Senegal’s national parks protects the country’s diverse flora and fauna.
Nineteen extraordinary places were added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list this week, including Buddhist temples in South Korea, the forests and wetlands that form the ancestral home of the Anishinaabeg people in Canada, and the ancient port city of Qalhat in Oman. But amongst all the congratulations
West Africa doesn’t get as much attention as spots in southern Africa for bird watching, but that’s more to do with the tourism industries in the countries, rather than the birds that can be found there. And if you’re keen on bird watching when visiting countries like Ghana, Senegal and Cameroon, there are ample opportunities and places to go. Here are the best places for bird watching in west Africa.
Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary, Senegal
Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981, Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary is home to over 1.5 million birds, including 350 different species that spend the winter there. It’s also the third largest ornithological park in the world. The most famous and easiest to spot birds in the park are the numerous pelicans and flamingos.
Xavi Bird Sanctuary, Ghana
The Xavi Bird Sanctuary in the east of Ghana is one of the best places to watch birds in the country. The terrain of most of the sanctuary is wetlands and savannah, and guides can help you spot many of the species including, cuckoo birds, parrots and kingfishers.
Read more from source: The Best Places For Bird Watching In West Africa
When it comes to viewing wildlife in Senegal, the first place you should consider is Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary that’s located on the Senegal River Delta. The sanctuary is on the northern tip of the country (near the Mauritania border) and is nestled in Oiseaux de Djoudj National Park that’s five hours and a half north of Dakar by car. Despite being pretty far away from anything, people routinely make the drive to see this under-the-radar land. And there’s a good reason for it. At 160 kilometers wide and surrounded by water, Djoudj is a wetland oasis for wildlife, drawing million of birds to the area and making it a mind-blowing destination to see them. There are approximately 400 species of birds documented in this unique sanctuary. In fact, it was labeled as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981 primarily because of its residents.
Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary is mainly populated by pelicans and flamingos that stay buoyant and stagnant on the water.
Read more from source: Why You Should Visit Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary In Senegal
21 World Heritage sites you should visit before they’re lost forever; Jamie Carter; Travel And Leisure
From war and climate change to invasive species and mass tourism, the planet’s heritage hotspots are always in the balance. Those deemed to be World Heritage Sites by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) get official status and protection, but there’s not much even the UN can do to guard against damage to special places in conflict-ridden countries like Syria, Libya, Palestine and Afghanistan.
Each year, UNESCO adds to its List of World Heritage in Danger, but it’s about far more than those threatened by wars in the Middle East. Armed conflict, natural disaster, severe weather, unplanned urban developments, poaching, pollution and even arson can all play a part in threatening the very reasons why a property was initially inscribed on the World Heritage List.
UNESCO’s watchlist — which is supposed to serve as a reminder of the places (now numbering 54) that need protection, and not just a depressing list of shame — has had some rather surprising additions to it in the past year.
When most people think of West Africa, Ghana or Nigeria come to mind. But Dakar, the capital of Senegal and the rest of the country have been the thriving pulse of Francophone West Africa long before Accra was a tourist hotspot.
Ambient beaches, palm trees, and a sunny climate are just a few elements that place Saint-Louis, which is the third city in Senegal, a major tourist attraction. With its many ancient buildings, this city is in addition classified as the world heritage site by the UNESCO.
Saint-Louis is a city deeply rooted in history by both Africans and Europeans. Unfortunately as many secondary cities in Africa, it has not been accorded special attention just like capital cities, and little has been done to improve its infrastructure.
Tourism enables people to improve the image of such secondary cities in Senegal often ignored by governments. Tourism has lead to thousands of employment thus enhancing the per capita of such cities.
In Senegal, seawater seeping into underground fresh water aquifers is slowly increasing soil salinity causing havoc for farming communities living near wetlands rich in biodiversity.
Senegal’s Siné Saloum Delta is a biodiversity hotspot. Just 180 kilometers south-east of Dakar, the UNESCO world heritage site covers some 180,000 hectares, comprising wetlands, lakes, lagoons and marshes, as well as sandy coasts and dunes, terrestrial savannah areas and dry, open forest. It’s home to 400 species and plays a vital role in flood control and regulating the distribution of rainwater for the local people and wildlife.
Lack of fresh water
But due to drought, climate change and the uncontrolled logging of mangrove forests, the ground’s salinity has shot up – threatening the livelihoods of thousands of people living there. One of them is Khadiome Ndongue, a resident of Sadio Ba near the west coast town of Foundiougne.