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msafi ri 110 SENEGAL SAFARI SENEGAL? When one thinks of embarking upon an adventurous safari, taking a trip to the Western part of Africa is not usually what comes to mind; however, any lover of nature would be missing out if they did not make a trip to the Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary, located on the southeast bank of the River Senegal. This World Heritage Site is the world's third largest ornithological park and home to over 3,000,000 migrating birds of 400 species. If you want another experience of exotic birds, along with some animals that will actually hold still long enough for your camera shot, take a ride out to Niokolo- Koba National Park, located along the banks of the Gambia river, where the dense forests are home to a Noah's Ark of animals. Not only will you discover 80 species of mammals, including elephants, lions, leopards, elands and chimpanzees, but you will also enjoy 60 species of fi sh, 38 species of reptiles and 20 species of amphibians. To top off the nature- lover's experience, the park also houses over 1500 species of plants. TARANGA/ HOSPITALITY Welcome homeā€¦ There is a common, though East for the amazing wildlife and the West for the phenomenal hospitality. While there is certainly plenty of natural habitat and kindness to be found on both sides of the continent, it is true that the Senegalese are in a special class for their hospitality. Indeed, they have since popularised their own word for it: Taranga. The philosophy behind it? Any visitor is somebody's child who left his own home to visit yours. He should be taken care of in the same way you would want your own child to be cared for. The smiling and friendly faces, the 20- minute greetings, the generous offerings of meals and shelter, and the frequent handshakes and embraces, all serve to make this country as warm as the ever- radiant sun. It is important to note, though, that in order to truly enjoy this hospitality, you have to open your heart to it. While it might not be a problematic gesture abroad, to refuse a drink or meal in Senegal is the height of rudeness. The lesson: consider yourself among family when in Senegal, and you will feel right at home. SENSATIONAL STREET SHOPPING Colourful! If there is one word that tourists use most to describe Senegal's capital, Dakar, it is colourful. Truly, one of the most enjoyable pastimes is walking the crooked, crowded, streets of this visually stimulating city. Dakar is a gawker's paradise, showcasing local women in multihued, Senegalese garb, Lebanese youngsters sporting the latest French fashions, and Chinese merchants peddling discounted electronics. Worked up an appetite? Middle Eastern restaurants, French pastry stores and African food stalls clutter the side streets. Corner vendors push eye- catching, African fabrics, handmade sandals and Italian handbags. For the health conscious, enjoy a range of exotic fruit stands, a pharmacopeia of traditional remedies, and a wide range of fl avoured snacks such as nuts and non- sugary sweets. For the artistically inclined can experience rows of traditional woodcarvings, masks and highly sought after, silver Taureg jewellery. And no worries, the doll-makers, calabash painters and the butterfl y- winged Top left: Senegal Parrot ( poicephalus senegalus). Above: Kayar, fi shing boats. Right: Senegal wattled plover Far right: Senegalese woven baskets made of sea grass hushed, saying among tourists about Africa: visit the