Postcard from Senegal, Part II

2 Jun

After a week of meetings in Dakar, we had a nice opportunity to get out of the capital city and go on a field trip: first to a farming cooperative east of Dakar and then south to the Bandia Wildlife Reserve. It was lovely to be able to see a bit of the countryside.

The area around the farm and the reserve (and in fact, a large part of Senegal) is savannah. The landscape is dotted with the famous baobab trees, which store water in their trunks and can live for thousands of years:

 
… and also with acacias (new foliage, left; old vine creeping around acacia trunk, right).

  
On the farm, okra plants were in bloom. I had never thought about okra flowers before (which shows that I have never grown okra)–but I now know that okra flowers are quite lovely–as are the pom-pom like flowers of the Acacia robusta trees lining some of the farm’s roads.
 
We did not make it to the Wildlife Reserve until the afternoon, when most animals would normally be taking a siesta in a shady spot, but we were lucky to see monkeys, antelope, warthogs, ostriches, zebras, rhinos (from a suitably safe distance), and giraffes.
 

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