Believe me… Senegal is mind blowing. Forget every movie you have seen about Africa, because in real life it’s even better! I only had 4 days in Senegal, so if you don’t want to waste a single minute this is what you should do!
Sleep at the Talisman Lodge
Talisman Lodge creates sophisticated tent camps in the desert surrounding Dakar especially for tourists or groups. There is only one way of getting there: get a helmet, buckle up and start the engine of your… buggy. The route to the camp is quite bumpy and the same route as the famous Dakar Rally, straight through the dunes. Push your buggy to the limit, let the engine roar and enjoy the trip because it’s so much fun! Once you arrive, you can spend the night literally in the middle of nowhere. The tents are created with beautiful handcrafted Senegalese materials and accessories!
Visit the Pink Lake
One of Senegal’s most popular attractions is a coral pink lake, nestled between white sand dunes and the Atlantic Ocean. The three square kilometer fuchsia lake has been a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage status since 2005 and used to be one of West Africa’s main salt harvest sites. The salt content of Lake Retba amounts up to 40% in some parts! The combination of the sun and micro-algae turns the water into a brilliant pink shade – as if you were swimming in a giant cosmopolitan (only it doesn’t taste that good)!
4×4 drive through Senegalese brousse & Baobab woods
This is probably one of the most authentic ways of visiting Senegal. Rent a 4X4 and drive around the typical but oh so impressive Baobab woods and the gritty desert. Every now and then you will pass a small village where people run towards the jeeps to welcome you. Bring a guide with you that speaks Wolof (the local language), and spend some time in the villages so you get to know the local traditions. You won’t be disappointed!
Jetski to lagune Somone
In need for some water adventure? Start training your biceps! 70 kilometers south of Dakar you can jet ski towards the Somone lagune. No speed limits here, just you battling the waves on your way to blue water and sandy beaches. The only thing left to do after this wild trip? Enjoy a refreshing local beer on the beach!
Visit the Goree Island: colonial village & slavehouses
Gorée is the smallest and the least populated of the 19 districts of Dakar. Moreover it is a UNESCO World Heritage site because it is conceived as an important trace in the history of the Atlantic slave trade towards the Americas. Although this is probably the most touristic place in Senegal, it is definitely worth a quick visit. Wander around the colourful narrow streets of this colonial village and definitely make sure you visit the House of Slaves and its Door of No Return. If even Pope John Paul II and Nelson Mandela thought it was worth a visit… (just saying!)