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Striking Senegal

A country in West Africa

By Rasma RaistersPublished 6 days ago 4 min read

Senegal is a country on the west coast of Africa. It has a rich French colonial heritage.

Dakar is the capital of Senegal and it’s an Atlantic port on the Cap-Vert peninsula.

When the vibrant city gets too much head for the peaceful island of Ile de N’Gor. It is a small island off Dakar’s north shore. There are some wonderful beaches on the bay side and fantastic, legendary surf on the northern coastline. Visitors enjoy relaxing on the beaches, strolling through the village, and having lunch at a waterside eatery. If you prefer to stay for more than one day there are guesthouses available.

The Musee Theodore Monod is one of the best museums in Senegal. There are exhibitions on African art and culture with more than 9000 objects on display. There are impressive displays of masks and traditional dress from across the region. You can also see carvings, drums musical instruments, and agricultural tools. In a gallery behind the main building, you can see contemporary art exhibitions.

The African Renaissance Movement is Africa’s highest statue. It was unveiled in 2010 to commemorate Senegal’s 50 years of independence from France. The statue is 49 m in height and is taller than the Statue of Liberty in New York City and the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.

Atop one of Dakar’s few hills sits Mamelles Lighthouse dating from 1864. Take the twenty-minute walk to get expansive views across the city and the water from the top. Visitors can visit the exterior of the lighthouse or take a short guided tour through the lighthouse and up to the top. The beam is visible from up to 53 km. There is also an open-air place at the base of the lighthouse for food and drinks with live music on Friday nights and Sunday brunch.

Village Des Arts is a famous art complex where you can see the artwork of some of Senegal’s most promising and established painters, sculptors, and multimedia artists. They create, shape and display their artwork in individual studios which are scattered around a large garden space. There is also an on-site gallery with exhibits from local artists and those from abroad.

Plage de N’gor is a small beach that is popular with families and young people playing football. There are some snack spots with tables. The beach is on Ile de N’gor and can be reached by pirogue.

Plage de Yoff is a very clean beach that is popular with surfers due to the fantastic waves. There is a surf camp here and shacks that sell food and drink.

Visit Medina the active popular quarter with tiny tailor shops, a busy Marche Tilene, and streets full of people. This quarter was built as a township for local residents by the French in colonial days. It is the birthplace of Senegalese superstar and current minister of culture Youssou N’Dour.

This interesting neighborhood is home to Dakar’s 1664 Grand Mosque.

Place de I’Independance is Dakar’s central square. It contains majestic colonial buildings among them the Gouvernance (the French governor’s office) and the Chambre de Commerce.

Exploring Senegal

Sainte–Louis in northern Senegal is an interesting place.

Get a look at the fascinating arched steel construction of the Faidherbe Bridge stretching across the Senegal River. The old city is impressive with French-style colonial buildings, whitewashed frontispieces in plantation style, and shady arcades. In May jazz festivals are held here. There are fishing hamlets at Guet N’Dar, craggy cliffs, and exotic creatures of the Barbarie Peninsula.

Popenguine is located in the south on the panhandle of the Cap-Vert Peninsula. It is a small town and the gateway to many natural attractions.

The main one is the Natural Reserve of Popenguine. There are the amazing rugged rock walls of the Cap de Naz that juts out into the Atlantic. It has a famous lagoon where all kinds of birds nest.

Touba is the epicenter of the mystical Mouride order of the Sufis. It rises up out of the rolling Sahel of central Senegal. There is a colossal Great Mosque with looming minarets. The soaring 87 m high minaret is most impressive and is known as the Lamp Fall. The town is full of visitors during the yearly Grand Magal when thousands come to honor the social and Islamic programs of the Sufi scholar and teacher.

Tambacounda is the town visitors visit when they want to head for other places in West Africa such as Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, and Guinea. Here you can see the remains of the French colonial past and farming communities in the backcountry.

It is also the gateway to the legendary Niokolo-Koba National Park. The park stretches along the banks of the Gambia River. There is rich fauna, among them Derby elands (largest of antelopes), chimpanzees, lions, leopards, and a large elephant population. There are also many birds, reptiles, and amphibians. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Kaolack is located on the Saloum River. The town is known as a center of Islamic teaching and an industrial hub of Senegalese salt production.

Medina Baye is the vast central square from which you can look up to see the turquoise-domed tops of the great minarets. Take a look at the Kaolack Market with many shops and sellers.


About the Creator

Rasma Raisters

My passions are writing and creating poetry. I write for several sites online and have four themed blogs on Wordpress. Please follow me on Twitter.

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