Senegal
Senegal

Curious what backpackers do in Senegal? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

16 travelers at this place:

  • Day68

    Casamance

    February 6, 2017 in Senegal ⋅ 🌙 73 °F

    Firstly, apologies for the lack of updates. I've had some technical difficulties, but I should be able to catch up soon.

    A return to Senegal, sees me into Casamance, a region even flatter than the rest of Senegal, yet very different. The whole region is basically a flood plain for the Casamance river where the highest point seems to be provided by the senegalese love of monumental speed bumps. This flatness and the seasonal rains means the locals, who want to be independent, are epic rice farmers and the meals are both tasty and healthy.

    However my ride through 'upper' casamance took me to a dirt road, at times more like a footpath. Where I had crash #3 & #4. #3 was rather embarrassing, riding about 10mph, I tried to turn off the gopro, lost my balance and pathetically fell to the side, breaking my fly screen at the same time. #4 was much more dramatic as I went in to a sudden sand pit, buried the front wheel and lost it at about 35mph, only to be instantly engulfed by a massive cloud of sand and dust. I pull myself up and as the cloud clears I see about 20 people coming to help me and the bike up. No damage on this one, but I've got a cracking bruise on my leg.

    I've also stayed in a camp site by the shore of the casamance, where they had 7 small crocodiles in a pen, just by they bar. They catch them if they come close to the town,  but still I've been told it's not a good idea to go in the water! On the plus side I've been told crocodile is tasty! While here I took the opportunity to ride the bike unloaded and visit st George's point and very briefly see manatees. This involved a very Sandy track where it took me 1.5 hours to do 12 miles, but I was rewarded when I arrived with an impromptu rice and fish lunch with a local family and secured some palm wine for dinner later.

    The link below should show a YouTube summary of the journey so far from the UK to Senegal.

     https://youtu.be/JWtZhocU-rU
    Read more

  • Day56

    Dakar

    January 25, 2017 in Senegal ⋅ 🌙 66 °F

    I love Dakar. It has a real intensity and busyness with everyone seeming to have a purpose. Aside from Fes and Marrakech, it is the only city so far where most people are enjoying life rather than just moving from day to day. I joined in with the hustle and bustle and spend my 4 days here;
    Getting the Guinea visa;
    Visiting Ile-de-goree, the island where ships departed to take slaves to America;
    Haggling in the massive markets. I got quoted the equivalent of £100 for some Africa print trousers, I ended up paying £2.60 for them, and I still know that's too much;
    Searched for engine oil so I can do an oil change in a couple of weeks. This is surprisingly difficult as everyone just fills their bikes with car oil;
    Visited the most westerly point in Africa, which is predictably semi-occupied by the US embassy, a building big enough for about 1000 people;

    Also after 3 weeks it's time to say goodbye to Ferry and Gulcin 😭. They have 2 years to tour Africa, whereas my plan was 6 months, but I've now decided a year is definitely needed!

    Photos
    1&4) Africa's most westerly point
    2) View across Dakar to ile-de-goree
    3) Pirogue fishing boat
    Read more

  • Day54

    Lac Rose detour

    January 23, 2017 in Senegal ⋅ ⛅ 68 °F

    So a night was planned at the famous Lac Rose where a mixture of salinity, bacteria and sunlight mean the water turns pink. However there have been a few issues with this.
    1) The road the mapping app suggested for the last 5 miles ranged from horrific to non existent. Picture the good bits - the kind of sand where the front wheel slides from rut to rut, while the back fishtails along. The bad bits being flat out desert type sand where I've got the throttle open, I'm bouncing up and down over the rear wheel to get traction, meanwhile half the village is getting covered in what's being kicked up from the rear, all while moving forward at half walking pace, with a rather large audience at times.
    2) The plan was to arrive at dusk, but because of the conditions, most of this riding is done in the dark.
    3) The bloody lake isn't even pink the next day when we see it!
    4) Leaving in the morning, all we had to do was ride 2 miles on a hardcore road, then turn onto tar...much easier.

    Photos
    1) The unpink lake
    2 & 3) Sights on the way there. Unfortunately the gopro was out of charge for the sandy bits.
    Read more

  • Day51

    Zebrabar

    January 20, 2017 in Senegal ⋅ 🌙 70 °F

    First stop a desert oasis in the Adrar gorge. It's nice to see something other than a panorama of sand. Then onto Senegal via a quick pitstop in Nouakchott, Mauritania's capital, to acquire a Mali visa. The only reason i want the Mali visa is so I can do a quick dash later to Bamako, Mali's capital, to get a Nigeria visa because every other Nigeria embassy insists on me getting the visa in the UK.

    The driving in Nouakchott is absolutely atrocious. I've driven / ridden in many places where people say it is chaotic or dangerous,  but my experience is normally that the locals ignore all rules, but actually drive with common sense and tend to be more aware of what's going on around them. Nouakchott is NOT like this, it's like the entire population has had a lobotomy from the part of the brain that promotes self preservation. Everyone drives like they're playing GTA.

    My next treat is to cross 2nd most notoriously corrupt border in Africa....on my birthday, but first we pass a national park with warthogs, which we saw and crocodiles, which we didnt ☺. The border was actually OK apart from the Mauritania customs guy who wanted 10 euro each to stamp the bikes out. He didn't take so well to me pointing out his vehicle records book had 25 entries for the day before, but his receipt book only had 5, at which point he gets angry and says he's the custom chief and tells us to go to another border (the even more corrupt one). Ferry's and my response is to say, OK we will wait here for the stamp.... right in the middle of your office. An hour later, after some concillatory conversation ("where were you born, how many children do you have, you're very successful to have such an important job, Mauritania is a good country, it's my birthday today etc") we finally get our stamp for free.

    Once over the border it becomes clear how different mauritania and senegal are, in senegal there are so many colours, so many more people and everyone seems an extrovert.  Now I'm at the famous overlanding spot near St Louis called Zebrabar with a birthday beer and I've seen my first wild monkey. The view here is pretty damn good.

    Photos
    1) Terjit oasis
    2) Adrar gorge
    3 & 5) View from Zebrabar
    4 & 6) The city of St Louis, the former capital of French West Africa
    Read more

  • Day60

    Q - How many people can a taxi carry?

    January 29, 2017 in Senegal ⋅ ☀️ 37 °F

    5 hours after leaving Ferry and Gulcin I spot a group of 12 bikes parked up. After a quick chat with the Polish/ Austrian group it turns out we're going to the same place, le petite cote. So we join up. The first night involves some typically Polish drinking which is an experience for my head and liver after hardly drinking for 6 weeks!

    The next day we go on a pirogue trip up the Saloum delta, but first we have to go to the next village which involves 12 people getting a ride from a battered old Peugeot 405. 2 in the front including the driver, 3 in the back, 2 in the boot, 6 on the roof, but before we can go anywhere the driver has the hammer the passenger door shut.

    The boat trip itself was great, seeing the mangrove swamps and lots of birds. The boat even got stuck on a sandbar on the way back so we all had to lean the boat perilously over towards the crocodile inhabited water. Most worryingly though my premium quality Africa print trousers have ripped.

    In the afternoon I have a little ride up and down the beach without all the baggage. The bike feels much better without all the extras bouncing up and down with it. After going up and down for ten miles I think it would be a good idea to get some dramatic video footage in front of the shipwreck. So I start being a yob and doing donuts in front of a shipwreck, predictably this ends up in me laying in the sand. Pick the bike up, and it won't start as I need to wait for the petrol to drain, meanwhile I tensly watch the tide come in and start lapping at the back wheel, but she starts. Then it turns out I actually pressed the wrong button and don't have it filmed.

    In the evening I find out there is the local annual wrestling competition, Senegal's national sport. To be fair I saw more build up than actual Wrestling but the rituals the crowd and the wrestlers go through are quite something, including drumming, call and respond chanting, animated dancing, throwing of leaves, throwing water out of a hollowed out animal horn, drawing in the sand. The wrestling itself is a little tactical. I was expecting these huge men, mostly 6ft 6+, to start throwing each other around. The reality though is that 95% of the time is spent playing slapsies.

    Photos
    1 & 5) Pirogue trip
    2) Everyday traffic
    3 & 4) View from my tent
    6) Wrestling
    Read more

  • Day5

    Exploring the beach

    March 24 in Senegal ⋅ ☁️ 27 °C

    Embarked on a long stroll down the beach. Was called by a restaurant owner to view some fresh fish, tried to lure me to his restaurant but didn't succeed.

    Later in the evening there was a dancing show in the resort

  • Day5

    Beach Resort

    March 24 in Senegal ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Checked out of Olomo at 11:45am, had to pay CFA 9,000 for the meal I had on the first day. Stepped out and signaled towards the taxi parked outside asking him if he was Saliu the Taxi driver I had negotiated with 2 days back to take me to Saly. He answered qui. I had doubt but wasn't too sure. He quickly put my bags in the car and we started driving out of the hotel when another taxi entered flagged us down and I immediately recognised the Saliu I had spoken to. I confronted the taxi driver who now confessed he was Ahmed and not Saliu, apparently he wanted to steal his colleagues passenger since they both operate from the hotel. I was upset with him came down of the taxi and transfered to the original one.

    We left the hotel at 12 noon. The road to Saly is a 3 lane perfectly tarred express road with several toll gates. Got to Saly about 1hr later. Had to use my google maps to navigate to the hotel. Got to the gate of Les Filaos hotel, security man asked which hotel told him Le Saly and he pointed us to the adjacent gate 20 metres away.

    Apparently both hotels are sisde by side with no dividing internal fence. Paid the taxi driver CFA 20,000 and he asked if he can come pick me back onSaturday to Dakar which I accepted. On getting to the reception I was given a guest card to fill and the green wrist band before the receptionist checked the system and discovered I was booked at Les Filaos.

    A porter was assigned to take my bags to Les Filaos across, where my green wrist band was exchanged for an Orange one indicating I was on full board with meals. Checked into my room, AC wasn't coming in, a technician was called who flipped the fuse by the door to activate the AC. Had lunch if white rice, steak, fish and curry sauce.
    Read more

  • Day3

    Tour - City Centre

    March 22 in Senegal ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Had an ok breakfast. Tour guide picked me up at 8:05. Got to the city centre for the ferry ride to La Goree Island unfortunately we had missed the boat so decided to go on a 1hr walking tour of the city centre passing by the Presidential Palace (unfortunately no pics allowed), banks and several ministeries and government building. Got back to the jetty after a 1 hr walk aroumd only to miss the 10am boat. Paid CFA 5,200 for the 11am boat and sat in the departure hall.

    The average Senegalese is very dark skin, darker than Ghanians, almost charcoal black. Am told that the Wolof and Sarer (together 58% of the population) are very dark skin people while other tribes have lighter skin.
    Read more

  • Day3

    Tour - Goree Island

    March 22 in Senegal ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Took a 20min boat to the famous Goree Island, a famous slave post 300 years ago. It is a small island 900 mtrs by 300 mtrs with no cars or motorised vehicles. It is designated a UNESCO world heritage as such the buildings are maintained in their original state without modification.

    Part of the movie Guns of Navarone was filmed on the Island using the famous cannons with a 14km kill range.

    Visited the slave house, where slaves were kept before being shipped to the Americas, was told that slaves were valued based on where they came from due to their physical strength with Yorubas highly priced.

    On our return to Dakar we discovered that the vehicle tyre had been clamped by the police for wrong parking. Took almost 2hrs before we got it unlocked and the driver paid a fine for it.
    Read more

  • Day3

    Tour - African Renaissance Monument

    March 22 in Senegal ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    On the way to the Pink Lake we stopped over at the magnificent African Renaissance Monument built on top of a hill and shoots 50m into the sky. Momument was built at a cost of $27 million by a former president who contracted it out to the Koreans. It is now the no 1 landmark in Dakar.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Republic of Senegal, Senegal, ሴኔጋል, سنغال, Seneqal, Сенегал, Senegali, সেনেগাল, སེ་ནི་གྷལ།, Sénégal, Senegal nutome, Σενεγάλη, Senegalo, سنگال, Senegaal, Sènègal, An tSeineagáil, Seanagal, સેનેગલ, Sinigal, סנגל, सेनेगल, Szenegál, Սենեգալ, セネガル共和国, სენეგალი, សេនេហ្កាល់, ಸೆನೆಗಲ್, 세네갈, سینیگال, Senegalia, Senegaalo, Senegalɛ, ຊິນີກັນ, Senegalas, Senegale, Senegāla, സെനഗല്‍, ဆီနီဂေါ, सेनेगाल, ସେନେଗାଲ୍, Senegäle, Sinigaal, செனெகல், సెనెగల్, ประเทศเซเนกัล, Senikalo, سېنېگال, سینیگل, Xê-nê-gan (Senegal), Senegalän, Orílẹ́ède Sẹnẹga, 塞内加尔, i-Senegal

Join us:

FindPenguins for iOS FindPenguins for Android

Sign up now