Bandia Nature Reserve
The Bandia Nature Reserve is a small but perfectly formed game reserve, situated 40 miles from Dakar near Saly and M’bour.
You can enter the reserve either in your own car or in one of the Reserve’s 4WD vehicles and hire the services of one of the skilled guides to see some typical African savannah animals: Giraffe, White Rhino, Zebra, Roan Antelope, Waterbuck, Kudu, Oryx, Impala, Cape Eland, Lord Derby Eland, Kob Antelope, West African Forest Buffalo, Wart Hog, Crocodiles, Green Vervet Monkeys and Patas Monkeys.
Dakar is the capital of Senegal, located on the Cape Verde Peninsula, on the country's Atlantic coast. It is Senegal's largest city.
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.
View excursions to Lac Rose »
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.
Djoudj National Park
The Djoudj National Park lies on the north bank of the River Senegal in Senegal, north east of St-Louis.
It provides a range of wetland habitats which prove very popular with migrating birds, many of which have just crossed the Sahara. Of almost 400 species of birds, the most visible are pelicans and flamingos.
A wide range of wildlife also inhabit the park including; tortoises, pythons, monkeys, crocodiles and antelope to name a few. The site was added to the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger in 2000 due to the introduction of the invasive giant salvinia plant, which threatens to choke out the park's native vegetation.
Île de Gorée
To the east of Dakar, about 3km offshore, is Île de Gorée, one of the earliest European settlements along this part of coast.
Today is a haven of history and peace within easy reach of Dakar via ferry which departs every two hours during the daylight.
Local Art & Crafts
You will find a variety of traditional vibrant, colourful fabrics and canvasses, together with wooden carvings and instruments on display on the island produced by local artists.
The Old Slave Trading Station
With its colonial brick-structures and sand-blown, bougainvillea-flushed alleyways, this island is a haven of tranquillity. But there's a sad background to all this calm beauty - Île de Gorée used to be an important slave trading station, and many visitors come here for traces of this tragic past. Maison des Esclaves (Slave House) is a museum dedicated to the slave era.
The Fort stands as a reminder of the Second World War. Here visitors can see a memorial statue and the original heavy metal war guns, and view a red buoy out in the sea marking where a British ship was sunk by the guns during the war. You can find out more about the effects of the war on Gorée Island by visiting the island’s museum of history. There is also the opportunity to visit a traditional African mosque.
Kaolack is a town on the north bank of the River Saloum and the main road in Senegal and borders The Gambia to the south.
Kaolack is an important regional market town and is Senegal's main peanut trading and processing centre.
The Grand Marché is the second-largest covered market in Africa (after Marrakesh). Oriental arches and arcades, a grand entrance, a large central patio and an imposing clock tower surround it. It’s a great place to just have a wander around and soak up the atmosphere.
This large Moroccan-style mosque is the pride of the Tijaniyya brotherhood, built in 1964 with its landmark minaret, floodlit at night. The mosque is closed to the public, but it is worth coming here to see the magnificent architecture and the surrounding area.
The Saint Louis region of Senegal sits just off the border with Mauritania.
Famous for its cast iron bridge, put in by French colonialists in the 19th century, it is close to the Djoudj National Park, home to thousands of birds, some indigenous to the area. The city is also famed for its culinary roots, being the home to Senegal's national dish: Ceb-u-djen - rice and fish.
The Governor’s Palace
The Governor’s Palace is an 18th century fort, and now a government building. Place Faidherbe, with its statue of the famous French colonial governor, sits in front of the Governor’s Palace.
Guet N’Dar Fishing Village
In the fishing part of the town, Guet N’Dar, pirogues are lined up on the beach and fish dry on racks by the side of the road. Women boil up fish in vast drums, and the steam mixes with the early morning sea mist. A little further south is the Muslim cemetery, where each fisherman’s grave is covered with a fishing net.
Réserve de Faune de Guembeul
This reserve is small, accessible and easy to explore by foot. It’s about 8 miles south of St Louis. The landscape is a mixture of lagoons, mud flats and dry woodland protecting the population of endangered Sahel animals, which include Dama Gazelles, Patas Monkeys and Sulcata Tortoises. There are also many birds around the lagoon – 190 species have been spotted here – and there are plans to introduce other Sahel mammals into the reserve. 3 hour guided walks can be provided for CFA 7000.