Its position, on the western edge of Africa, is an advantageous departure point for trans-Atlantic and European trade; this fact aided its growth into a major regional port.
Many women go to the colourful Kermel Market to sell a variety of flowers: marigolds, zinnias and sunflowers. The flowers are primarily for western tourists. At Kermel Market, a hot spot for foreign visitors from the West and Asia, vendors have been selling their goods since the beginning of the twentieth century.
Lac Rose (The Pink Lake) surrounded by dunes, is a large shallow lagoon 10 times saltier than the ocean and is renowned for its pink hue when the sun is high. The colour is due to a high concentration of minerals in the water. Senegal’s answer to the Dead Sea, you can swim here or effortlessly float on the surface. There is a small-scale salt-collecting industry on the southern side of the lake which is also worth a visit.
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The Marche Sandanga (Sandanga Market) is a labyrinth of stalls selling anything from Senegalese music cassettes to freshly plucked chickens. You can buy just about anything here, although don’t expect too many souvenir stalls. Colourful and vibrant cloth and clothing are a major attraction of this traditional market, drawing in many visitors.
The Palais Présidentiel (Presidential Palace) is a white building dating back to 1906 and encompassing strikingly lovely gardens. Guards in their Presidential uniforms guard the outside and pose with tourists for pictures.
One of the most popular places for buying souvenirs is the government-sponsored Village Artisanal (Village of Traditional Handicrafts), near the fishing beach of Soumbédioune. You'll find a tremendous display of wooden carvings, metal work, gold and silver jewellery, ivory, tablecloths, blankets, leather goods and clothing, but a lot of the goods are turned around very quickly and you have to search hard for good-quality pieces.