As you know, one of the most fantastic things about Balaba Nature Camp is its beautiful birds. The Gambia is famous for its birds – in fact, many tourists come especially to see them. Lamin has worked hard at Balaba to maintain the trees and unspoilt forest around us, which has become increasingly important as the area around us is being deforested at an alarming rate. We have always put out containers for the birds to drink from (usually a plastic container cut in half!), but last year you may remember Lamin decided to build a larger pool next to the forest edge to encourage some of the shyer birds. This was a great success, so this year he thought it was time to build a concrete one instead.
At Balaba Nature Camp we have worked hard to keep the environment as natural as possible. When Lamin first came to live here nearly 20 years ago he lived here alone, with no near neighbours, in unspoilt forest. Monkeys, deer and hyenas were regular visitors, and people thought he was ‘crazy’ for wanting to live here! He has managed the trees very carefully here, ensuring that they are felled when necessary, and planting fruit trees such as bananas, oranges and other citrus fruits, and straight malinas which are great for use as timber. But he has kept the trees, and the whole compound is a beautifully shaded haven.