA PLAŽA

ODkrijte SIERRA LEONE

Sončni zahodi so najboljši!

Plaža Lakka je zabavna in zasedena plaža. Do kavarn, restavracij in prenočišč ob plaži je enostavno priti.

To je tudi eno najboljših krajev za nakup svežega jastoga in opazovanje sončnega zahoda. Jastog je tako svež, da lahko opazujete, kako vaš natakar odplava in ga zgrabi iz enega od loncev za jastoge v oceanu. Kuhana je sveža in postrežena s čipsom.

Po mojem mnenju je sedenje pred restavracijo s svojim jastogom in čipsom ob sončnem zahodu nad vodo odličen način za preživljanje večera.

Sama plaža je dolga. To je dolga plaža z rumenim peskom. Če radi plavate, je voda dobra, dobili boste nekaj valov. Bodite previdni, ko rob pade v globoko vodo, zato se prepričajte, da vam to ustreza.

TIWAI ISLAND

ODkrijte SIERRA LEONE

Minilo je že kar nekaj časa, odkar sem bil tukaj, vendar se spomnim, da je bil res lep in miren kraj. Otok upravlja in vzdržuje upravna skupnost otoka Tiwai (TIAC), ki je zbirka posameznikov iz lokalne skupnosti, vladnih in konservatorskih organizacij.

ODKRIJTE SIERRA LEONE: ZGUBLJENO NA OTOKU HODNE POTI.

Na otoku smo ostali dve noči, medtem ko smo obiskali očeta. Oba sva uživala na potovanju, to je raj za ljubitelje narave, ki odkriva divje živali in rastlinstvo. Na otoku živi 11 vrst primatov, med njimi redka Diana Monkey. Čez dan nismo videli nobenega, a ponoči smo jih slišali. Videli smo še druge opice, kače in pogled na slavnega pigmejskega povodnega konja.

CANOE VOŽNJA PO REKAH.

Otok redno uporabljajo okoljski raziskovalci in študenti zaradi velike populacije primatov in drugih prosto živečih živali. Ker je otok odrezan od glavne zemlje, je otoška populacija divjih živali uspevala!

Po otoku smo se odpravili z ladjico po čolnu in se odpravili po številnih naravnih poteh skozi gozd. Večeri so bili mirni in sproščeni, ponudili so mi tudi njihovo lokalno palmovo vino, ki prihaja naravnost z drevesa: rahlo kislo in pikantno z lesenim okusom. Iskreno, ni mi bilo všeč, vendar bom vsaj enkrat poskusil karkoli.

POSKUSANJE PALMOVEGA VINA.

Vsebina

V Sierri Leone je približno 147 znanih vrst divjih sesalcev. [1] Pripadniki štirinajstih vrst posteljnih sesalcev živijo v Sierri Leone. Ogroženi pigmejski povodni konj ima ozemlja okoli otokov na reki Moa in je razširjen na območju gozda Gola. [2] V Sierri Leone se pojavljajo tri vrste divjih prašičev: bradavičasta svinja, velikanska gozdna svinja in rdeča rečna svinja.

Sierra Leone ima 15 opredeljenih vrst primatov, med katerimi so tudi buba, opice in velika opica, navadni šimpanz, ki je največji primat Sierre Leone. [3] Šimpanzi najdemo po vsej državi, po popisu šimpanzov leta 2010 pa je divja populacija presegla 5500, kar je dvakrat več od števila, ki so ga prej živeli v državi. [4] To je druga največja populacija ogrožene podvrste zahodnih šimpanzov, za Gvinejo [5], z največjo gostoto na območju Lome, 2,69 osebka na km2, in Outambe z 1,21 osebka na km2. [6]

V vodah Sierre Leone je več vrst kitov in afriške morske ribe. Morska riba je ogrožena vrsta in živi v rekah in ustjih Sierre Leone, zlasti v okolici Bontheja. [7]

Sesalci, najdeni v Sierri Leone, vključujejo:

Sierra Leone ima več kot 630 znanih vrst ptic, od katerih deset velja za ogrožene, vključno z rumeno sovo in golo majhno. [8] Na obalnem območju je več pomembnih območij za selitvene race in ptice močvirje s področja Palearktike. [9]

V Sierri Leone je znanih 67 vrst plazilcev, od katerih so tri ogrožene, vključno z večimi plazilci. Obstajajo tri vrste krokodilov, nilski krokodil, krokodil z vitkimi gobami, ki živi v gozdnih potokih, pritlikavi krokodil, ki ga najdemo v močvirjih mangrov. Vse vrste morskih želv živijo v vodah Sierre Leone z zeleno želvo in usnjeno želvo, ki odlaga jajca na obale, vključno na otoku Sherbro in želvi. Pogoste vrste kuščarjev vključujejo velik monitor Nila, agamo, ki jo vidimo okoli naselij, hišni gekon v potoku pogosto živi v hišah in chamaeleos. [10]

Sierra Leone ima okoli 750 vrst metuljev. Vključno z enim največjih metuljev, velikansko afriško lastovičje repko, katere razpon kril je lahko do 25 cm. [11] [12]

Med rastlinske vrste divje flore spadajo nižinski vlažni in pollistani gozdovi, del nižinskih gozdov Zahodne Gvineje, močvirja v dolinah v notranjosti, gozdnata savana, bolilandska in mangrova močvirja. [13] Obstaja približno 2000 znanih vrst rastlin, 74 vrst pa se pojavlja samo v Sierri Leone. [9] Primarni deževni gozd je sredi leta 2000 pokrival približno 70% Sierre Leone, kar se je zmanjšalo na približno 6%. [14] Skupne vrste vključujejo:


5 najpomembnejših stvari v zahodni Afriki v Sierri Leone

Sierra Leone je ena najbolj varnih potovalnih destinacij v zahodni Afriki, po letu 2002, ko je bil razglašen mir. Regeneracija se nadaljuje in množični turizem še ni prišel, zaradi česar je Sierra Leone zanimiva država za raziskovanje. Popotniki lahko plavajo, deskajo in se sončijo na polotoku Freetown, sledijo afriškim sesalcem v narodnem parku Outamba-Kilimi in uživajo v nočnem življenju prestolnice Freetown.

Narodni park Outamba-Kilimi
Narodni park Outamba-Kilimi je edini narodni park Sierra Leone in tudi vrhunsko mesto za čudovito pokrajino in fascinantne prosto živeče živali. Narodni park se nahaja na skrajnem severu države, sredi valovitih hribov, starodavnih deževnih gozdov in vijugastih rek pa je obilo avtohtone flore in favne. Narodni park Outamba-Kilimi je idealen kraj za ogled divjih živali v njihovi najčistejši obliki. Ceste ni, zato sta pohodništvo in hoja najboljša možnost za raziskovanje, prav tako pa tudi izlet s kanujem po rekah.

V celotnem parku in Idrisskem jezeru je več kot 260 različnih vrst ptic, kot so ogroženi paličavec, ploverji, čaplje, peščenke, čaplje in goveje čaplje. Obstaja devet vrst primatov, vključno s štirimi, ki so močno ogrožene, vključno z zahodnim šimpanzom, rdečo opico Colobus, črno -belo opico Colobus in sajastim mangabejem. Tu so tudi zahodni sloni, leopardi, prašičji povodni konj, vodni chevrotain, Maxwell Duiker in Savanna Buffalo.

Za sproščujoč dan razmislite o ribolovu ali pohodu na divje živali. Zaradi vseh teh dejavnosti mora park ostati. Pri obisku je najbolje ostati med novembrom in aprilom, saj je to sušna sezona v parku. Park se ponaša z majhnimi kampi in kočami za obiskovalce. Obroke pripravlja osebje na kraju samem.

Plaže in deskanje v Sierra Leoneju
Plaže Sierra Leone in zlasti na polotoku Freetown veljajo za nekatere najboljše v Afriki. Ponujajo številne dejavnosti, s katerimi bodo obiskovalci zaposleni. Deskanje je postalo nujno na tem področju. Popolna klima in neokrnjene plaže ponujajo neverjetno doživetje deskanja. Manjši valovi plaže Bureh omogočajo deskarjem novincem, da izpopolnijo svoje znanje. Medtem ko so le južno od Freetowna, na reki #2, izkušeni deskarji dobijo priložnost ujeti nekaj večjih valov. Neokrnjene plaže Sierra Leone so čudovite in razgledi na okoliške gore so spektakularni. Najpomembneje je, da je večina nedotaknjenih plaž zapuščenih, odvisno od letnega časa, ki ga obiščete. Kar zadeva deskanje in plaže, je Sierra Leone destinacija na enem mestu!

Otok Tiwai
Otok Tiwai je vodilni ohranitveni park za raziskovalce in ekološke popotnike. Obiskovalci si lahko iz prve roke ogledajo čisto lepoto lokalne narave. Do otoka lahko pridete s potovanjem po reki Moa. Otok Tiwai ima dve osupljivi plaži, na katerih lahko poleg privlačne reke Moa doživite neokrnjen pesek. Gozd na otoku ponuja neomejene pohodniške in plezalne poti, ki vas bodo pripeljale v stik s koncentracijo različnih rastlin in živali. Obstaja več vrst primatov, vključno z ogroženo opico Columbus in divjimi šimpanzi. Obstaja tudi več kot sto vrst izvrstnih ptic, ki jih lahko občudujete. Obiskovalci bi morali biti pripravljeni na bivanje v lokalnih prenočiščih in doživeti kulturo otoka Tiwai.

Raziščite kulturo in nočno življenje Freetowna
Freetown je glavno mesto Sierre Leone in je glavno mesto trgovine in kulture. It is the perfect place to experience the laid back sandy beaches of Sierra Leone and mingle with the locals. Expect all the modern tourist amenities such as hotels, late night hot spots and restaurants especially in the Lumley and Aberdeen areas which are very tourist-friendly. However, there is still plenty of traditional West African culture to soak up. Visit the St John’s Maroon Church which was built in 1800, St George’s Cathedral and The Wharf Steps and Old Guard House which were both constructed in 1818. Travellers can visit various markets to dine on local specialities and witness the beauty of Freetown through local city tours. Every year the city hosts cultural events to capture the deep history of the region. A visit to Freetown will impart a piece of Sierra Leone to someone searching for a perfect cultural vacation.

Western Peninsula Rainforest
The Western Peninsula Rainforest lies on the very western tip of Sierra Leone. This stunning rainforest borders gorgeous beaches and offers tourists face to face encounters with nature. Walking trails can bring one in touch with hundreds of species of animals and plants. The views of the mountainous region are breathtaking and should not be missed. Most trips into the region allow for a modern shelter with camping amenities. Meals are prepared onsite and include the local flavour of Sierra Leone. What better way to experience the majesty of the rainforest than staying on the very edge of nature?


Tigers

Bengal Tigers in Bandhavgarh national park, India. Photograph: Kim Sullivan/Rex/Shutterstock

The final episode follows tiger Raj Bhera, fighting to protect her cubs and territory. She is one of around 80 Bengal tigers living in Bandhavgarh national park – the highest density of tigers in Madhya Pradesh, central India.


Is the Food Safe In Sierra Leone?

Most dishes in Sierra Leone are spicy, plant-based and served with rice. Vegetable, meat and nut stews are common. Local dishes include: okra stew, cassava bread, coconut cake and pepper soup.

More impoverished areas in the country will have poor hygiene practices. It is best to stick to restaurants that are recommended for serving quality food on a consistent basis.

Although street food may smell tempting, cooking food outdoors increases the likelihood of your meal becoming contaminated.

All travellers to Sierra Leone should bring a traveller’s diarrhea kit and receive cholera, typhoid and hepatitis A vaccinations.


Sierra Leone

I first visited Sierra Leone in late March 2017 for a fabulous 10 days. The mammal watching far exceeded expectations both in terms of the diversity of species we encountered but also the rarity of many of the species we found, with mega mammals like Water Chevrotain, Yellow-backed Duiker in Pygmy Hippo.

Water Chevrotain, Hyemoschus aquaticus. Gola Rainforest National Park. Photo by Phil Telfer.

Beyond the mammal watching, a trip here is a real chance to help with conservation efforts. The community run forest on Tiwai Island, for examples, relies on a very few ecotourists each year for its sustainability. So a trip to Sierra Leone is a chance both to see some amazing mammals but also to feel virtuous in the process. I visited two sites: Tiwai Island, and Gola Rainforest National Park.

Tiwai Island

Olive Colobus, Procolobus verus, Tiwai Island.

I spent four nights here in March, 2017 and our group saw the following. There was exceptional primate watching with 10 species seen: Demidoff’s Galago, West African Potto, Western Pied Colobus, Western Red Colobus, Olive Colobus, Sooty Mangabey, Campbell’s Monkey, Diana Monkey, Lesser Spot-nosed Monkey in Green Monkey. We also heard Thomas’s Galago. Other species included a Lord Derby’s Anomalure, Red River Hog, Gambian Sun Squirrel, Red-legged Sun Squirrel, Miller’s Striped Mouse, Allen’s Wood Mouse, Straw-colored Fruit Bat, Buettikofer’s Epauletted Bat, Noack’s Roundleaf Bat, Beatrix’s Bat and an unidentified horseshoe bat.

Gola Rainforest National Park

Campbell’s Monkey, Cercopithecus campbelli

I spent 6 nights here in April 2017 and our group saw Hammer-headed Fruit Bats, Demidoff’s Galago, Thomas’ Galago, West African Potto, African Palm Civet, Giant Squirrel, Slender-tailed Squirrel, Fire-footed Rope Squirrel, Pygmy Hippopotamus, Red River Hog (heard), Water Chevrotain, Royal Antelope, Maxwell’s Duiker, Yellow-backed Duiker in Western Tree Hyrax. We also heard Chimpanzees.

Lord Derby’s Anomalure, Anomalurus derbianus

Elsewhere we saw a Green Squirrels in Striped Ground Squirrels.


Conflicts and Cooperation in Conservation: Adventures in Researching the Pygmy Hippopotamus on Tiwai Island, Sierra Leone

Our vehicle pulled into the village late one rainy night. Dozens of my new neighbors, Sierra Leone s Mende people, emerged from their thatch-roof houses, looking cross at being woken up and not exactly welcoming. We unloaded some of my gear underneath the dripping eaves, and as I tried to find something dry to wear, I realized that all my equipment: books, electronics, and gear, were soaking wet in the back of the truck. I had spent the entire day with a driver whose accent was so thick that several minutes into a conversation about cheese, I realized we were discussing chiefs, not cheddar. I had eaten entrails soup for lunch, been bounced over dirt roads for over 10 hours, and knew not a single person around me. I was suddenly glad it was dark so that nobody could see the silent tears streaming down my face.

I rummaged around in the dark and found a flashlight and rain jacket, and clinging to these items as a lifeline, I trudged down to the riverside after my guides to set off across the water to the island. It was pitch black, and I could hear the roar of rapids downriver. I was terrified that we would hit a rock or miss the landing point, but we reached safely. Escorted to a musty tent, I collapsed, exhausted and wondering what I had gotten myself into.

This journey to Sierra Leone was the first step towards my dissertation research. However, my first experiences in Africa were spent as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger, West Africa after graduating from the University of Georgia in 2003. Living without electricity or running water in a small rural village in Niger, I was frequently sick with parasites and lost 80 pounds in a year. The temperatures soared over 120 F on some days, and Harmattan winds brought the sands of the Sahara to my doorstep.

However, I challenged myself to participate in every aspect of village life: pounding millet into the daily meal with women, farming alongside men (to their vast amusement), and carrying water from the well on my head. In my second year, I teamed up with park rangers to conduct mammal surveys and organize school gardens and tree nurseries. In this village on the opposite side of the river from one of the few protected areas in the country, I developed a greater appreciation of the struggles facing conservation in a developing country.

HippoInTrap Male pygmy hippo caught in a pit trap during the trial event

Park W, named for its location along a W-shaped curve in the Niger River, is home to a diverse array of creatures, including cheetahs, lions, elephants, and an amazing bird community. Despite this biodiversity, people in Niger are some of the poorest in the world. The land in Niger is desolate and barren not much time is spent pondering the merits of conservation when daily life is so difficult. One day I tagged along with park rangers on one of their river outings in a local canoe. Suddenly we spotted another canoe filled with grass on the park side of the river, and the men inside paddled frantically away from us. As we followed behind, a surreal feeling came over me as I realized I was in a high speed canoe chase pursuing illegal grass.

The poachers reached the other side before us, but had to leave the grass behind, and the rangers burned the contraband. It seemed so wasteful, when I knew they were stealing grass to feed their livestock. My own education on conservation up to this point had been from a preservation standpoint, where resources should be protected from humans. However, in a country so devoid of resources on one side of the river, and with so many on the other, I began to realize that conservation is far more complicated.

When my Peace Corps tenure ended in 2007, I returned to the University of Georgia to obtain a doctorate in Forest Resources. At the end of my first year of classes, I received an email about an endangered, elusive creature – the pygmy hippopotamus. I was intrigued. There was a possibility for funding field research to study pygmy hippos on a river island in Sierra Leone. I searched the scientific literature, and did not find much information. With the help of my advisors, I wrote a proposal to Conservation International, who agreed to fund me for my first field season.

I arrived in Sierra Leone in October in 2008 to begin my dissertation research on remote Tiwai Island. This 12 km2 river island was designated a Wildlife Sanctuary in the 1980s, and contains one of the highest primate densities in the world. However, I was setting out virtually alone in a war-torn, impoverished country to find an animal that is notoriously difficult to study even for experienced researchers.

Looking at hippo A boy looking at the freshly painted Pygmy Hippo Mural

Although they superficially look like the well-known common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), pygmy hippos (Choeropsis liberiensis) differ in ecology, behavior, and most conspicuously, body size. The common hippopotamus can reach upwards of 3,000 kg, whereas the diminutive pygmy hippopotamus rarely tops 300 kg. The hippos are so distinct that the species are two different genera. While common hippos congregate in large social groups, the pygmy hippopotamus is rare, solitary and nocturnal traits that make direct observation nearly impossible and survey methods more complex.

I arrived that rainy night on Tiwai Island armed with 20 remote-sensing camera traps to capture pygmy hippos in digital pictures. I was also exploring methods to safely capture a pygmy hippopotamus and attach a radio tracking device. Since locally pygmy hippos are known to be delicious and they routinely destroy farmer s crops (see video below), I also created questionnaires to learn about local knowledge of pygmy hippos and conservation perceptions.

During my field research, I spent almost every moment of every day with my 2 local field assistants, Kenewa and Bockary. Although they could not read or write, they knew the forest with its flora and fauna better than any foreigner. By the end of my stay, Kenewa had converted one of his storage rooms into a home off the island for me. He carved my name into the door and said this room would always be mine, no matter where I was in the world. Bockary was the joker of the team and a lady s man. He claimed to have 10 girlfriends in one town. Unfortunately this meant that sometimes work items would go missing, as the girlfriends decided they wanted what he had for themselves.

Minah, Tiwai Island s research coordinator, was also my guide to culture, villages, and the island. He had worked on the island helping foreigners since before I was born. He taught me how to ride a motorcycle and demonstrated local fishing techniques. My team and I discussed all aspects of our cultures, trying to understand our differences and where we had common ground. Although work took up much of our time, my team and I would sometimes go to the local dances, where DJs would set up in a village meeting area and we would dance the night away to sweet Salone s music. Sierra Leone, affectionately known as Sweet Salone, has a burgeoning music industry. Songs range from pure entertainment to expression of inequalities and political commentary.

PoundingRiceFlour April with the village women while they are pounding flour for a funeral

For many months, we explored forests, farms and the Moa River learning about pygmy hippos habits and habitats through photos from the camera traps (see video below). However, though I saw many footprints and dung and captured images of hippos, I had yet to see a single pygmy hippo with my own eyes. Tourists who came to the island for the weekend would sometimes wander into the research station for a conversation. They often implied that I must be a pretty poor researcher if I had never seen the animal I had traveled thousands of miles to find. Even knowing that few foreigners see these rare creatures in the wild, I began to despair.

One day in May 2009 as we paddled upriver in our dugout canoe, Kenewa uttered a small gasp of surprise. There, in the water next to the riverbank, was the animal for which I had been searching for over seven months. With a splash, the pygmy hippo clambered out of the water onto a sandy beach and stopped to watch us. This was the moment I had been waiting for, and I could not help but grin. It locked eyes with us for a few moments before turning and running into the forest. Although pygmy hippos depend on water sources like common hippos, pygmy hippos spend most of their nights in the forest. They have a more sloping profile and their feet are more splayed than the common hippopotamus, which allows them to quietly tunnel under dense vegetation through the forest.

Hippo_OpenMouth One of the pygmy hippos caught on camera trap on Tiwai Island

Project money ran out after 10 months, and I returned to the States for a 9 month hiatus to write grant proposals appealing for funds. Armed with new funding from several zoos and a Fulbright Scholarship, I flew back in August 2010. Sierra Leone was deep into the rainy season. Although everything was soggy from the unrelenting rain, my arrival that year was far different than my first. People ran out of their houses to greet me and cheer as I stepped out of the vehicle. I looked around and saw familiar smiling faces, and it felt like coming home.

We soon began our first pit trap attempts to capture a pygmy hippopotamus. If the pit traps were successful in catching a pygmy hippopotamus, we would bring a wildlife veterinarian to Sierra Leone to help us anesthetize a hippo. When the hippo was asleep, we would place a radio collar to track the hippo s movements through the forest. We were interested in learning more about hippo habitat to identify what pygmy hippos need to survive. Using local hunter knowledge and maybe a little bit of juju , we dug several holes and covered them with rattan mats and debris. Then it was time to wait.

One morning I woke up in the village and went about my morning routine. Suddenly, Minah approached me. The trap monitors had radioed in to say there was a red river hog in one of our traps. Although it was not a pygmy hippopotamus, it was a great animal to practice our pit trap method on. I gathered a few men and we zoomed to the island on the boat. We rushed to the trap and I looked gingerly over the rim.

HogCapture Four red river hogs caught in a pit trap

My first thought was Oh there are two hogs in there. As they squirmed around, I realized there were more than two. There were four. Apparently the trap checker had only gotten close enough to the trap to see that there was a hog in there before running away in fear. My plan had seemed a lot simpler from the village. We would throw a sheet over the red river hog to distract it, while collapsing one side of the trap so it could climb up. However, red river hogs are one of the most aggressive animals on the island. None of the men were eager to approach the trap. They all looked at me for instruction, but I was flummoxed.

We approached closer, and the hogs started squealing and trying to scramble out. Suddenly all seven of us were up in trees. One of the men looked over at me from his tree and exclaimed that he didn t know I could move that fast. We debated how to get these animals out without anybody getting hurt. Bockary volunteered to collapse the side, and the rest of us left the area with relief. The hogs soon exited and ran away, too tired to bother with us. Later, Bockary admitted that he volunteered only because he was hungry and the only thing between him and food was making sure the hogs got out safely. Success!

A few tense weeks of waiting later, Minah came to knock on my door and whispered There s a hippo in one of your traps. I called Kenewa and Bockary into my room and said OK, this is really something amazing, but I don t want you to tell a soul in this village. I was afraid of a village riot, with dozens of people rushing to the scene to get a glimpse of hippo if word got out. I did not want anybody getting hurt, so the fewer people at the trap the better. My assistants let out a quiet whoop of joy and we danced around hugging for a few seconds before gathering up a few key people and materials to head to the trap.

As we approached the trap, I saw the most beautiful animal in the world a pygmy hippopotamus (see video below)! He was lying down, obviously tired from trying to climb out and glistening dark purple in the early morning light. Although we had now successfully captured the hippo, we had to let it go because this was just a trial. Kenewa began to try to collapse one of the walls, but the hippo roared in agitation.

Learning from our previous experience with the hogs, we brought empty canvas bags to fill with dirt to form steps. We filled the bags with dirt and dropped them in. The pygmy hippo attacked the first one and tore it to pieces, which had us all running for the nearest trees (unfortunately I chose the one covered in razor grass). When we placed the second bag in, the hippo used the extra bag as a step to exit the trap, and then ran off into the forest. Ah bwa! He s out! We returned triumphantly to the village. There was a very large party in the village that night. I sent excited text messages to my professors to let them know we were ready to try the real captures.

Pit Trap The pit trap team circled around a new pit trap

Now that we knew the traps could successfully and safely capture a pygmy hippopotamus, my major professor, Dr. John Carroll and a wildlife veterinarian, Dr. Michele Miller, flew to Sierra Leone to help me capture and radio-collar a pygmy hippopotamus. My advisor, Dr. Sonia Hernandez, would coordinate everything from the United. I added 2 more field assistants (Alusine and Lahai) who could read and write to help. Unfortunately we did not successfully capture a hippo during this time, although we had several near-captures (the pygmy hippos fell halfway in but were able to escape). We hope to travel for another attempt later this year if we can raise the funds.

One of the highlights of my research on Tiwai was when the U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone came to visit me as I was one of the few Fulbright Scholarship students in the country. When we arrived in the village, very few people were around. We had arrived earlier than expected and everybody was still in their fields. I was worried that my plans for a smooth trip would go awry. We made some short introductions to the people in town, and left for the island.

That evening, when I was chatting with the visitors, I heard drums in the distance. As the sound grew louder, we all popped up from our chairs. Out of the forest came the villagers, drumming, singing and dancing. Among them was a man dressed in a full length raphia palm costume. Although I had arranged for a general cultural show in honor of the U.S. Ambassador, this pygmy hippo devil (see video below) was a surprise: constructed painstakingly by the villagers just for this night. I was speechless that the villagers took so much pride in their pygmy hippos that this was the animal they chose to display to the Ambassador.

Conflicts in Conservation

The relationships I developed with the local people during my tenure in the Peace Corps and in Sierra Leone gave me a unique perspective of conservation. I witnessed the frustrations that protecting wildlife and land can bring in an area where people are struggling for daily survival. Most of the villagers could not grow enough food to support themselves through the entire year, and have to rely on imported rice when the food ran out. Although they live in areas of great plant and wildlife diversity, this honor means little to people who are subsistence farmers trying to scratch out a living in an unforgiving land.

Radiotelemetrypractice Radio telemetry, a way of tracking animals through the forest, requires a lot of practice

A civil war devastated the country and Sierra Leone is still struggling to recover. My own field assistants struggled during the war. Kenewa, who was 12 when the war began, was forced to take drugs by soldiers and risked his life to raid food from the rebels. Bockary escaped to Monrovia, Liberia, only to return when the war was over. Minah had to flee for his life into the forest because the rebels thought all foreign researchers had left their money with him. Many of the village men had become Kamojors, the grassroots militia claiming to have magical powers that allowed them to be bullet proof.

During our daily walks in the forests, my assistants told me horror stories of amputations and executions. The decade-long war ended in 2002, when the rebel Revolutionary United Front was defeated. However, with a high infant mortality rate, low literacy rate, and overall bleak poverty level, conservation tends to take a backburner to more pressing issues. Malaria is a major concern in this area, as I personally experienced several times.

However, malaria had an even more personal affect because it killed some of the people I care about. My good friend and confidant, Kenewa s brother (also called Kenewa), died shortly after my return to the US in 2009. I was in Sierra Leone for his first bout of malaria and took him to the doctor for treatment. However, shortly after I left Sierra Leone, I received a phone call from Minah. Kenewa had complained of headache, and later in the evening told everybody that he was dying. Thinking he was being overdramatic, his brother told him to try to sleep. He complied, and never woke up.

Residents who live near Tiwai hope that conservation of their land can bring foreign assistance in the form of tourism, research or development assistance. However, often the expectations outweigh the reality. When I asked villagers what they would do if they were the bossman of Tiwai Island, they responded that they would bring cell phone towers, schools, mosques, clinics, and much more. When I asked them how they would get money to build these, they responded that they would cry to the outside world.

Hippo_Devil Villagers dancing around the pygmy hippo devil

Tiwai is remote by Western standards the road conditions are unpredictable and never pleasant. A 200 mile journey from Freetown can take anywhere from 6 to 15 hours depending on your vehicle and the season. The tourist facilities on Tiwai Island are best described as rustic, although there is usually electricity (solar-powered) and running (river-pumped) water. Lodging is tents with foam mattresses.

While these amenities definitely provide a full rainforest experience, some tourists do not want to rough it or make the long journey. One visitor remarked to me I knew it was country , but I didn t know it was this country! Without many visitors, there are not enough funds to satisfy the eight villages that own Tiwai. Each year the tourism revenues are divided among the 8 villages for community development. However, during my first year in Sierra Leone, the annual fees were first given to the chiefs to distribute in the communities. These chiefs took what they felt was their share (which was a substantial portion), before handing the money over to the next chief who also took his share . The money that actually reached the villages was very small, but the villages did not feel that they had the power to change things. Fortunately, a new system was created, and the amount of money that reaches the villages now is greater.

Researchers can help generate more direct funds by providing employment for local residents, introducing capital directly into the local economy. In countries with few educational opportunities, any sharing of knowledge between researcher and resident is beneficial. Field assistants often bring the scientific knowledge they learn during their employment to their families and friends. My field assistants became ambassadors for the pygmy hippopotamus, and helped to disseminate new findings to the communities.

Roads The road system in Sierra Leone can be unpleasant

Sierra Leoneans place a lot of hope on their children. Some families spend a major portion of their income to send their children to school. The parents hope that one day the children will return the favor and take care of their parents when they are old. A better educated child has a better chance of supporting the family. However, a better educated child also has the chance to improve development in the entire country. If environmental education is also incorporated into the local schools, these children will be equipped to make land management decisions when they begin their own families and, if they return to the village, farms.

For this reason, I conducted environmental education programs in local schools and villages alongside my collaborators, the Across the River Transboundary Peace Park project and the Environmental Foundation for Africa. We also painted murals and printed posters depicting wildlife and the importance of conservation, placed conservation bumper stickers on public transportation vehicles, and created a Pygmy Hippo Awareness Day with t-shirts and contests.

So far the response to our project has been excellent. Residents are proud that their island is an important habitat for this rare animal, as demonstrated during the Ambassador s visit, and they believe this project will help advertise tourism and research on Tiwai Island. When people view pygmy hippos and other wildlife as more than protein or pests, they are more willing to help in conservation efforts. Our hope is that one day the pygmy hippo can be seen as the diamond of Sierra Leone. As Kenewa once said We shall never again eat pygmy hippo meat. We have tasted pygmy hippo benefits, and they are sweeter.

All images belong to the author, April Conway, and all people in photographs have given permission for the photos to be used.


Tourism & Hospitality

The Tourism sector in Sierra Leone has become one of the top priority sectors due to the vast improvement demonstrated over the years, with the huge inflow of foreign direct investment and improvement in quality and standards by our domestic investors in this sector. Sierra Leone is definitely back on the map as a tourist destination, with the surge in the number of tourists visiting Sierra Leone annually, and we have slowly gained back the momentum with the influx of International Brands with the likes of Hilton and Radisson Blu investing in our tourism sector.

As is most commonly described, Sierra Leone is the best kept secret destination for Tourism investment and is blessed with wonderful people with mixed culture and stronger acceptability for religious tolerance. The people are generally known for their reputation of friendliness, thoroughly cordial and hospitable towards visitors and are always genuinely happy to provide helpful assistance such as allowing strangers to lodge with them when needed.

The tourism exploit is blessed:

  • With 360 km coastline of beautiful, un-spoilt white sand beaches
  • World &ndashClass regime fishing with record setting tarpon catches
  • It Coastal beautiful city of Freetown is only 3 hours away from Lagos, Africa&rsquos largest city, 8 hours away from the US, and 6 hours from Europe
  • 18 national heritage sites linked to sierra Leone&rsquos rich past of both the slave trade and as a home for returning slaves
  • 31 protected areas with unique wildlife including pygmy hypos, chimpazess, jungle elephants, and many species of birds

Above all, Sierra Leone is classified for highlights of opportunities for first movers in both leisure and business hospitality in Sierra Leone.


Poglej si posnetek: 005 Tiwai Island Bo e Freetown in Sierra Leone (Avgust 2022).