Cascade de Tanougou
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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
Immediately outside the entrance gate of Pendjari park is Cascade de Tnaougou, a sacred sight for local people. I pay a 2,000CFA “community development fund / access fee” to the chief, and drive down to the parking area. Immediately the Jeep is surrounded by men offering to be my guide, of course for a fee.
Having just paid so much for the park, and paid to be even allowed into the waterfall, I’m not in the mood and decline all offers. This is once again the ongoing struggle of me being treated like a wallet with legs, and again it instantly puts me in a bad mood. Quickly men offer all of the following – for a fee of course. To wash the Jeep, To guard the Jeep, To guide me and To carry my stuff. I ask the man who offered to guard the Jeep if it’s dangerous here, to which he immediately replies no, it’s very safe. In that case the Jeep doesn’t need a guard, I say, which confuses him deeply.
It’s about a five minute walk to the lower sacred falls, then another five including a small rock scramble up to the main falls, which are very impressive. My entourage is following the entire way, so I quickly tear off my clothes and dive in for a swim, thoroughly enjoying the peace and quiet out in the water.
On the rocks nearby I see a massive beehive swarming with bees, and generally enjoy wandering around checking out the whole area, much to the disbelief of the assembled entourage who I gather are used to people snapping one photo before leaving in two minutes.
Once again, I feel certain swimming in waterfalls counts as a shower