Live From Djoudj Bird Sanctuary – Senegal Travel Diary #14

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.

*On some of the links provided I might make a commission if you purchase something by clicking through my link. This creates no additional cost for you.

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.


What is the Djoudj Bird Sanctuary and where is it located?

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.

What types of birds can be found at the Djoudj Bird Sanctuary?

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.

What is the best time of year to visit the Djoudj Bird Sanctuary to see the most birds?

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.

Are there any guided tours or other activities available at the Djoudj Bird Sanctuary?

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.

Are there any conservation efforts in place to protect the birds at the Djoudj Bird 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.

Video Transcript

  • [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,

hopefully the–

  • [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.

Team Hazard

Old, fat and disabled and traveling the world anyway. Join Trina and Tim as they wander around the planet bringing you honest stories about the people and places they encounter.

View all posts

Add comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join Me!


Follow Me

Free E-Book!

How to Save Money for Travel –

on Almost ANY Budget! 

Free eBook - Cover shot

Click HERE

to get your FREE e-book.