listen to africa

an audio adventure through africa


Sounds rss

Throughout the 24,000 kilometre expedition, we are recording sounds and voices from across Africa - from people and music to wildlife and soundscapes. You can subscribe to our podcast, browse all our sound recordings below, or listen to:

Wildlife | People | Travelogues | Soundscapes | Music | Podcast

If you work for an educational, nonprofit or research organisation, or in community radio / podcasting and are interested in using any of our sounds, please get in touch.


 

Geotag Icon Soundscape: A thunderstorm in Bissau

audio, soundscapes posted by on Nov 2nd, 2009
Thunderstorm in Bissau. © Listen to Africa

Thunderstorm in Bissau. © Listen to Africa

A thunderstorm in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau’s slightly surreal capital city. The thunderstorm started quite suddenly but went on for two hours – and the rain has only just stopped, seven hours after it started. We left the sound recorder running under an awning in the courtyard of our hotel while we sheltered in our room drinking tea and coffee (it’s a hard life, this sound recording). Best listened to in stereo.

Date and time recorded: 15:17 local time, 2nd November 2009
Location: Bissau, Guinea-Bissau (view on map)
Equipment: Sennheiser MKH30/40 to Fostex FR2LE
Copyright: Listen to Africa
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Geotag Icon Soundscape: The River Gambia

audio, soundscapes posted by on Nov 1st, 2009

The River GambiaWe spent several evenings sitting on the jetty at Tendaba Camp on the south bank of the River Gambia, listening to the sounds of the river at dusk. In this soundscape, waves are slapping against the jetty while, in the background, a tree-full of weaver birds sing their hearts out before nightfall. Best listened to in stereo.

Date and time recorded: 18:36 local time, 15th October 2009
Location: Tendaba Camp, The Gambia (view on map)
Equipment: Sennheiser MKH30/40 to Fostex FR2LE
Copyright: Listen to Africa
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Geotag Icon Soundscape: Dawn at Bessi

audio, soundscapes posted by on Oct 22nd, 2009

This soundscape was recorded at dawn in a derelict old camp near Bessi, not too far from the southern bank of The Gambia River in The Gambia. A lot of the former hotels and camps we came across on the south side of the river have been reclaimed by nature since the southern road disintegrated into a bumpy track – bad news for the Gambian tourist industry but good news for The Gambia’s 576 bird species. This was recorded using our new mics and, to celebrate, we’re keeping it long (10 minutes). It’s best listened to in stereo.

Date and time recorded: 06:44 local time, 12th October 2009
Location: Near Bessi, The Gambia (view on map)
Equipment: Sennheiser MKH30/40 to Fostex FR2LE
Copyright: Listen to Africa
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Geotag Icon Wildlife: Giant Eagle Owl

audio, wildlife posted by on Sep 14th, 2009

Giant Eagle Owls are wonderful creatures; they have huge, lidded eyes that make them look a little like gremlins, and they sound a bit like pigs. We were lucky enough to enjoy the presence of two (wild) Giant Eagle Owls at Le Thiossane camp in Senegal, and we spent a few hours sitting near this vocal individual’s tree and gaining its confidence before setting up the recorder. This extract is taken from the hour-long recording we have of this individual.

Species: Bubo lacteus
Common name: Giant Eagle Owl
Date and time recorded: 18:54 local time, 6th September 2009
Location: Near Mbodiene, Senegal (view on map)
Equipment: Audio-Technica AT897 via FEL MicBooster MB-1 to Fostex FR2LE
Copyright: Listen to Africa
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Geotag Icon Soundscape: Morning by the lagoon

audio, soundscapes posted by on Sep 14th, 2009

Evening by the lagoonIn this soundscape, recorded just after dawn at Le Thiossane camp near Mbodiene, Senegal, you can hear the insects and birds living around the saltwater lagoon coming to life. We spent a lot of mornings and evenings listening to and watching the life of the lagoon, with the sea crashing in the distance. This was recorded in mono, just before our new mics arrived…

Date and time recorded: 06:24 local time, 4th September 2009
Location: Near Mbodiene, Senegal (view on map)
Equipment: Audio-Technica AT897 via FEL MicBooster MB-1 to Fostex FR2LE
Copyright: Listen to Africa
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Geotag Icon Soundscape: Drumming rain

audio, soundscapes posted by on Sep 14th, 2009

As we’ve mentioned, it’s rainy season in Senegal. Outside our hut in Le Thiossane, Senegal, was a vase-shaped water collector, covered by a metal plate to keep out the leaves. When the rain fell on the plate, it made a wonderful drumming sound. We recorded this near the start of one lunchtime downpour, moving the microphone closer to the plate during the recording – and you’ll be able to hear the rain getting heavier as the recording goes on.

Date and time recorded: 12:07 local time, 6th September 2009
Location: Near Mbodiene, Senegal (view on map)
Equipment: Audio-Technica AT897 via FEL MicBooster MB-1 to Fostex FR2LE
Copyright: Listen to Africa
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Geotag Icon White Rhino

audio, wildlife posted by on Sep 14th, 2009

White rhino in the Bandia reserveWhile we were in the Bandia Reserve, our guide, Mamadou, stopped the vehicle and went off on foot to follow some large tracks. Fifteen minutes later, he came back and told us to follow him, on foot. He led us to a wooded copse, where the Bandia Reserve’s only two (Southern) White Rhinos – an eight year-old pair – were resting. Here are the few seconds we managed to snatch of the female breathing.

Species: Ceratotherium simum
Common name: Southern White Rhinoceros
Date and time recorded: 12:42 local time, 31st August 2009
Location: Bandia Reserve, Senegal (view on map)
Equipment: Audio-Technica AT897 via FEL MicBooster MB-1 to Fostex FR2LE
Copyright: Listen to Africa
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Geotag Icon Flock of Village (Spotted-Backed) Weavers

audio, wildlife posted by on Sep 14th, 2009

Flock of village weavers nestingThis flock of Village Weavers was busy building nests in a tree just across from the restaurant in the Bandia Reserve. Every now and then the whole flock would suddenly go quiet for one or two seconds before starting up again. In this recording, taken just before the skies opened to rain, we captured one of these silences.

Species: Ploceus cucullatus
Common name: Village (Spotted-Backed) Weaver
Date and time recorded: 13:47 local time, 31st August 2009
Location: Bandia Reserve, Senegal (view on map)
Equipment: Audio-Technica AT897 via FEL MicBooster MB-1 to Fostex FR2LE
Copyright: Listen to Africa
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Geotag Icon Soundscape: A short trip by pirogue

audio, soundscapes posted by on Sep 14th, 2009

Punting the piroguePirogues are small, wooden fishing boats common in this part of Africa. We took this pirogue from Fadhiout in Senegal to visit the nearby Ile aux Coquillages, or Island of Shells. As you’ll hear, this pirogue was punted by a wooden pole, although some pirogues are propelled by outboard motors, paddles or sails. The flat-bottomed pirogues are designed to be able to navigate shallow areas like these wetlands; you should also be able to hear the moving sand on the sea bed. Around us, groups of men fished with nets and older women waded through the water, feeling for oysters with their feet.

Date and time recorded: 13:04 local time, 2nd September 2009
Location: Near L’Ile aux Coquillages, Senegal (view on map)
Equipment: Audio-Technica AT897 via FEL MicBooster MB-1 to Fostex FR2LE
Copyright: Listen to Africa
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Geotag Icon Long-tailed Starlings

audio, wildlife posted by on Sep 14th, 2009

Long-tailed starlingThe area around Mbodiene, Senegal, was an ornithologist’s dream: giant eagle owls, pelicans, weavers, terns, gonoleks, bulbuls, and lots and lots of long-tailed starlings, who often carried on singing through the night. We recorded this group of long-tailed starlings as we walked back to camp one afternoon.

Species: Lamprotornis caudatus
Common name: Long-tailed Starling
Date and time recorded: 16:04 local time, 30th August 2009
Location: Near Mbodiene, Senegal (view on map)
Equipment: Audio-Technica AT897 via FEL MicBooster MB-1 to Fostex FR2LE
Copyright: Listen to Africa
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