Dobo national park, deepest into the Jungle yet

Trip Start Sep 03, 2010
Trip End Oct 27, 2010

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Flag of Gambia  ,
Thursday, October 21, 2010

It’s supposedly the last day in Georgetown and we plan to cross the river again and visit Dobo national park which is on the opposite side to Wassu. Then we would take the north track and return that way. We depart the lodge and cross the river. Im quite low on fuel and the route to Dobo is not signposted and we only have a vague map. We cross many remote villages with many friendly children waving with a smile and shouting “toubab!” (white man). We ask many times for the way and get mislead a good couple of times. My diesel tank is near empty as the go deeper and the vegetation becomes very thick.

Eventually we make it after a much longer drive than expected. The whole village is surprised by our presence and are greeted by many curious children.  A boy approaches and takes us to the village elders who decide about who enters the park and when. They are quite friendly and they send a group of boys to accompany us into the jungle. We are warned that the river is full to the brim and a fair bit of land is covered by water. We’re now here so we don’t care. It’s a good trek into the thick jungle. Normally the track gets cleared a bit for tourists but since we are the first ones it’s a bit of a struggle to wade through. We spot a good couple of monkeys on various occasions. Its very hot and above all, humid. We take lots of snaps and the boys serve us some small jungle coconuts they prise open with their machetes. Soon we have to wade through shallow water and the river bank is not too far. We get up a tree and see the other side through thick jungle vegetation. Its back to the village where we thank the people and ask for diesel just by chance. To our surprise they say that they have some but they’ve run out. Its getting dark and we stop at each village only to find out that each one has run out. I'm worried as we wont get very far at all. At the main road and after a stressful search we manage to get 20l to my relief.

Off to wassu in the dark but we decide its best to return to Georgetown and stay the night there as it wouldn’t be a good idea to take the unknown north track in the dark. We turn around and while waiting for the ferry we observe a thunderstorm in the distance. We wonder whether it was a good idea to return to the lodge for fear of some more rain leaking in during the night. We get a different room at the lodge and thankfully it doesn’t rain!
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