This section is currently expanding...

 

 Travelling alone (rarely) for the first time when I was twenty, I spent two months in MoroccoPreviously that was the only glimpse I'd had of this enormous continent, but now Dan and I are travelling through The Gambia and up to Senegal. 

Behind the Scenery — Plastic Pollution and Some Small Ways to Help.

plastic pollution
An "Innocent" juice bottle and doomed goose barnacles.

 

Painfully brought to the public's attention by the genius series "Blue Planet II", plastic pollution has been a hot topic this year. As bloggers, photographers and general Planet Earth enthusiasts, it's easy to present the places we love as we wish they were; to crop out the ugly parts or direct our cameras elsewhere. This collaboration is an attempt to rectify the rose-tinted vision we have often portrayed. Nowhere is left unaffected by the plastic plague.

 

 

Read More

Popenguine - Peace and Quiet on the Petite Côte, Senegal.

Calabash, Popenguine
Calabash - a type of gourd.

 

We arrived at Popenguine at the end of the Pentecost festivities. The streets were a mess of half-deconstructed market stalls, stumbling revellers and strewn plastic cups. Feeling tired from the journey, we were thankful to find that – apart from pointing us in the direction of the ancient church – nobody paid us much attention. There were a few other toubabs*, enough to make us unremarkable, but they mostly seemed to live there and (in May) there was little tourism to speak of.

 *White or foreign people.

Read More

Backpacking The Gambia and Senegal - a Complete Packing and Pre-Departure Check List.

 

My partner Dan and I were backpacking around The Gambia and Senegal for six weeks. This is the information I was looking for before we left...

Unless (like us) you are carting around bodyboards or other specialised equipment, there is no reason why you can't fit all your luggage into a "day pack", hand-luggage sized bag. The warm weather means you can usually wash and dry things within a few hours, but if you do find you need more clothes, a visit to a fabric shop and tailor is fun and affordable (between three and ten pounds for a shirt in The Gambia) and second hand clothes markets are common. Almost anything broken can be fixed, so make sure you ask around before throwing stuff away.

 

Read More

"Un Peu" de la Petite Côte and Plenty of Pelicans at Mar Lodj, Senegal.

boat trip Mar Lodj, Sine-Saloum Delta
Mar Lodj, Sine-Saloum Delta

 

After crossing the border into Senegal, we made a bee-line for the coast. We were looking for surf in Toubab Dialaw; it took three days to arrive. We walked south, right out of the village, to where women were collecting rocks from the sea and then a little further, and bobbed in the waves like seals. When it got bigger, the ride was short and dumpy, smashing Dan into the sand and grazing his head. It didn't stop him trying again of course.

 

Read More

Practical Information - Gambia/Senegal Border Crossing (Amdallai/Karang)

Attaya Gambia Senegal
A somewhat unrelated photo of Gambian attaya making paraphernalia.

 

This is a very boring post, please proceed directly to either of the following unless you need advice:

If you are looking for pre-departure packing and preparation tips for backpacking in The Gambia and Senegal, I've written a whole post for you!

 

Read More

From Bwiam to Basse, but mostly around Janjanbureh, then back west along the North Bank - The Gambia

River Gambia boat trip Janjanbureh
Part of the River Gambia - near Janjanbureh

 

Travel onward from Bwiam was hot and mildly confusing. Initially we caught a big bus to Soma. Out of the window, what limited modernity we had become accustomed to dropped away; roofs changed to thatch and houses shrunk, men began to wear robes more commonly than t-shirts and horse carts soon outnumbered private vehicles. Soma was predominantly a busy intersection, swirling with dust and criss-crossed by semi-panicked donkeys. We went to check the bank for an ATM and were greeted by a nervous, armed security guard, his finger on the trigger, who seemed eager for us to leave. It was much more confusing than threatening. We quickly found a gelly-gelly bound for Janjanbureh.

 

At any given time, it is rare to be further than thirty centimetres away from a baby on public transport. We provided in-transit entertainment or sometimes accidental terror. Up until that day we had found travel to be quite fun, but the novelty wore off as we waited for the minibus to fill up; trundled off after a bump start (nearly leaving Dan behind); and proceeded to stop what felt like one hundred times, once for as long as an hour, over as many kilometres. To the other passengers dismay (and our confusion) merely a tenth of the journey away from Janjanbureh, we were turfed out of that bus and onto another. Then we waited for that one to fill up. All in all, one hundred and eighty kilometers from Bwiam to Janjanbureh took us seven and a half hours. Dan was getting an increasingly bad back and upon arrival, we accidentally paid one hundred dalasi instead of ten for the five minute ferry crossing across the river Gambia. Finally, we arrived on the north bank dispirited, dirty and on the verge of heat stroke. 

 

Read More

Slowly, slowly up the river Gambia - from Sanyang to Bwiam.

Bwiam, Gambia
Bwiam - "a big town"

 

We lingered in Sanyang, nervous of our next step, hiding amongst other tourists we didn't even like to avoid the unknown quantity that was public transport. There is limited information about this sort of travel within The Gambia; no such thing as bus times, numbered stands or labelled destinations. What hints I could find were so vague that I could have assumed them. Unable to delay any further*, we set out early one morning to walk the few dusty kilometres into Sanyang town.

 

Read More

Tumani Tenda - The Gambia

Senegalese Thick-knee and mangrove - Tumani Tenda -Gambia
Senegalese Thick-knee

 

 

Staying there for nearly a week in the end, I have struggled to put my experience of Tumani Tenda into a digestible format.  As is so often the case, the atmosphere was made by the wonderful staff, so I am trying to do them justice. 

 

For learning about life in a Gambian village, about sustainable farming or for bird watching, it's hard to imagine a more ideal set up. The prices are listed upon arrival, so there is no need to haggle and activities are very affordable coming from Europe. Most importantly, any profit made is channelled straight back into the community.

 

The following information is enough for the basis of a thesis, so I have broken it up into sections. You might just want to look at the photos...

 

Read More

Rainbow Beach Bar and Lodgings, Sanyang - The Gambia

Sanyang, Gambia - cows on the beach

 

Far from fresh-faced having slept in the airport, but new to The Gambia, we were not looking for a challenge in our first few nights in the country. Avoiding Senegambia, the most popular and notoriously tourist infested strip of beach further north, we found Rainbow Beach Bar and Lodgings by the reliable method of arranging accommodation on booking.com* in order of lowest price first... 

 

*Not an advert!

Read More

Why and how we should be trying to preserve our Oceans.

 

Having spent quite some time ranting about the refugee crisis, I wanted to write about something else close to my heart, incredibly important, but not yet personal enough to make me shake with rage. 

Covering almost three-quarters of the Earth, holding 97% of our water, producing almost half of our oxygen and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere, I can't exactly overstate how important oceans are to our planet's survival. Despite being vital to our economies and way of life, gone are the days when it was possible to believe the deep blue sea was simultaneously an infinite wealth of resources and an invulnerable dumping ground. 

 

Read More

Tips for women planning an adventure in Morocco.

food, Marrakesh, Morocco, Africa

 

Drunkenly booking myself a one-way ticket to Marrakesh, age 20, was undoubtedly one of the most impulsive decisions I've ever made. I had some idea of what Morocco might be like, but the more I researched solo-female travel there, the more I began to wonder if I had made a giant mistake. As the weeks before my departure flew by, I got increasingly nervous and tried to arm myself with as much information as possible.

 

In hindsight I had no reason to worry, but these are the tips I wish I'd read before I left...

Read More

Camping spots that make you wonder why we ever sleep indoors.

Sapphire Coast Australia
Sapphire Coast Australia

 

This collaboration of magical camping spots has taken an embarrassingly long time to put together, but I can't help but feel proud of the result. With some of my traveller idols, friends and even family involved, it's hard to decide if I'm more excited by the contributors or the places they have written about. If this doesn't persuade you that you don't always want to sleep with a roof over your head, then I'm happy to keep the wilderness for myself. 

 

Read More

Architectural details of Marrakesh


I'm neither an architect nor a proper photographer, but I couldn't help but fall in love with these intricate designs. Click on the tiles below for full images... 


Read More

This site is written and edited solely by me (Katie). Please contact me if you find any typos or mistakes!

 

You can find Feathery Travels on facebook, twitter and pinterest.

 

Phone Credit For Refugees and Displaced People is a volunteer run organisation. I can't stress their importance enough - please click on the image below and join the facebook group to find out how you can help. If you are not on facebook, you can still donate here