Bustling City Experiences
One of the must-visit cities, and the capital of Senegal, is Dakar. Dakar was once a tiny settlement, and it has now spread across the Cap Vert peninsula and keeps growing! In this city you will see polar opposites of society – for some, the most common mode of transport is a horse-drawn cart. For others, a brand-spanking new SUV, barely squeezing through the narrow streets.
As a traveller, you can spend your days navigating busy markets and soaking up the culture. Evenings can be as peaceful or as wild as you wish! The city has lots to offer people seeking exciting nightlife, but you can also enjoy sunset drinks overlooking the beautiful shoreline.
Less than an hour away from Dakar, is the swanky seaside town of Saly-Portudal. It is here that you will find luxury hotels, casinos and a golf course. Known for attracting many European tourists throughout the colder months back at home, the main attraction at Saly-Portudal is its long, arching beach lines with restaurants and hotels.
Here you can take part in a number of water sports and activities including jet skiing, wind surfing and fishing. Senegal has more than 530km of Atlantic coastline, so wherever you choose to stay, you’re sure to find a relaxing beach close-by.
Off the coast of Senegal, you will find a number of islands that can be accessed by boat or bridge. The island of Saint Louis is a small strip of land between the mouth of the Senegal River and has a rich history just waiting to be explored! Saint Louis was West Africa’s first French settlement and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. Tourists can reach the island via the 500m long Pont Faidherbe bridge.
The island of Gorée lies off the coast of Senegal, opposite Dakar. It was, unsurprisingly, added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1978, and pays homage to its eerie history. Between the 15th and 19th century, it was the largest slave-trading centre on the African coast recognised by its architecture in the present day. There are also no cars or sealed roads on the island, adding to the unnerving sense of calm.
Pretty in Pink
Pose next to the pretty pink waters at Lake Retba and get a picture-perfect selfie that’s sure to turn heads. Also known as Lac Rosa – meaning pink lake, Lake Retba lies 30km north-east of Senegal’s capital, Dakar. The lake is named for its pink waters, caused by algae which produces a red pigment to help it absorb sunlight. The lake is also known for its high salt content, meaning it is sufficiently buoyant to allow people to float easily!
In Senegal, you can look forward to mouth-watering dishes packed with spices and exotic flavours. The country combines French and North African influences, with a hint of ancient local traditions.
The staple dish is fish and rice – with many restaurants giving the traditional dish their own spin. Other popular dishes include peanut stew and chicken yassa. There is also an abundance of street stalls which are sure to envelop your taste buds, serving Sengalese delicacies including fried spring rolls and juice made from hibiscus or fruit of baobab trees.
But don’t forget…in Senegal, the dining etiquette is to wash your hands before you eat, dry them on a common cloth and only eat with your right hand! Food is often served from a communal bowl and you should eat from the communal bowl in front of you.