Me and my companion check into what our guidebook tells us is the cheapest sleep in Toubacouta: Keur Yossou, and I ask the guy who shows us our room his name “I’m Youssou! This is my place, I’m married with two kids.. I’m not a reggae boy!” oh my “what’s a reggae boy?” “You know, the guys who hang around waiting to pick up young girls” young toubab specifically I guess so no joke, but Youssou is hillarious, even though I only understand a solid third of what he is saying (French challenge).
Everything else in town is mellow as honey, the mangrove is home to an astounding little island made entirely of sea shells, perforated by Baobab roots – this is a well trodden tourist path, but justly so, its magical. The dark waters of the delta are salty and swimable, floatable, splashable… The dry forrest around are home to baboons, monkeys, hyenas and colourful birds. A little village nearby turned touristic when they got a woman elder for chief, she welcomes us with a smacking kiss on each cheek (again, missed my photo opt because it was too amazing). We splurge and spend two days sailing around with a guide in pirogue, dreamy and totally worth it.