Formal portraits of the ‘Short Walk in the Gambian Bush’ 2009 expedition team by Jason Florio

A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush team - 2009

The expedition team members from our 2009 journey: A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – a 930km Africa odyssey – images 1,3,5 & 5 © Jason Florio image 2 © Helen Jones-Florio

When we returned to Makasutu, in The Gambia, West Africa, from our Short Walk in the Gambian Bush in December 2009, after 6 weeks in the bush, Florio took formal portraits of the expedition team, of course, our four-legged members: Neil and (p)Hadley, the donkeys.

Over those six weeks of walking, camping and eating together, day in and day out, each person on the team’s personality began to present itself – and nick-names were born. However, I have to say, in my own defense, that my ‘nick name’ is actually a term of endearment in The Gambia – hence, not to be taken too literally. However, I guess being a producer, perhaps it was a fitting nick name. Hey, someone had to organise those four guys!


#1- Helen (‘Boss Lady’) Jones – Co-expedition leader and photography producer

#2 – Jason (‘Mappin’ out The Gambia’) Florio – Co-expedition leader and photographer

#3 – Ablie (‘The Negotiator’) Janneh – security, negotiator and Mandinka language teacher

#4 – Samba (‘Silafando’) Leigh – cultural advisor. Silafando is a Mandinka word which translates as ‘a gift to you on behalf of my journey

#5 -Momadou (‘Jamtang!’) Bah – chief donkey handler (The Gambian Horse and Donkey Trust). ‘Jamtang’ is a Fula tribe greeting word.

The expedition team with Mr & Mrs Bah, The Gambia

The expedition team (minus Momadou, who took the photo) with the village chief and family of Balanghar Benthal , in between. The Gambia, West Africa 2009. Left: Janneh (‘The Negotiator’) and H (‘Boss Lady’) Right: Florio (‘Mappin’ The Gambia’) & Samba (‘Silafando’)

Once Florio had taken the formal portraits with his background cloth of the chiefs and elders, we’d often have photos of us all taken together with the various village chiefs and their families. And, as always, there would be a gaggle of village kids, vying to get into the frame!

We have hundreds of ‘on-the-road’ shots from the 930km walk we did on our last expedition in The Gambia – you can check some of these in the archives of the ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush‘ blog. And, you can bet that we’ll be taking just as many, if not more, on our next journey too: River Gambia Expedition 2012 – 1000km source to sea Africa odyssey

As ever, thanks for stopping by

The Florios

Please click on the image below to watch Jason Florio as he explains how you can own one of his fine art photography prints, from a series of images he will take whilst on the expedition: