The Little Boabab bar

The colourful bar at The Little Boabab

The Little Boabab is the most heartwarming and welcoming place we’ve visited in West Africa. It also has a huge touch of sadness (read on). Nestled in the village of Abéné in the Casamance (southern) part of Sénégal, The Little Boabab is the love child of Simon and Khady.

Years ago, Simon, an English journalist, fell in love with West Africa and Khady, a Sénégalese woman, who spoke only faltering English back then. Together they realised a dream and started to build The Little Boabab.

The Little Boabab garden
The Little Boabab garden

Sadly, I wasn’t lucky enough to meet Simon. About 18 months ago, he was killed in a car accident when travelling between Abéné to Ziguinchor. The mere thought of it breaks my heart. My own father was killed in a car accident when I was 18. You can read about him here.

When we arrived at The Little Boabab and met Khady, I gave her a huge hug and said that I ‘sort of’ understood the grief she was going through. I lived through the loss of a father, but how could I possibly understand the loss of a husband, and especially in her circumstances? She has two gorgeous and energetic young boys—Gulliver and Alfie.


Gulliver (left) and Alfie are ready for school

We stayed two nights at The Little Boabab. We enjoyed delicious meals, a comfy bed with mosquito net, a guided village walk and an incredible dance performance. It’s also where the dancers managed to get Poor John on his feet.

Little Boabab is a full-service, solar-powered campground. They provided all meals, and I was lucky enough to barge my way into the kitchen to help on our second night. I learned how to stuff bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks.

cooking in Senegal

Helping in the kitchen at The Little Boabab

Expect more posts about Little Boabab and surrounds. I wanted to get this one done so that I could mention that Khady hopes to find someone to lease and run the campground for two years while she goes to London to fight for Simon’s property. He owned a flat (apartment) there that needs to be sold. I understand that his parents are trying to grab it and are not acknowledging Khady or their own grandchildren.

Simon wrote about his experiences. You can buy his books Squirting milk at chameleons: an accidental African and Chasing hornbills: up to my neck in Africa here. I was lucky enough to buy mine at The Little Boabab.

Dancing at The Little Boabab

Poor John living it up at The Little Boabab. He looks like he is having fun

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