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I just can’t believe the announcement of the death of MODOU COLLEY, at the age of only 53.

My trusted friend and the intrepid guide of our Gambia Bird Tours over the last 15 years has passed away. What a shock. He never mentioned an illness when last I spoke to him in May, we talked about meeting up again in November for the 2024 Tour?

The last day of our tour in November 2023 - I entitled this picture on the blog on November 28th as "saying goodbye to Modou" little did I know how true that statement was to become.

I now know that he suffered a fatal stroke!! God bless him and may he rest in peace.

Modou was a true nature lover, he loved his country and was passionate about Gambian wildlife and the conservation of all natural life. Many Gambian bird guides are ‘trained’ for the job and become very knowledgeable guides, but they lack the passion of a true conservationist and naturalist such as Modou.

Modou was the chairman of the Gambian Bird Watching Society for many years, a Godfather of the bird-watching fraternity in the Gambia. Wherever we went throughout the Gambia he was treated with respect by everyone we met. He must have been the most well-known guide in the whole of the country.

He was a very generous and an ambition man, he always gave money to beggars and children when we passed them in the street and to local ‘wardens’ at the nature reserves we visited. He worked hard to complete the ambitious project of building of his own ‘lodge’ which never quite got finished.

I shall miss Modou dearly, a gracious man with a great sense of humour. My deepest sympathy goes out to all his family. May he rest in peace, god bless him.