Lately, I’m doing a lot of traveling through West Africa, and in the process, rediscovering a vibrant region with beautiful people, rich history, exotic foods, and lifestyle. Read about my trip to Cape Verde here. My latest rediscovery is Dakar, Senegal. Though I have traveled to Dakar many times, I still get a rush of excitement each time I visit.
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that my ancestors are from Senegal, but that’s a story for another time.
In Dakar, it is typical to see long continuous markets on the roadside that offer ripe tropical fruits and assortment of clothing, mostly used clothing also known as “feugue-diaye”. In the market, amid the dust, and smoke from open fires cooking a variety of foods, women are typically dressed in their large boubous made from native fabrics. French, occasionally mixed with Wolof is predominantly spoken in Senegal, so it is often a challenge, and a huge relief to find English speakers.
When planning your next vacation to Dubai or to Europe consider visiting Dakar, which offers a variety of beautiful vacation spots and amenities; here are a few
Beaches of Dakar
The beaches in Senegal, especially those in Dakar are known to be very distinct with their unmatched golden sands. The beaches are perfect for relaxing and rejuvenating, as you soak up the sun and cool off in the fresh water.
These are two hills in the city’s western peninsula, a lighthouse was built on one in 1864, though it has been converted into a stylish restaurant bar. The other holds the tallest statue in Africa, the African Renaissance monument which stands at an impressive 49 meters. The statue features the figure of a man, woman and a child pointing towards the Atlantic Ocean, this is a perfect spot to get pictures of the amazing views across the Peninsula.
The Lac Rose (Pink Lake)
This is also referred to as the Dead Sea and it is known for its high salt content, it is 30km north-east Dakar. The lake is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a narrow corridor of dunes.
Dakar is a hub for African art, it holds the largest and oldest contemporary Art show in Africa: the Dakar Biennale, the event holds for a whole month (between May and June) in venues across the city to showcase the best of African Art.
Dakar has been a major trading post for centuries, and is today known for its vibrant markets. Marche Sandanga is Dakar’s oldest and largest market which I recommend you visit if you have an adventurous spirit; I ended up buying things I did not know I needed. There is also the Marche HLM, a hub for very beautiful and colorful fabrics.
is a small island located off the coast of Dakar, and is one of the most historic spots in Senegal; a visit to Goree Island should be on the top of your list. Goree Island was the largest slave-trading center between the 15th and 19th century Atlantic slave Trade.
Dakar has a wide variety of foods that suggest foreign influences. Because of its proximity to the water, fish, and seafood are staples. Tip for Nigerians, Accara/Akara (bean cake) can be found there at different hours of the day.
There are other highly recommended spots in Dakar such as the IFAN Museum of African Arts and Galerie Arte which offer insights into the heritage of the continent. There is also Village des Arts, a creative space for artists to work on and exhibit their craft to the public. I hope to schedule a group visit to Dakar to spend more time exploring all of it’s touristic treasures. Leave a comment if you’ll like to be part of this trip and we shall get back to you about the travel dates.