Whether it is the modern and vivacious city, the lively nightlife, or the coastal region of the Petite Cote, which offers a relaxing seaside retreat, Dakar is quickly emerging as a travelers’ ideal destination.
Located along the Cap Vert Peninsula, the far west side of the African continent is home to Dakar, a French-influenced cosmopolitan city. Located at the center of Senegal’s cultural, business and political life, Dakar is the perfect starting point to any holiday within the country.
Senegal is situated on the western point of Africa and borders Mauritania, Mali Guinea and Guinea Bissau, while surrounding Gambia on three sides. The northern part of the country is made up of dunes, and to the south lies the muddy estuaries of their rivers. Slightly inland from the coast is a sandy plain, extending north to the floodplain of the Senegal River. In the south is the Casamance Region, which is low but has signs of altitude. Moving to the northwest, Senegal is a semi-desert, but the majority of the center and south is open savannah country. The major rivers – the Senegal, Saloum, Gambia and the Casamance – flow east to west, dumping into the Atlantic Ocean, and offer the finishing touches on a country that exudes variety.
Now that you are a bit more familiar with the geography of the country, let’s explore some must-see attractions that make up Senegal-Dakar.
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A small island less than 6 acres in total, Ile de Goree provides a revealing insight into slave trading history, offering an educational opportunity for visitors. Le Lac Rose, or The Pink Lake, is named for the algae blooms thst, while not always present, can cast a pink cover over the lake, a unique and amazing site to behold for those who can appreciate nature at its very core. Seeing this event is tricky, though, as it is directly related to the weather and the algae growth.
For history buffs there, don’t miss the Maison des Esclaves. Learning about the atrocities that colonialism, Arabic tradesmen and greedy African chiefs exposed the African people to is the main focus of the museum, painting a rather brutal picture of life before modern Senegal.
Embracing religion, the Grand Mosque in Touba is the center of the Mouridism in Senegal, founded by Cheikh Amadou Bamba. Revered as an architectural masterpiece, they are rather strict about their traditions, so women must cover their heads within the city limits. Furthermore, drinking and smoking is prohibited.
Dakar is, without a doubt, on the top of the list of up-and-coming destinations in the continent of Africa. For nature lovers, history buffs, and for those who enjoy a thriving nightlife, there are activities a plenty in the western country of Senegal.