The capital city of Dakar is a bustling city, where new modern meets old colonial, meets underdeveloped dirt roads. Here you will find people from all walks of life and a wide variety of styles, architectural structures, businesses and restaurants. The city has all you could ask for and more, which gives it a boost over other capital cities in the region. In the morning the aroma of fresh chocolate croissants and rich coffee spills out of cafes. Inspired by French cuisine, the food in Senegal is sure to keep even the pickiest eater satisfied.

After satisfying your taste buds over a leisurely breakfast, you can spend the warm days at the beach or visiting the incredible Goree Island, where you can experience history, albeit one of the saddest pieces, first hand, visiting the House of Slaves, where men and women were sent off in ships for a life of slavery in the Americas. The Island also offers exceptional options for purchasing incredibly unique works of art, all locally made. If you would rather stay mainland, the city has a wonderful historic city center with a number of markets and hidden gems, intermixed with beautiful government buildings and old remains of French colonialism.

At night, you absolutely cannot miss the amazing night life Dakar has to answer. The music in Senegal is beyond incredible and the dance scene does not disappoint. Be ready to go out super late and stay out until the sun comes up. Even if you are tired, get yourself ready to go and make the effort, as you will be certain to have an incredible night. Not a dancer? The people watching opportunity and the ability to chill at a café patio while watching the Senegalese out in their best fashion choices and at their happies is well worth the trip out of the hotel as well.

Dakar is not the only option for an incredible Senegalese journey. You must not miss the incredible “up-country,” as the locals call it either. The lifestyle in the villages is unlike anything you will experience outside of Africa. The people may not have much, but the life in the small villages is calm, simple and happy. The people enjoy what they have and they make you feel right at home. The scenery is also out of this world, with vast lakes, including the breathtaking Pink Lake, incredible national parks where land meets sea, meets river, meets awe inspiring views with wide horizons. Birdwatchers will be in paradise with various opportunities to spot some of the most beautiful flying species in the world. Head south to Casamance, where the beaches are essentially untouched and absolutely pristine. Spend the evenings watching the fishermen bring large catches of fish into shore in painted wooden boats while the sunset provides a colorful display of pink and orange beauty across the sky.

When traveling to West Africa, Senegal is a must see. This country almost immediately makes you feel happier and you will leave relaxed, refreshed and enlightened.