Our president, Ellen Meulenveld, has already several times resolved to visit the botanical garden that is located at the Cape Point Road in Bakau. Every time something got in the way, but then she resolved to go next time in Gambia.
Also at the last visit something seemed to intervene, because when the travelers on Sunday afternoon stood in front of the small gate the gate was closed. A friendly watchman from the British ambassador's resident next to the botanical gardens told us, that the garden is open every day except weekends. "Nice bunch," Ellen grumbles, "I finally had the time and I did the ride, and then it is closed. Then next time..."
But luckily a scheduled call fell away the next day, and the group went back to Bakau. The head gardener, Bernhard, was at work but wanted to give us the tour himself.
The garden with the medical plants and trees was viewed first. Much explanation was given about a tree that is called 'Bitter Leave.' From the leaf tea is made that helps against stomach cramps and diarrhea. There are also beautiful flowering shrubs and trees that provide remedy for many ailments. Not only flowers but also the seeds, leaves, bark, tree sap, and roots are used as medicine. It is a pity that this knowledge will get lost if the knowledge of the indigenous population will not soon be written down and preserved.
Then the group went to the flowering trees and plants of the 'normal' botanical garden. The beautiful natural flowers attract many butterflies and birds, and there was a young vulture on the dunghill in the back. Small songbirds come to drink and wash in the water spray.
The botanical garden is really a must to see. Take your time for it and let all the knowledge that Bernhard will pass on influence you. This alone shall give you a nice dose of rest and relaxation. Who ever said that walking was strenuous? In the botanical garden it is just the other way around. You'll come back happy and relaxed.