Park “W”

Over the Christmas break, we went with the Lehman family to Park “W,” a game park that is jointly run by Niger, Benin, and Burkina Faso. We stayed at a really cool Eco lodge that’s on an island in the middle of the Niger River. We had to take a boat (pirogue) to get there. Their website is here. We stayed in cute little huts (on stilts to keep the animals out!), with a great view of the river. It was a very relaxing time and a great break from the “big city” of Niamey. Plus we got to see all kinds of animals. We saw elephants, warthogs, monkeys, deer, crocodiles, and even a lion! When we went looking for the lion, the guide climbed up on the roof of our jeep so he could see better, so Chris, Becca, and I climbed up there with him. In other words, when we saw the lion, we were about 20 meters away from him and totally exposed! Luckily, the owner of the Eco lodge told us that the night before the lions killed a Roan Antelope (see picture below) and had a big feast. So the lion wasn’t very hungry. In fact, he barely noticed us.

We hid up in a watch tower while the elephants came to take their bath

playing in the water


Playing in the mud, right after his bath!

A roan antelope

on our way to the little island

Kapok trees

some of the huts on stilts

Our hut

Josh would've been happy to sit on this porch all day.

The lion that was so very close to our car!

The dining area.

Went walking around the island

...and climbing

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15 Responses to Park “W”

  1. Laura Blystra says:

    Such great pictures! Thanks for sharing them. Hope it was a blessed Christmas for you guys.

  2. Liz Kopp says:

    What a fun holiday at such a charming place! What do you call those things dangling from the tree? And Julz, you’re actually wearing a sweat shirt during daylight?

    • I wish we had known about this place when you guys were here… but it gives us something new to do for the next time you come! Those things hanging from the tree have that soft stuff in it… the same stuff that they use to insulate the pirogues. And monkeys eat it. I guess it’s supposed to be sweet. I found that out afterwards, otherwise I would have tried it!

  3. Nomi says:

    I was going to ask the same thing, Liz… what’s the weather like Julz?

  4. tamirann says:

    Love it can’t wait to go there with you !

  5. Karen Lakin says:

    Smiled from beginning to end. What great pictures to share. What are the things hanging from the tree and I think I figured out that you learned about hiking and climbing shoes from your mom.
    A peaceful, healthy and happy new year.

    • You’re right! Like mother like daughter! 😉
      The things hanging from the trees are called monkey fruit. Inside the shell, there is a soft, fluffy fiber. They use it as padding in pillows, mattresses, and for insulation.

  6. sue says:

    Such a beautiful & unique place! What memorable experiences you are having while at the same time being a blessing to others!

  7. Irma says:

    JuJu! Hands down – the picture of you in the hut is my favourite of you so far!!! ❤ 😀

  8. Sarah Owen says:

    Enjoyed this posting very much – great photos! I shared it with my daughters and Christian friends on Facebook. How fun to visit there over Christmas break – I’m glad you enjoyed this vacation – taking breaks is so important to stay well and sane when you are giving of yourself to others who are needy. I rejoice at the opportunities you have there to do good, and to learn and explore! God bless you!

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