10 Best Places to Visit in Senegal and Gambia

Nestled on the west coast of Africa, Senegal and Gambia sit ready for you uncover their wealthy cultural historical past, tropical local weather and pleasant folks.

In no time in any respect, you’ll really feel part of the native tradition. The vibrant markets in Dakar and Banjul supply vibrant African materials, conventional wooden carvings and masks and wonderful road meals. From wild seashores to wildlife-rich forested parks, Senegal and Gambia supply all you want to get pleasure from a wonderful time in this African paradise.

Join us as we discover the West African coast in search of 10 of the perfect locations to go to in Senegal and Gambia.

1. Royal Albert Market – Banjul, The Gambia

If you need to hone your bargaining abilities, then head to the colourful road markets in Dakar and Banjul. In Banjul, the place to get the perfect number of items is the Royal Albert Market. Named after Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert in the mid-Nineteenth century, Albert market is stuffed with haggling and exercise as locals and guests store for houseware, electronics, materials, and recent produce. If you’re in search of a neighborhood meals expertise, attempt some Akara and palm wine on the many road distributors and drink stalls.

Banjul
Photo by Eastpics (CC BY 3.0), via Wikimedia Commons

2. Marché Sandanga and Soumbédioune – Dakar

Dakar has been a significant buying and selling publish for hundreds of years in order that they know the way to run a market. There are many markets of all shapes and sizes dotted throughout this bustling metropolis, promoting the whole lot underneath the solar. One of the favorite spots is Marché Sandanga, Dakar’s oldest and largest market. A favorite of tourists to Dakar is the material stalls and tailors who will customized make no matter your coronary heart needs. If you need to choose up the normal arts and crafts items that characterize the tradition of the West African folks, then head to Soumbédioune. This is a devoted craft market promoting the perfect masks and jewelry in Senegal.

Colourful bead merchants at Dakar market, photo by BobbiLe Ndiaye
Photo by BobbiLe Ndiaye (CC BY-ND 2.0), via Flickr

3. Sanyang – The Gambia

Sanyang is a laid-back fishing village simply an hour’s drive down the Coastal Road from Banjul. Sangyang Beach is definitely made up of Paradise, Osprey, and Pelican seashores and boasts the perfect beachfront in the nation. You’ll really feel like you’ve got the entire Atlantic shore to your self as you stroll down lengthy stretches of white sandy seaside surrounded by mangroves. Check out the Rainbow Beach and Bar for an awesome seafood dinner with never-ending ocean views. If you’re there on a Sunday, they placed on an incredible cultural present.

Paradise Beach, Sanyang, The Gambia, photo by Tjeerd Wiersma
Photo by Tjeerd Wiersma (CC BY 2.0), via Flickr

4. Plage de Ngor and Ile d’Ngor – Senegal

Many will argue that Senegal affords the perfect seashores on the coast of West Africa. After you go to Plage de Ngor and Ile d’Ngor, you should have to agree. Plage de N’gor is well-liked with fishermen and sunbathers alike. You can lie on the white sandy seaside and pay attention to the fisherman sing conventional chants as they carry the boats in from the ocean. Enjoy nice seafood at any of the straightforward cafes that line the seaside.

A brief pirogue (fishing boat) trip from N’gor seaside, will land you on Ile d’Ngor. Right away you’ll really feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of the massive metropolis of Dakar. This tropical island has small personal seashores and is dwelling to a few of the finest seafood eateries in the world. If you need to attempt your hand at browsing, then take a look at the N’gor Island Surf Camp. This enjoyable and hip seaside hostel affords surf guides who will take you to the perfect spots on the island to catch a wave.

Plage de ngor
Photo by Prenlaye (CC BY-SA 4.0), by way of Wikimedia Commons

5. Goree Island – Senegal

It’s no marvel {that a} go to to Goree Island is the primary attraction in Dakar. The island was the biggest slave-trading heart in West Africa for 400 years and noticed untold Africans make the heartbreaking one-way journey throughout the Atlantic. Today, the island has been reworked right into a sanctuary of vibrant homes and serene cobbled streets and the Maison des Esclaves (House of Slaves) is now a museum that serves as a sombre reminder of the cruelty of the transatlantic slave commerce. You will depart Goree with a sense of disappointment but additionally with a greater understanding that this bleak a part of West Africa’s previous must not ever be forgotten.

Goree Island in Dakar, Senegal

6. Lac Rose – Senegal

As you watch salt collectors work alongside the shore of the Lac Rose or the “Pink Lake,” you’ll be amazed by lovely contrasts of the pink water towards the pure-white salt, golden sand dunes and the deep blue sky. This shallow lake is simply 20 miles northeast of Dakar and is a good day-trip. Why is Lac Rose pink? The pink is attributable to micro organism that’s attracted to the lake’s excessive salt content material. To take in the daylight, the micro organism produce a crimson pigment that turns the lake’s water a pinkish hue. The finest time to see Lac Rose in all its color is the dry season (November to June). There are many enjoyable issues to do on the Pink Lake. Take a dip (or float) in the lake, have lunch on the lakeside restaurant or go for a camel trip on the close by seaside.

Lac Rose, Senegal

7. IFAN Museum of African Arts – Dakar, Senegal

One of the perfect issues a few journey to West Africa is studying in regards to the fascinating historical past of African artwork. A visit to the IFAN Museum of African Arts in Dakar will supply a glimpse into the historical past of the area and the humanities and crafts that make up the West African tradition. The museum is stuffed with shows from Senegal, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, and different regional international locations. You shall be amazed on the ritual masks, conventional musical devices, textiles and weapons that outlined the heritage of this historical continent.

8. Abuko Nature Reserve – Gambia

A brief drive from Banjul will take you to the perfect nature protect in the nation. Here you’ll get some nice wildlife encounters. You can simply stroll the wildlife trails and actually don’t want a automotive to see a great deal of bushbuck, Green Vervet monkey and an incredible array of birdlife. Just don’t wander too far off the crushed path; this reserve is known for its Nile crocodiles and many species of snakes. If you head about half-hour north of Abuko, you’ll run into the Kachikally Crocodile Pool and Museum the place you may spend a while with some freshwater crocs and learn the way the pool is used in native fertility rituals. The museum additionally has an fascinating show of native historical past and cool musical devices.

Green vervet monkey

9. The Gambia River

The Gambia River is among the longest navigable rivers in West Africa and runs some 700 miles from the mouth of the Atlantic right through The Gambia and Senegal to the Fouta Djallon highlands in Guinea. This mighty river divides The Gambia into two strips of land and dominates the panorama of this lovely West African nation. The finest manner to get pleasure from The Gambia and the river is by taking a ship tour into the inside. You can cruise in model and get pleasure from all the luxurious {that a} trendy yacht has to supply as you are taking in the fascinating wildlife, historic slave commerce stations, and wonderful views of Gambian village life alongside the best way.

Gambia River

10. Bintang, The Gambia

To actually get the total impact of life on the Gambia River, a keep in the floating huts of the Bintang Bolong Lodge is a should. A vacation right here shall be like a religious retreat, letting you escape from all the trimmings of the fashionable world. This eco-tourist lodge is positioned proper in the center of a mangrove forest and you should have an opportunity to fish with a neighborhood information, go chicken watching, expertise conventional Gambian fare and even go to James Island, the previous slave camp that was the inspiration for Alex Haley’s novel Roots.

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