I woke up to someone knocking the window again and I thought it might be the sunbird that woke me up a couple of days ago. But this time there were two birds! One in each window. Birds with bigger beaks who were knocking the window with more force.
They sat in each window and then all of a sudden they both flew away.
I googled them of course.
They turned out to be a couple of Western red-billed hornbills (Tockus kempi).
According to wikipedia they eat insects, fruit, seeds and even small rodents!!
One of the Western red-billed hornbills that woke me up
Feeding monkeys in the monkey park
There is a monkey park near the tourist area and all though I´ve been to the Gambia a million times I havn´t actually done so much touristy-things the past 20 years and I´ve never been to the Monkey park before!
The Monkey park (or Bijilo Forest park & Nature trail, which is it´s real name) is located pretty near Senegambia strip which is considered the main tourist area in the Gambia.
The entrance fee is 150GMD which is like 27 SEK and is paid in the reception area where you also can buy peanuts and bananas for the monkeys!
The park has a lot of inhabitants but the most famous are of course the two species of monkeys that live here – The western red colobus and The green vervet monkey!
The Green vervet monkeys loves bananas while the Western red colobus prefer peanuts.
The Western Red colobus to the right and The green vervet monkey to the left
The Western Red colobus (Piliocolobus badius )
The western red colobus mostly eat leaves, flowers and fruit. It can grow to be 45-67cm tall and weigh up to 11 kg!
They live in large colonies of between twelve and eighty members and in this monkey park they are very closely co-existing with the green vervet monkeys. They are an endangered species and there are projects in the Gambia which aim to try to make the species more resilient.
The red colobus who seemes to be the leader of the red colobuses in the park
The Green vervet monkey (Chlorocebus)
The green vervet monkey also known as Green monkey can grow to be up to 50cm tall and live in groups of 10-70 individuals. They can weigh up to 8kg so they are a bit smaller than the western colobuses, but by observing them in the monkey park I could say that it seems like they are more prone to start fights and cause trouble than their red neighbors. They eat mainly fruits and plants and can live up to an age of 12-24 years!
Green vervets with peanuts
Some years ago there were protests because the monkey-park (although being a nature reserve) was shrunken by half because the government wanted to build The Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center. Sadly the monkeys lost and have now a smaller area to reside in. But thanks to organizations such as https://www.greenupgambia.org/ the monkeys got a new borhole and more trees were planted in the remaining area.
xoxo/ Salla V