We had arranged to go on an early evening canoe ride up the River Moa. We set off for a 10 minnute track down to one of the small landing areas on the island. Even that short walk had the group stopping at various intervals to stand and watch quietly as Kenneth pointed out an interesting bird or animal. Once at the landing area our guide whistled over to the mainland for the canoe and it immediately set off and was guided over by two young men with a combination of pole and paddle.

We enbarked one at a time with Kenneth making the seating arrangements. The traditional dug- out canoe was slim and quite long and was just a perfect size for its two crew and four passengers. The two boatmen skillfully manoevered the slender boat out into the river and turned it towards the far end of the island.

This was one of life’s magical experieces. The boat canoe was gliding almost silently through the water certainly being at one with its surroundings and not disturbing the stillness of that evening atmosphere. The boatmen took a passage that ran parrallel to the island giving enticing views of the lush, green forrest coupled with dramatic, vivid colours of the waterside trees anf ferns. One moment there would be a blaze of colour as yellows, golds, greens and orange mingled in a waterside frenzy. seconds later the boat would round a slight bend or take a path centre river because of the rocks and the horizon would open as the river appeared before us in the dramatic light of the approaching sunset. On to the end of the island where we disembarked to stretch our selves and take in the fabulous scenery and see both sides of the River Moa part around the head of the island.

The beauty, the peace and tranquility seeped through everything even though the jungle itself was awakening to its own nocturnal life. As the boat was navigated back the dark descended in a staedy pace. At this moment the air and night sky was filled with hundreds of thousands of migrating bats. The now blue, black sky was teaming with them and the stream of them stretched as far as we could see. “There are more bats here than there are people of Sierra Leone” commented Kenneth and indeed so it seemed. The boatmen confirmed that this year they had seen more of these bats than ever before. An interesting observation indeed and one wonders why this phenomenum may have happened. Back at the small landing area it was now dark but Kenneth had come with his powerful torch light and we made our way effortlessly back along the track back to the camp. here it was time to eat and relax.