I'm sorting through the photos from our Gambia trip.  During our safari in the Fathala Game Reserve in Senegal, I hastily wrote down the names of the animals so that I could properly identify the pictures.  That is, I wrote down what I thought I heard our guide say. Her English was excellent but heavily-accented, and I knew that what I heard could not possibly be right.  But I wrote it as I heard it, counting on the Internet to help me after we returned home.

It did.  For those of you who are curious,

"Rowland antelope" = roan antelope

"yellowbill asparagus" = yellow-billed oxpecker.  I knew it couldn't be "asparagus," but that was the closest I could come.

"red vervet monkey" = "patas monkey."  I am certain I heard "red vervet monkey," but I couldn't find any red vervet monkeys by name, although many images showed them as a brownish-red color, even though they are apparently often called green monkeys.  Google also suggested red velvet cake, which didn't help.  Then I found this Wikipedia article, which suggests this of the patas monkey (which looks very much like what we saw):

The patas monkey (Erythrocebus patas) ... is a ground-dwelling monkey distributed over semi-arid areas of West Africa, and into East Africa. It is the only species classified in the genus Erythrocebus. Recent phylogenetic evidence indicates that it is the closest relative of the vervet monkey (Chlorocebus aethiops), suggesting nomenclatural revision.

So I'm sticking with the name our African guides gave it.

Here are a couple from other parts of our stay:

"nests vled vivas yellow female" = some sort of weaver birds' nests, possibly village weaver, possibly Vieillot's weaver.  This was a tough one, from our Janjanbureh trip.  Fortunately, birding in the Gambia is a popular tourist activity, so that helped.  Which particular weaver "vled" is supposed to represent, I can't guess.

"never die plant heal wound kill snake" =  moringa plant.  This was tougher than it should have been, because where I saw it, the plant had other plants growing with it, and its own leaves had been mostly stripped off.  But finally I'm convinced that this is it, despite there being no mention online to confirm our host's contention that it kills, or even repels, snakes.

The rest I actually heard correctly, though I didn't write down as much as I would have liked to.  "Write down" meant changing the file name of the camera image to include the label, not the easiest of ways to take notes, but it's what I had.

Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 10:06 am | Edit
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Yes, 'never die' is moringa.

Posted by Kathy Lewis on Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 4:48 pm

Thanks for the confirmation, Kathy.

Posted by SursumCorda on Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 4:53 pm
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