Oyster Women of The Gambia, West Africa

Women, selling their oysters in Serrekunda Market, the Gambia ©Helen Jones-Florio

On a recent photo assignment, with Jason Florio, we spent a day on a pirogue meandering through the network of bolongs – tributaries – of the River Gambia, following a group of oyster women as they harvested the mangroves for oysters (more on that assignment – and Jason’s photos – once the story has been published). It’s extremely labour-intensive work for such a meager return on sales. We paid 35Dalasi (about 56p / 70¢) for a small cupful at the market, today, where there is prolific competition from other oyster-vendors.

River Gambia Expedition – 1044km source-sea African odyssey

Being on the water, here in the Gambia, always reminds of our River Gambia Expedition – a 1044km source-sea journey, spanning over three countries. We came across a group of oyster women, who were harvesting, smoking, and shucking the oysters near to our campsite – readying them to sell at the local market.

Female migrants from Guinea Bissau work along the shores of a tributary of River Gambia, in The Gambia, collecting oysters that hang from the mangroves. © Jason Florio – River Gambia Expedition
River Gambia Expedition – ©Jason Florio & Helen Jones-Florio
Jason Florio photographs the oyster women, as they harvest the mangroves, The Gambia © Helen Jones-Florio

We wish you a happy weekend!

Helen Jones-Florio


Currently working in the Gambia – with Jason Florio – May 2019

Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime


Available for assignments & for image licensing – Contact here

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Photo of the Day: Fish-smoking, Kafountine, Casamance

Panoramic: Fish-smoking on a grand scale, Kafountine, Casamance ©Helen Jones-Florio
Panoramic: Fish-smoking on a grand scale, Kafountine, Casamance©Helen Jones-Florio

Another kind of landscape… Poisson fumant à grande échelle! Casamance, Southern Senegal, West Africa

River Gambia Expedition – featured in Safari254

SAFARI254 – The source of the River Gambia, Fouta Djallon Highlands, Guinea-Conakry ©Jason Florio

My wife, Helen Jones-Florio, and I co-led the first recorded source-to-sea expedition along the length of River Gambia, from its humble source in the remote highlands of Guinea-Conakry, through Senegal and into The Gambia where it widens to nearly 14km and exits into the Atlantic Ocean. We teamed up with two old Gambian friends, Abdou Ndong a fisherman and Ebou Jarju a school teacher, as our river guide and translator… Jason Florio / Safari254.com

SAFARI254 – A team punt a raft carrying a water pump that will be used to irrigate banana plantations that flank the river banks in Senegal © Jason Florio

The expedition took two months to cover the 1044km from source-to-sea…

SAFARI254 Expedition team member Abdou Ndong keeps an eye out for hippos in Senegal.© Jason Florio

The River Gambia – source to sea map ©Jason Florio

Read the full feature – see more images – at Safari254.com 

We made it! The River Gambia Expedition team reach the Atlantic Ocean (on Jason’s birthday!), The Gambia, West Africa, Jan 21st, 2013

Available for assignments & for image licensing – Contact here

March-April 2019 – Currently working on

Gambia – Victims, and Resisters of a Regime‘ in The Gambia, West Africa



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The beauty in decay – Gambia Doors v Malta Doors


Green door, Kartong, The Gambia, West Africa © Helen Jones-Florio - from #GambiaDoors & #StoriesBehindDoors
Green door, Kartong, The Gambia, West Africa © Helen Jones-Florio




Green door, Sliema, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio from #DisappearingMalta #MaltaDoors
Green door, Sliema, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

Crossing continents

Malta DoorsGambia Doors.

We are still in West Africa, and I see similarities every day in many of the doors and storefronts, here in the Gambia, of those that I see daily in Malta – the rich, and vibrant colours of beauty in decay…

#DisappearingMalta / #GambiaDoors / #StoriesBehindDoors

All images © Helen Jones-Florio

Photography prints of all the doors and storefronts are available from helenjonesflorio.com


Helen Jones-Florio, Valletta vintage storefront ©Jason Florio
Helen Jones-Florio, Valletta vintage storefront ©Jason Florio