listen to africa

an audio adventure through africa

Geotag Icon Soundscape: Life in the mangroves

audio, soundscapes posted by on Nov 12th, 2009

We recorded this just after dawn in the mangrove forest on the banks of The River Gambia, placing the microphones on a tripod among the mangrove roots to try and capture the astonishing pops, clicks and drips coming from them. We think the pops and clicks are created by crustaceans but if anyone knows for certain, we’d love to find out so please let us know in the comments! Best listened to in stereo.

Date and time recorded: 08:05 local time, 16th October 2009
Location: Tendaba, The Gambia (view on map)
Equipment: Sennheiser MKH30/40 to Fostex FR2LE
Copyright: Listen to Africa
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  1. amazing! i really want to know now what those clicks are, they sound so much nearer than all the other layers of sound.

  2. I recorded clicks like these in mangroves on the coast of northern Australia, and found that they came from small crabs about 2.5 cm diameter. Don’t know how they actually made the sound though. Enjoyed your recording!

  3. I’ve found an article on how the mangrove crabs produce clicks but it’s still no clearer to me… It’s likely to be the boys using tubercles and setae (lumps and bumps) on their front legs to produce the sound in order to ward off other males and attract the ladies. – it seems to work, I for one find the sound very attractive and have now decided to visit a mangrove and see one of these boys for myself. This my new favourite recording so far, not least because there’s an oooo-oooo-oo-oo-oo-oo pigeon hidden in the background which should make for several hours discussion in the pub later. Brilliant stuff, nxx

  4. Ooh brilliant – thank you both! Netty, it seems the clicks really do work – I was drawn towards the mangroves to record the clicks, while Huw was repelled back towards the hut where all the coffee was… Spooky.

  5. [...] Listen to Africa is Huw Williams and Rebecca Sumners two year 24,000km cycle powered field recording expedition across Africa – listen to: Life in the mangroves [...]

  6. This is probably the best field recording I’ve ever heard! Thank you.

  7. Wow, high praise indeed. I don’t agree with you but I love that you said it! Thank you Luke.

  8. This has made me make a promise to myself to get to the mangroves earlier in the day next time I go! Wonderfully evocative sounds…and I wish I was still there! Watched Ospreys near to Kafountine (Casamance, Senegal), in and around the mangrove creeks and bolongs. Guess they”ll be winging their way back to Europe now.
    Just found your site-it”s amazing! Thank you so much. Can”t wait to hear more!

  9. Angie, thank you so much. We would have loved to have made it to Kafountine sounds wonderful! More sounds coming soon (really, honestly :)

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