7 Must See Places
1. Lac Rose
This incredible salt lake is truly a sight to behold, as the reflection of the sun on the lake makes it appear completely pink. This is one of those sites that you really need to see to believe, as the striking color will almost take your breath away. Better yet, it is totally swimmable!
2. Ile de Gorée
A day trip from Dakar, this is a must not miss in Senegal. The small island, located off the coast of Dakar, was a primary stop on the slave trade to the Americas and carries with it a rich history, albeit extremely upsetting. You will be able to enter the building where slaves last saw Africa and step through the doors where they boarded boats to be shipped across the Atlantic, at La Maison des Esclaves). Take the time to walk around the island, as there is an excellent selection of art being sold and interesting, colorful architecture that can be explored for a full day.
3. Saint Louis
As mentioned above in the explanation of cities, Saint Louis, situated on the Mauritanian border and the capital of Senegal until 1957, is a beautiful city, with architecture from colonial days that offers a unique glimpse into the country’s history. The city is actually an island situated at the mouth of the Senegal River, right off the Atlantic Ocean. There are wonderful river cruises available, as well as the opportunity to spend your days laying on one of the stunning beaches nearby.
The southwestern region of the country, situated on the southern side of The Gambia, offers some of the most pristine beaches in Africa, as well as lush tropical forests and incredible mangrove trees, running right up to the edge of the sand.
5. Petit Cote
For the best beaches in Senegal, you need only take a short trip from Dakar, along the Atlantic coast. Two of the top destinations, for completely different reasons, are Saly and Toubab Dialaw. Saly offers a wide range of water sports and more adventurous days out in the ocean, while Toubab Dialaw is a quaint little artistic village that happens to also have some fabulous views and beaches, lined by cliffs.
6. Bassari Country
For a completely off the beaten path experience, as well as one that will give you a phenomenal idea of the diversity of Senegal and daily life there, take a trip to the Bassari region, in the far southeast corner of the country. Get a bike and travel around to various villages, from the capital city of Kedougou. You can also visit the Futa Djalon area, which allows you to enjoy one of the only elevated parts of the country, which carries with its spectacular views and one of the few waterfalls.
7. Sine-Saloum Delta
This saline wetland is now a Unesco Heritage Site, due to its marine ecosystem. Take a small boat meandering up the nooks and crannies of the vast area of the delta and you will have the opportunity to spot wildlife, including a wide variety of bird species, see oysters growing right up to the sides of mangrove trees, and be amazed by the tranquility of it all.