Summer has arrived and all you can think about is where you’re going to spend your vacation. Spending summer in Senegal does all sorts of wonderful things to you, and once you’ve experienced it, you’ll get nostalgic and you’ll be coming back for more.
Here are 10 reasons for you to come visit us:
1. Dakar, a colorful city
Yes Dakar is becoming a concrete jungle BUT with a lot of colors: From the pastel-colored houses in Sacré-Coeur to the urban scene of Medina with houses covered by street-art (graffiti, illustrations &cie), the people wearing bright and bold outfits on a daily basis and the public transportation like the infamous « Car Rapide » that are basically pieces of art on 4 wheels… you will definitely get enough visual content to make your Instagram poppin’ and outstand other posts on the timeline.
2. Explore the seaside
Senegal is becoming a top surf destination in Africa, YES ! But if you’re not a surfer, you can also enjoy the beach and its multiple activities: Senegalese people often go there to workout (running, local wrestling & cie), or you can just take some surfing lessons while you are here !
You can also find some desert beach to get in touch with you inner self and get some peace in the north (Saint-Louis) & south (Casamance) of Senegal, these are great spots to set up camps for a day.
If you want to explore the ocean, the waters are teeming, with fish and other marine life such as parrot fish, angelfish and butterfly fish, perfect for scuba diving !
3. Amazing sunsets
The intermingling shades of colors splashed across a cloudless, cerulean sky is a treasure worth bestowing your eyes and there is no better place to watch this beautiful sight unfold than by the ocean with a drink. In Dakar for example, you will find lots of spots by the beach « pieds dans l’eau », on la Corniche des Almadies, where you can enjoy this beautiful, and free spectacle of nature.
4. Breathtaking landscapes & nature
Hike up to the most spectacular viewpoints, from Les Mamelles or Iles de la Madeleine in Dakar, to the mountains of Etchouar, in Kedougou.
Stroll in canoe in the bolongs of the islands of Saloum surrounded by an abondant vegetation, and if you are lucky you may be encoutering some dolphins & manatees. or book a canoe tour at le Parc du Djoudj, and witness the flight of thousands of birds at certain hours of the day.
Enjoy a getaway in the desert of Lompoul or the forest of Ziguinchor !
5. The food
To quote Senegalese Chef, Pierre Thiam: Senegal has a « rich, multifaceted cuisine. You’ll feel the sun at your back and the cool breeze of the Atlantic, hear the sizzle of freshly caught fish hitting the grill, and bask in the tropical palm forests of Casamance (…) » You will find « soulful stews full of meat falling off the bone, healthy ancient grains and dark leafy greens with superfood properties, fresh seafood grilled over open flame, served with salsas singing of bright citrus and fiery peppers, and lots of fresh vegetables and salads bursting with West African flavors ». If that doesn’t put water in your mouth, I mean… come on!
6. Road trips
Escape the city at any point with a road trip ! Spend a day at Bandia Wildlife Reserve, then go to Sindia, climb some baobabs, drive to La Petite Côte and enjoy a weekend at La Somone, or Ngaparou where you can eat some fresh seafood, breathe some fresh air and get a higher view by enjoying a 20 minutes flight, aboard a small plane (ULM)… and then hit back the road and get deeper in the country and explore the culture, meet the people, and why not participate to some charity actions.
7. Interact with the vibrant local creative & cultural scene
Dakar is a cultural crossroad, a bustling city full of creative souls, animated by passion, talent, and energy. They act and interact, and get together to create many artistic and cultural projects whether it’s in Music, Danse, Fine Art, Photography, Film, Fashion & cie.
8. Visit the Pink Lake, you have to see it, to believe it
Is the Retba Lake, really pink tho’ ? Well come see for yourself…
9. Never too late to get your summer body on point
One of the first thing you will notice, is that Senegalese people are very sporty.
Outdoor sports are very popular, in the city: First it’s free, Second, most of the spots are by the beach ( on la Corniche) so you can enjoy a beautiful view & fresh marine breeze. You can find some wrestlers, joggers, basket-ballers, skaters etc.
10. La Teranga
« Teranga » is the word that symbolizes Senegal the best, it means « hospitality » in Wolof, but the translation doesn’t give it any justice Indeed, Senegalese people are very proud of their quintessential hospitality, you will feel at home wherever you go. There is a proverb that says « A visitor or a stranger is a king and should be treated as such. » But as usual, it’s hard to explain, you have to live it, to understand it.
Dakar never sleeps
There is local TV show called « Dakar ne dort pas (Dakar never sleeps) » and it’s true, there is always something happening in the city and the night never ends. A very lively town, noisy and rough for sure, but it is what also makes its charm ! You will never get bored if you are not afraid to discover and explore new things and meet different people. So come through, you are welcome !