Parc National Diawling


This little-known national park is a sister to the adjacent Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary in Senegal. It has important mangroves and acacia forest (any bit of greenery comes as a relief), as well as large coastal dunes. Incredibly rich in birdlife – you're also likely to spot monkeys, warthogs and monitor lizards – it's well worth a detour if you have a 4WD. Most people breeze through on their way to Senegal via the border crossing at Diamma. Facilities are almost completely undeveloped.

With little advance notice, park employees can put up a traditional-style tent (UM12,000) for overnights, but you need to come with your own food. The entrance fee is per day and can be paid at the park entrance.

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1. Parc National des Oiseaux du Djoudj

8.51 MILES

From November to April, some three million birds migrating south from Europe stop here, because it's one of the first places with permanent water south of…