My ARB Air Compressor means flat tires are not a problem (I had 16 Alaska->Argentina!). From $492.91 on Amazon
For a shower I use a 10L MSR water bag that gets nice and hot in the sun. From $39.96 on Amazon

Chasing Turtles in Ébodjé

NEW! Click any photo to buy a custom print - gloss, matt, framed or even a postcard!

South of Kribi I drive on a massive freeway, past the shiny new deep-water port. I have heard many countries in this region had planned to build a monster port for decades, and it appears Cameroon have finally done it. All the signs are in Chinese, all the workers and equipment are from China, and it appears even all the companies advertised on signs who are extracting minerals in the region are Chinese.
Immediately after the port I find myself on an extremely small dirt track, following the beach directly South. The village of Ébodjé is tiny, and of course everyone knows I have come in the hopes of seeing turtles. Here a research centre has been setup, and a small display is setup for tourists. The friendly caretaker directs me to camp right on the beach, once again the definition of paradise.

ebodje beach 720x480

The beach at ebodje

ebodje beach jeep 320x480

Beach side property

In the sweltering afternoon sun an old man takes pity on my attempts to cut open a coconut, and takes me for a walk to demonstrate how to choose the best ones, and exactly how to slice them with a machete.

ebodje jeep camping sunset 320x480

Senset over my campsite

At 10pm we walk along the beach, in the hopes of seeing a female turtle laying eggs. I am a month too late, though there is still a chance, he says. As we walk we chat on and on about life in Cameroon, the turtles, politics and basically everything in between. After walking for hours and hours we rest for a while before making the return walk, occasionally getting hit by waves from the now high tide. It’s a beautiful walk in the warm night air, and even though we don’t see any turtles I have a fantastic time.

ebodje sunset beach jeep 720x480

More of sunset

In the morning my friend excitedly says some eggs have hatched, so I walk back over to the research centre to check it out. To improve the survival rates they move eggs into a fenced area, and around a hundred of them hatched overnight. The baby turtles will be kept here for a couple of days before being released on the beach. It’s important to let them find their own way into the water so they have the memory of where they must return to lay their own eggs. I am mesmerized watching the turtles swim endlessly into the side of the container, almost like the energizer bunny.

ebodjge baby turtle 720x480

A baby turtle!

Next: Beach or jungle, Beach or Jungle?

-Dan

1 Response

  1. July 20, 2017

    […] on the border with Equatorial Guinea, one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Read more: http://theroadchoseme.com/chasing-turtles-in-ebodje Now I am cutting inland through the thick jungle, heading for Gabon. Read […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>