Situated in the Senegal River Delta, close to the border of Mauritania, Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to up to two million birds during the migratory season. Easily reached from the popular city of Saint Louis, the vast wetlands of Djoudj provide a haven for millions of migratory birds during the winter months between November and April, who travel from Europe to escape the dropping temperatures, crossing the Sahara Desert on their epic journey to Senegal.
Visiting Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary is a bucket-list dream for avid bird watchers as it’s home to a number of unique and rare species. Huge flocks of pelicans and flamingos are among the most famous and visible species, whilst lesser-known birds such as purple herons and African jacanas are also found in Djoudj. Boat trips along the Delta are the best way to get up close to the amazing birdlife here, and mammals such as crocodiles and warthogs are often seen hunting and bathing in the wetlands.
Head south and you’ll find Langue de Barbarie National Park, a long, thin peninsula which runs parallel to the coastline of mainland Senegal. An excellent alternative for nature-lovers who visit Senegal during the summer months, when Djoudj’s birdlife numbers dwindle due to migration, Langue de Barbarie offers a different, but no less exciting wildlife experience. Surrounded by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Senegal River on the other, Langue de Barbarie is home to huge populations of water birds such as pink-backed pelicans, grey herons and great white egrets. On dry land, the natural sandbanks and foliage of the peninsula offer refuge to colourful Abyssinian rollers and fire finches, among other rare bird species and primates such as the red colobus monkey. Like Djoudj, a trip to Langue de Barbarie is incomplete without taking a boat trip, where you can watch the bird and wildlife and discover the different habitats and ecosystems along the pristine shoreline.
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