Are you going to visit Senegal and wondering what to do during your stay? Discover the 10 most beautiful places to visit.
- 2. Pink Lake
- 3. The Sahel and the reserves
- 4. Saint-Louis
- 5. La Casamance
- 6. Beaches
- 7. Goree
- 8. Thies
- 9. Touba
- 10. Djoudj National Bird Park
- 11. Kedougou
- 12. The megalithic circles
- 12. Carabane
- 13. Popenguine cave
A West African country, Senegal borders the Atlantic Ocean. The country of Teranga is full of exotic and unique sites. However, be careful on the roads, which are sometimes more like sand paths… If necessary, do not hesitate to have a local person accompany you to discover the treasures of Senegal and its traditions.
We guide you with the 10 must-see sites of this African destination.
If you visit Senegal, you must go to Dakar, capital of Senegal, which above all represents the economic lung of the whole country. With more than two million inhabitants, the city is renowned for its active life. This bustle can be discovered along the many large markets such as Sandaga, Kermel or Tilène. Then make way for a visit to the presidential palace , the Place de l’Indépendance, the Great Mosque of Dakar, the city’s port… On the outskirts, the Pointe des Almadies is a very popular place. Also discover the craft market of Soumbédioune or the imposing Monument of the African Renaissance. This bronze structure in Ouakam stands 52 meters high!
2. Pink Lake
How to visit Senegal without seeing Lac Rose, located 30 kilometers northeast of the capital. Tourists love this excursion. Be careful, the pinkish tint of the lake can vary. The lake appears pinker in the dry season, but also in the middle of the day. This color is due to the presence of iron-oxidizing algae. The colors evolve according to the rays of the sun, which can turn purple if the color is very present, or even not show pink at all on certain days. Salt workers extract the white gold from the lake amidst the many salt dunes. The show is quite fascinating. From Dakar, it is possible to reach Lac Rose from the beach at low tide or by road number 1 in one hour.
3. Le Sahel et les réserves
Do you have the soul of a fighter in search of adventure? The Sahel and its large tropical forest border Senegal. This beautiful geographical location is conducive to unique discoveries. Try the adventure by crossing the desert valleys. Discover impressive century-old baobabs. Marvel at the fauna and flora, visit the reserves and parks, which are quite numerous in Senegal. You will be able to take magnificent photos aboard your 4 x 4.
Découvrez le sentier écologique de la réserve de Mbour ou l’île de la Madeleine située au Nord de Dakar. Partez au parc forestier et zoologique de Hann, au parc national de Niokolo-Koba. Il y a aussi le parc national du delta du Saloum et le centre de protection des Tortues du Sénégal.
4. St. Louis
Considered by some people as the most beautiful city in Senegal, Saint-Louis is the former capital. Today it is one of the biggest cities of this African country, it is loaded with culture and history. Since 2000, it has also been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The city is changing with the arrival of more and more tourists. But, it has retained its historic buildings such as the Governor’s Palace, its cathedral and its mosques. Quite different from Dakar, Saint-Louis is a more traditional city, despite its namesake with the American city. We discover there an architecture preserved from the colonial era, as well as beautiful houses to discover. Saint-Louis was the capital of Senegal between 1872 and 1957. Its good location, close to the river, attracted English and French settlers until Senegal became independent in 1960. What else to do in Saint-Louis ? Head towards the Faidherbe bridge and its port city. At the time when the fishermen return with the catch of the day, the animation is in full swing.
To visit Senegal, do not hesitate to go to the nearest villages, in Casamance, a region located in the south-west of Senegal, between Guinea-Bissau and Gambia. It is considered by some to be the most beautiful region of the country. It takes its name from the river and has many islands and thousands of birds. With lush vegetation, rice fields and mangroves, discover the towns of Ziguinchor, the beaches of Cap Skirring, Oussouye, Kolda, Sédhiou, Vélingara… Between the delicious fruits and the meetings with the inhabitants, you will multiply the discoveries .
How to visit Senegal without seeing its magnificent beaches. Some are the most often photographed. The most beautiful are located near Dakar, such as those on the island of N’Gor. Here, surfers and fruit lovers rub shoulders. Also discover that of Ouakam or those south of Dakar, which are generally smaller.
Do not miss Toubab Dialao, with its red cliffs illuminated at nightfall, a must! Visiting Senegal cannot be done without discovering fishing and selling places. However, beware of the strong smell, but that is part of the local folklore… The fishermen of Mbour, Somone and Thiès are well known. You will even discover how old, non-functional fridges are used to preserve fresh fish…
Gorée is a city in Senegal quite popular with tourists for its history linked to slavery. The island of Gorée is located not far from Dakar and is accessible by rowboat every day from the port of Dakar. Symbol of the period of slavery, the city is an old hub. She has opened many museums such as the Musée de la Femme or La Maison des Esclaves. This car-free island opens is quiet.
The city of Thiès is the second economic lung of the country. This city, both bubbling and discreet, is worth the detour. It is pleasant to live in and it has managed to preserve its charm of yesteryear. Less stressful than the capital Dakar, we allow ourselves time to live here. You will be able to stroll through the markets, without constantly being solicited. To fully visit Thiès, don’t miss the Ibrahima Sarr district , Place de France, the Thiessois promenade or the Senegalese factory dedicated to decorative arts.
The Senegalese city of Touba has a strong religious imprint with its Muslim brotherhood. Founded in 1887, today it is a beautiful urbanized city. Do not miss to visit the great mosque of Touba or the library with the writings of the founder of the city, namely Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba. On the 18th day of the Hegira Safar month, the whole country of Senegal lives to the rhythm of the Magal de Touba festival. The different populations take part in this commemoration of the founder’s departure into exile. Religious sessions such as meal offerings are carried out.
10. Djoudj National Bird Park
Visiting Senegal also means admiring the fauna and flora that make it up. Djoudj National Park is the most important bird sanctuary in the world. Covering 60,000 hectares, the place is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It brings together thousands of birds and animals. There are Gambian geese, vultures, flamingos, wading birds, gray pelicans, ducks… But also spoonbills, vultures, egrets, or even pythons, red monkeys, monitor lizards, crocodiles and warthogs. This magical site is located sixty kilometers north of the city of Saint-Louis. It is open from November to June.
For a total change of scenery, the Kédougou region is a treasure where different ethnic groups mingle: Soninkés, Jalonkés (or Dialonké), Bassaris or Bediks. Even if the population is welcoming, it is advisable to take a guide to get there and not to hesitate to bring gifts to the inhabitants during the visit. If nature wins you over, be sure to visit the Niokolo Koba National Park and its beautiful landscapes.
12. Les cercles mégalithiques
Visiting Senegal without seeing Gambia and its megalithic circles classified as UNESCO heritage is unthinkable. These carvings, placed near the burial sites, are well crafted and are the best megalithic site in the world, although the stone circles are smaller than those at Stonehenge in England.
This calm and peaceful place reflects the authenticity of Senegal. Here, there is no road or car, travel is by canoe or on foot, to discover the rich cultural, traditional, cultural or historical heritage. The site is also classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and pleases with its 1885 church, its beaches and its fishing. In short, to visit Senegal is to discover an artistic and local heritage.
13. Popenguine cave
The place houses the Black Madonna and various statues of Saints in the cave of Popenguine, 55 kilometers north of Dakar. The site is preserved and attracts more and more visitors every year.