From the Gambia to Cape Verde

Our visit to West Africa was very special to us, and we would definitely suggest anybody sailing from the Canaries to Cape Verde to make a stop here (just make sure to check vaccination requirements and malaria risk) – it’s so different and will challenge your perception of the world in ways that the “normal” cruising destinations do not. None of us had ever visited Sub-Saharan Africa before this trip, and we have learned a lot. We have seen a little part of the incredible wild life this continent has to offer, heard about the history of these countries and talked to some very interesting people, offering views of the world so different to ours. Continue reading

The Gambia River; of slave islands and desolate creeks

The Gambia River was calm as we motored against the tide towards James Island. Dolphins followed along the boat in the heat, and the river was so wide we could barely make out the land on both sides. In the afternoon we anchored in lee of the tiny island, which is the place from where the slaves were shipped out from the Gambia. The island has been renamed to Kunta Kinteh Island, named after the main character in the famous “Roots” novel by Alex Haley. According to the novel, Kunta Kinteh lived in the village Jufureh on the north bank of the Gambia River not far from the island, and was sold as a slave from the island. Despite of the fact that the historic accuracy of the novel has long ago been disproved, the Jufureh village are now making good money from the tourists by arranging “Kunta Kinteh history tours”, and for example presenting the visitors to the last living descendant of Kunta Kinteh. Can’t really blame them, it’s a cool story either way. Continue reading

Anchored in the creek by Lamin Lodge

The water around the Lamin Lodge, where we were anchored, was completely calm, as it was surrounded by mangroves. We made our way in to the lodge, a restaurant that looks like it was inspired by the movie “Hook”. Here, a number of colorful former fishing boats were moored, ready to take tourists on trips in the mangroves. We got our dinghy tied up and made our way to the restaurant to celebrate our arrival in the Gambia. It was nice to get into the shade of the open air restaurant, and when we received our food we soon had the attention of the monkeys living in the place, ready to grab some food if you don’t pay attention. One of them had figured out how to hide behind Esben’s back without being seen, and wait until he could quickly take something from the plate. Unfortunately for him, we made Esben aware of the wannabe thief, and Esben scared him away. Continue reading