Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary is best known for its Pelican Island but they have more than 300 species of bird and are especially awesome for viewing migrating seabirds. This live video gives you a glimpse of what they have to offer.
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Pelicans, cormorants, great white herons, grey herons and flamingos are just some of the birds you’ll see at the Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary in northern Senegal. About 70km outside of Saint-Louis, the park runs very close to the border with Mauritania. They’ll tell you the drive from Saint-Louis is about an hour, but I think it’s closer to an hour and a half.
Either way, it’s a great day trip out of Saint Louis, Senegal and well worth your time. We booked our tour through the official Office du Tourisme-Syndicate D’Initiative de Saint-Louis and everything went great. Their English-speaking guide was knowledgeable and all-around excellent.
We came up to this area just for this trip and we weren’t disappointed. And we’re not even serious birders. I’m sure if you’re really into birds it’s even a bigger kick.
The Djoudj Bird Sanctuary is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Senegal River delta in northern Senegal, just across the border from Mauritania and within a 90-minute drive of Saint Louis. It is a wetland that serves as a wintering and breeding ground for a wide variety of migratory bird species.
Over 300 species of birds can be found at the Djoudj Bird Sanctuary, including the greater flamingo, the white pelican (there’s a whole pelican island you can go on a boat tour to see), the marbled teal, the pygmy cormorant, the purple heron and the spoonbill.
The best time to visit the Djoudj Bird Sanctuary is during the winter months, from November to March, when the majority of the migratory bird species are present.
Yes, there are guided tours available at the Djoudj Bird Sanctuary, which are led by local guides who can provide information on the bird species and the ecosystem of the wetland. The Tourism Office in Saint Louis is a good place to start your search for a reliable guide. Visitors can also take boat rides to explore the different areas of the sanctuary.
Yes, there are several conservation efforts in place to protect the birds at the Djoudj Bird Sanctuary. These include monitoring of bird populations, habitat management, and education and outreach programs to raise awareness about the importance of protecting migratory birds and their habitats.
- [Trina] Say that was a gray heron.
Those are great white egrets
and this is the Djoudj Bird Sanctuary
up in northern, very northern Senegal.
So we are live right now.
- [Guide] You see, these are yellow beak
they are egrets, all these.
- [Trina] Look at ’em go.
- [Guide] And waiting the Pelican
push the fish for them on the shore.
’cause they are not good fishers.
- [Trina] The pelicans
are not good fishermen?
- [Guide] Pelican is
just very good fisher.
Not egret though.
(boat engine rumbles)
- [Trina] I zoomed in a little,
- [Guide] Are little egrets.
- [Trina] Those are Little Egrets?
- [Guide] Little Egrets and
Great Egrets and Gray Heron.
- [Trina] Great Egrets,
oh, there’s the Gray Heron.
Tim, I’m sorry you’re not
gonna be able to see these.
Anything white you’re seeing
on the shore right now is egrets.
Even though you can’t see half the birds
are you enjoying this?
- [Tim] Yes. I can hear them.
- You can hear them?
- Um umm.
- [Trina] Okay.
Sometimes there’s batches.
I can see there’s another
set coming up here.
Sometimes there’s patches of not a lot
but there’s more coming up.
So hang out with us
for just another minute
while we get up further on the river.
What’s nice is this boat we’re
on is really super stable.
Let me pull the focus back.
Even when we’re going a little faster
the boat is super stable and easy to…
What’d you say?
- [Tim] I said it feels like Disneyland.
- [Trina] So Tim thinks this little boat
feels like Disneyland
- [Guide] This is all the fresh water.
- [Trina] This is all fresh water?
- [Guide] Yes, you have very difficult
for birds to find fish
which is why when the water became salts
they go to dry all the base.
Which is why now, you see.
- [Trina] So when it
gets salty, they leave.
- [Guide] Yeah.
Do other sides.
- [Trina] Okay, we’re gonna
switch to the other side.
- [Guide] A big cormorant fishing here.
- [Trina] Ah, big cormorant, yes.
- [Guide] The egret waits.
And then fish arrive to them.
They go– (engine drowns out voice)
- [Trina] Look at that.
Look at that.
Let’s see, I hope we’re getting
half of what I’m seeing here
because it’s real hard for me to see–
- [Guide] The same.
- [Trina] Exactly what’s on the screen.
Oh, look at what’s coming up.
We just got a whole bunch
of ’em on the water.
But look they’re sort of
half buried in the thing.
And then you just see their
heads out of the water.
Look at that.
Look at that.
- [Guide] And they find a
bunch of fish for the water.
They found fish.
- Ah, when they find a bunch
of fish, really good fish
the cormorants fish together.
They get all the way down to the bottom.
They get all the way down
to the bottom of the river.
(engine drowns out voices)
- [Trina] So, (she giggles)
this is just a little look
at what the Djoudj Bird Sanctuary
here in northern Senegal has to offer.
- [Tim] Yes, it’s a great place to come.
The narrator is great for us
and there’s a lot of birds here, so.
- [Trina] Yeah, a lot
of birds, a lot to see.
It is actually a 14 kilometer boat trip,
seven out and seven back.
So it’s about an hour and
a half long boat trip.
And it’s like, this is
a half day excursion
that we’re doing.
If you’re a serious birder,
I’m sure you can do full day trips.
You can probably come out
and do serious photo trips.
We are hoping to see birds big enough
for Tim to see is our main goal.
And he did.
He saw some pelicans.
Oh, there’s a pelican flying.
Don’t know if I can catch it there.
He saw cormorants and he saw a few things.
So we’re happy with that so far.
- [Tim] And I heard a kingfisher.
- And he heard a kingfisher.
And he heard a tern too
but we didn’t know what
it was till we asked.
So hang on.
We’re gonna stick our faces on the screen
for just a moment and say,
Hey, thanks for joining us.
- Hey hey.
- And this is our quick little live
and we’ll be doing a full video
on the bird sanctuary and this
whole trip as soon as we can.
So thanks for joining us.
- [Tim] Yes. And don’t
believe Logan’s Run.
There is a sanctuary.
- Okay. We’ll see you next time.
(engine drowns out voice)
- Okay, we lost connection
for half a second.
If you got the Logans Run thing,
then drop a note in the comments
to let Tim know you got it.
Have to say a quick goodbye
before we lose connection again.