Goree Island is one of the nineteen municipalities of Dakar, only two kilometres from the port; it took us about thirty minutes to get there. You can't take your car, as there are no cars on the island. It was discovered by the Portuguese in 1444, and until 1848, when the French abolished slavery, it was the heart of the slave trade here. Today you can see a museum all about slavery, and there's plenty to appeal to tourists, with people selling traditional crafts, including some made from recycled materials like brass or battery parts. There are hotels and restaurants, with rather nice traditional music (especially percussion) that makes quite a treat after dinner. The church here is quite interesting, for all the saints are portrayed as black people. This was where Pope John Paul II apologised to Africa on behalf of the Catholic Church for the slave trade. Declared a World Heritage Site in 1978, it's well worth spending a day here, to enjoy its streets lined with bougainvillea.
Lake Retba is located about 40 kilometres from Dakar. We arrived after many hours in planes and waiting in airports. It was very hot, and we had been eating at a nearby camp. I could not miss the chance to get in the water up to my knees and test its high salinity. Though I only got wet to the knees, I was surprised by the very high temperature of the water and how irritating the salt was on my skin. Definitely an experience. Local people boat to the centre of the lake (they protect their skin with a special ointment) and then take the salt to sell.
Gore Island holds the horrifying history of the slave trade. This is one of the oldest buildings on the island, where 200 people could be kept in truly terrifying conditions, and chained by shackles. There are dark cells by the sea; this was known as the point of no return for the Senagelese who were taken here. Gore wasn't as important a trading point as others in Africa, but the horrors of the slave trade were still seen, and here you are sure to have a moving experience.
A month-long unforgettable adventure, a journey of those who make history in Senegal, culminating with this image. We walked through the streets of the great city of Dakar, we reached a cliff covered by an imperial tree. Watch a sunset sitting at your feet, its worth it for any traveler who likes to end a trip with a nice sunset.
Boys make their living in that country, to raise a cent they are able to do fancy stuff that you'll see with your own eyes. They dive to the depth of the seabed to look for shells, they are then cleaned and shined. And then sold.
The tip of the Amaldies is the most westerly point of Africa, located near the city of Dakar, in Senegal, on the peninsula of Cape Verde. The archipelago is about 600 km from there, but the peninsula points toward the islands. The "mamelles", two small hills about 100m high, are the highest points in the area and you can climb to the top for a view of the ocean, the beach, a little bit of Dakar, and to see the lighthouse on the western continent. The cliff falls brutally to the sea and is known as the "highway of Almadies", a carpet of rocks in front of the cliff. The beacon sends a message to warn the ships crossing the area to beware, but many are buried there. The fact that the tip is protected, limits buildings etc. The island of Ngor, with beautiful water and nature, is closeby with some luxury hotels such as Le Meridien and Club Med and is a lovely place to stay in the area
Kermel market which dates back to 1860 is one of the most important sites in Dakar. Here there is more than the bustling daily life of the Senegalese, with their purchases and back and forth from one side to another. It is also one of the most visited tourist places. To get there we take Sarraut Avenue to the east. You cannot miss it as it is a colonial-looking building, with bright colours on its facade and is very well preserved. Furthermore there are people moving nonstop. Its outer beauty of the building is amazing, but you have to head inside. It is full of captivating colours, shapes and smells. Here the quality of the product is the best, so that prices are more expensive than elsewhere in the city, although it shows in the quality. There are fruits of all kinds, thoroughly-cleaned fish, well-cut meat, all of which is exposed in a way that says "eat me". There are also more typical and non-typical products. Of course, the presence, with all those different colours calls out to the customer. Here you can see how the daily life is, with women doing the buying, choosing ... like in any market in the world. When the bags are full it's time to go home, but it's always the same story. It really is a must for it says something more about life in Dakar, if only to see how people shop.
A piece of paradise 15 minutes from Dakar. I remember about 30 years ago as a child going on vacation to the coast of Andalusia where you could eat fried fish on the shore and stick your feet in the sand, watching the vendors trying to sell you necklaces of shells or even prickly pears. Anyway, I am sidetracked... if you want a similar experience, Ngor is the place for you.... it also has good, cheap beer!
Nature provides us with a unique landscape near the pink lake: a small desert of dunes lies before us, and in the blink of an eye we're in the middle of nowhere. Behind is the magical lake, ahead the Atlantic, with its unspoiled beach. And yet we see nothing, in the middle of rolling sand hills on all sides. Walking is, to tell the truth, very uncomfortable, and it's a long way to go. It's best to take a 4x4 service. A few kilometres away from the lake, all the pink disappears, and the roads become increasingly un-passable, with sand everywhere, and almost no vegetation. Stopping on the way makes you feel very small, surrounded by the vastness of the sand. However, this void can sometimes surprise you. As I stood there contemplating, a man came running out of nowhere with a backpack on his back. When he drew close he pulled out a sheet of crafts to sell, just saying, "good, good, cheap, cheap." What an effort to make a sale! The scenery is worth it. A true picture postcard. A swim after the walk through the dunes is a good idea, so don't forget your swimsuit.
Dakar railway station is another one of those landmark buildings that is a must-see in this city. It is located southeast of Dakar, near the harbor and a little north of the Plaza de la Independencia (sorry I don't remember the street name). It is a colonial style building, beautifully maintained, vivid, colorful and has the typical bustle of a railway station. It still keeps that classic touch of stations of yesteryear, with its ancient platforms and very old trains. They go to major cities, such as Saint Louis, or nearby countries. The ticket price isn't too expensive but the comfort and quality are not very secure on these trains. Even though the trains are old this station is worth seeing (I wish I had more photos). You must see the lobby, the color and its platforms - it is as classical and colonial as could be. Take a walk around the building, enjoy its beauty, details and colors. The building is not too big but holds many secrets and the dreams of all those ve begin their journey or ve have just arrived for the first time. It is close to landmarks including Independence Square and Kermel Market, you are obliged to visit.
This statue is located in the train station of Dakar-Niger to honour the memory of the ancestors, ve left Africa when Senegal was at war with the French. Since they did not have a good command of weapons, many died in the field. Some resisted the urge to throw a shot at the enemy, which is where the name "shooter" was given to African fighters of WWII. This site exhibits a part of African history and is the place to commemorate all the infantry soldiers and their African colleagues of arms in France: [I] Demba and Dupont [/ I]
Within close distance of Saly, you can see landscapes which are very different from the usual: from inland villages, coastal fishing villages, natural reserves, desert ..... and not just ethnic diversity, and animals, but also vegetable palm forests, with baobas, mangoes, kapok trees and acacias, many acacias. It is always recommended to go in the dry season (during high season it is more expensive). But in my experience, at the beginning of the rainy season (low season, cheaper) , it was ideal because it only rained one day, and everything was greener.
As one arrives to the Guis Guis Dakar Gallery he or she does not want to leave, or not without a token under his arm. What they make aren´t just pictures, they are works of art with raw material that is special and abundant: the sand. There are different sites, each with a natural color, although other the tintan, but most is authentic. With its paintings there is perfect detail, as if instead of sand it was with paint. Everything has its color, forming silhouettes. The truth is that they do it as if it were the easiest thing in the world but it is very difficult and requires expertise and experience. at the bottom of the gallery they sell the paintings, 3 or 4 sizes, each with its price, which is about 15 euros to 50,000. Yes, the price is crazy with the quality that you get. And above is the workshop, where you can see sand wizards, because they have no other name. They teach you the types of sand, where it comes from, the next steps, as are the silhouettes ... Cracking and worthy of him. It is also one of the most original memories or giving gifts that you can take home, far from the typical figurines and postcards. This, like insurance. It is, as it's not in the little map on the Avenue Bourguiba Ex Terrasse, west, pulling more inside than mar. It is well known, make sure someone knows where you are. They also sell other items, although you will only look at the images.
Among many of the beautiful pictures that I took on a trip to Africa I think this may represent the smallness of our existence, the lack of permanence as beings, soundness and strength as respectable as the trees. Maybe someone will be inspired for some reflection.