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Wetlands of West Africa: exotic yet familiar

Among the highlights of the classic Transsahara journey are many wetlands, such as the Banc d'Arguin and the Senegal Delta. This Wetlands trip focuses especially on these areas.

Unlike the Transsahara trip, which runs from north to south and from south to north, the Wetlands trip is a circuit with Dakar (Senegal) as the start and end point.

The trip focuses on Senegal and Mauritania. Visiting the Banc d'Arguin is three instead of two days and the Senegal Delta is visited intensively with, in addition to Djoudj and Diawling, an extra visit to the Tocc Tocc-reserve where the endangered West African manatee can be found.

We kick off this trip with a visit to the breeding colony (the only one on mainland Africa) of the red-billed tropicbird near Ile de Madeleine. Then we drive south to the Sine Saloum delta. A lot of waders can be found on the coast near Palmarine.

Mangrove species will be on the program the next day in Sokone, more to the inland.

After a visit to the magnificent roosting site of the swallow-tailed kites we go to the north of Senegal. Over the vast Senegalese savanna, where the baobabs soon give way to acacias and the vegetation on the ground becomes more sparse. The extensive livestock farming makes this a paradise for vultures, which we will certainly encounter. Sometimes in groups with six or seven different species.

In the two days that we are visiting Djoudj we comb every nook and cranny of this important ornithological reserve. And of course we take a boat trip to the pelican colony. The north bank on the Mauritanian side is just as interesting. In addition to Djoudj we will also find many species of the dry Sahel-zone in the vicinity of our overnight stay at Zirre.

Halfway through the drive to the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott, the Sahara officially begins. Tamarisk shrubs take over from acacia trees. The landscape is not particularly spectacular along the coast. Only 100 km after Nouakchott at the Azzefal dunes, the landscape becomes interesting again. After the Azzefal dunes we turn the wheel for a 70 km off road drive from the asphalt to Iwik in the Banc d'Arguin.

In Iwik we will stay three nights. The first day we will make a trip with a sailboat with Latin sail to the high water refuge at Nair. The second day a drive along the Baie d'Aouatif to the village of Tessot is on the program and in Tafarit we will search among others for 'Le Grand Duc', or the Desert Eagle Owl.

Leaving Iwik means that the highlights of this trip are behind us. Slowly we will drive into the direction of Nouakchott, but we still will be searching the desert for typical species of this area. Cream-coloured courser, greater hoopoe- and other lark species, desert shrikes and brown-necked ravens are the most common species.
We'll have another change to see the spectacular birdlife of Diawling on our way back. For 20 km, the road to Saint Louis runs through this park over a dike from which we have a beautiful view of the area. On the last day we take a trip from Saint Louis to the Tocc Tocc reserve, which is mainly known for the West African manatee and some rare turtle species.


Amsterdam - Dakar 


Flight to Dakar from Europe: arrival at  01:05 +1


Dakar - Palmarin


Ile de Madeleine, trip with moments of birding to Palmarin


Palmarin - Sokone


Trip to Sokone with moments of birding, Ile de Kousmar


Sokone - Djoudj


Drive across the savannah to Djoudj (vultures)


Djoudj - Djoudj


Visit Djoudj, incl boat trip to pelican colony


Djoudj - Djoudj


Djoudj - grand lac (bustard and cranes)


Djoudj - Zirre


Border crossing SEN/MAU - Diawling


Zirre - Nouakchott


Diawling and trip to Nouakchott with moments of birding


Nouakchott - Iwik


Trip to Chamy, afterwards off road to Iwik


Iwik - Iwik


Boattrip to high tide refuge Nair


Iwik - Iwik


Trip around Baie de Aouatif and the village of Tessot


Iwik - Nkt


Trip back to Nouakchott with moments of birding


Nkt - SL


Trip from Nouakchott to Saint Louis - Diawling


SL - Dakar


Visit reserve Tocc Tocc, Saint Louis, drive to airport


Dakar - Amsterdam 


Flight TAP - from Dakar to Europe: departure 02:05



Dakar - Banc d'Arguin - Dakar

17 februay 2022 t/m
3 march 2022

Click for the expanded daily program (available soon)

Price: €2195

Included: airline tickets, transport on location, accommodation, meals and non-alcoholic drinks, all excursions included in the program, guides, entrance to parks.

Single room supplement is €300.

This trip has room for a maximum of 9 participants. Minimum number of 6 people.

The tour will be held in two or three Dutch registered Nissan X-Trails.