Senegal
Dakar

Here you’ll find travel reports about Dakar. Discover travel destinations in Senegal of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

17 travelers at this place:

  • Day48

    Dakar,Senegal

    May 2 in Senegal ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Dakar, Senegal.

    There is an African proverb that says ,”The Eye Never Forgets What The Heart Has Seen”, and that applied to today.
    Unforgettable in many ways ,we wait listed a trip to a Game Reserve ,with many others, and got it, so pleased.!
    As soon as we boarded our slightly dowdy bus ,a smaller model ,realised everything here is covered in red dust ,the bus and window’s no exception..sadly, but we will remember it all.!
    Very basic Pier with many trucks adjacent, unloading in primitive ways , with lots of man power, various cargos. Then an oil spill, trying to be contained , but not really. Many haphazard vehicles covered ,in the red dust ,flat tyres… Around the Port Gates ,very dishevelled people in tiny, broken ,small shacks, that were shops. Out on to the streets, hilarious melee of traffic, warned there are no rules ,and even if there were, not followed .Roundabouts of chaos, with everyone jockeying for position…the ambulance ,siren going, getting simply nowhere ,you would be gone in the time that took to reach anything resembling a Hospital.. Sheep, the Arabian kind, long tails and tall, a small flock upon a pavement side, been wet in some way,. Thousands of Taxis ,in various states of repair ,like nothing seen before… A large new Railway Station, looking like a building in Shanghai , and of course it is Chinese…
    A brief summary of Senegal, French for a very long time, French is still widely spoken, Slave Trade in earlier times ,terrible ,through France and Britain, the Island of Goree ,was a tour for passengers ,visible as a pretty place ,from the ship…French buildings etc. Independence in the 80’s as they wanted, but no ,like all of Africa, it is mismanaged and a disaster, for many, getting bigger by the day.
    There apparently is some progress, but lapses like a HUGE bronze statue made by Nth Korea, costing $27 million ,sort of cartoon like, towers over the city ,while some people starve… the whim ,amongst huge protest, of a Prime Minister… However apparently 66% have electricity ,in the city ,sanitation , water as well, so all is not lost. Education is free, and a student allowance for University, so seems very good.. Further out ,and not much further, it is to be honest, squalor , no other way of saying…everything seems to be, being built, but is lived in, on the way, concrete blocks ,little reinforcing,2 rooms and a toilet,perhaps, the Banks lend on these at $30,000,they earn $3600 a year…so a difficult path .
    Rubbish piled everywhere, and just dust , that is more so, because it has not rained since August last year… This is horse and cart country, a little related to Egypt, donkeys as well, who tow large loads and a lump of a person, often.! These people are tall , handsome , some have colourful robes, and the women ,in an almost completely Muslim country, wore very colourful ,long dresses ,some of beautiful fabrics. Water is sold from tanks, on carts ,to suburbs. More tiny stalls selling fruit, mainly ,along the dusty roadside…Herds of cows wandering ,also goats, they didn’t look starved…
    Large orchards of Mango trees, seem to be quite well tended.
    BUT, there are highways beyond belief, beautifully made, over passes ,channeled for water…even some landscaping ,being watered by hand. The lighting is all solar, such a good idea, they seem like the roads to nowhere, but they wont be, a new Airport is complete, so progress is obvious ,Chinese progress in the main…There are small parts of development ,inner the city ,apparently nice mansions, also, of those in power..
    Soon many Baobab trees, the real Africa, disappointed we didn’t see them in Madagascar , but here in abundance, their national symbol . Some just coming into leaf, but many still bare. They have fruit of a powdery nature that is high in Vit.C. Gorgeous ,stately and live for 2000 years ,although in the drought ,some very old ones succumbed.
    Soon to the Bandia Reserve ,all very professionally done. Waiting in the shade for our 9 seater , small trucks, many monkeys, so cute ,scampering about. Through majestic Baobab and acacia trees , making for the real look of Africa ,and dusty red earth.
    Animals, well birds first, Ostrich ,many ,one flopped on her nest in the heat, with a few huge eggs scattered out at the sides, apparently they rotate, the eggs,and the Male does night shift..He has very black ,shiny, plumage.
    Warthogs, cute Families , earnestly going about their day ,giving the Ostrich a wide berth ,they don’t eat her eggs…Giraffes ,many ,eating the hugely prickly Acacia, unaffected.. Various Antelope ,so clean and beautifully marked ,the Kudu ,the largest. Weigh 400lbs. Many kinds we had not seen. Water hole with dozens of monkey’s ,all sizes and shapes ,running hither and yon, tiny babies underneath…Expressions and actions I never tire of ,[ Sam can’t stand them..] Drinking and grooming the children..!
    Rhinos ,being fed, as they have had to feed the animals, there is simply nothing left to eat,. Huge ones males, but horns removed of course… Buffalo, the look of Africa ,mean looking male, and his harem,also little ones , almost all with the little birds, as passengers, on their backs. Then my favourite.. Zebra, amazing stripes, everyone unique and apparently the stripes are like a kind of louvers, in heat reduction, how clever is that.! I could look at them for hours, they are beautiful, and they to me ,are Africa…
    Hyenas …hideous , prowling, creatures, quite large and very strong looking, are contained just for viewing ,I asked what do you feed them ,he smiled and said they eat anything.! Crocodiles ,many, wild Guinea fowl, bigger than we know.
    What we enjoyed most ,was seeing all the animals we didn’t see at the first Game reserve, we visited from East London, in South Africa., different today ,very close viewing ,many pretty birds ,as well, on the ground ,mainly. It wasn’t the greatest of Parks, but it was so Africa, the trees ,just as you see in pictures .Apart from being among, not such a nice lot of people ,who would not let the guide sit beside them ,so he hung from the side ,perched, for the duration…!
    Later we gathered for a drink ,by the water, full of croc’s, only offering beer and cola,[ my bottle was from the 50’s]…so damaged I only had a little bit…!Goodness knows….So very hot and then rushed off to the bus, but noticed an urn type container ,made in Raffia woven with cloth, a very clever design ,quite lovely.
    Journey back, on the amazing roads through the chaos . Not pictures really ,of it all, because the windows…
    Gathering our passengers, who had been on a Safari of 6 days through many countries ,with many tales to tell, not all of them good…very happy to be back on board…
    Also those on local excursions said they were physically handled in markets and quite frightened ,seemingly aggressive people, in parts, so not the place for your next vacation. Ever interesting, and a huge learning curve, anyway. The docks are like from another era ,of long ago, a big fishing Port ,and some containers in one part…
    But we did enjoy our last day in Africa, much food for thought…as is all of Africa…
    I will do a sperate blog, because of the many things that have happened in our last 6 days at sea.. Sailing along in the calm waters as usual…Perfect.
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  • 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
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.

  • Day3

    Tour - Lac Rose (Pink Lake)

    March 22 in Senegal ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    We stopped over at a local restaurant just before the lake to eat a delicious local meal called Thiebou Djeune (CFA 2,000). Jollof rice looking, with fish and all sort of vegetables and fruits sliced and diced. It was delicious but didn't taste like Jollof rice.

    After the sumptuous meal we drove to the lake. My first dissapointment was that the lake wasn't PINK although you could see some shades of dark pinkish color on the banks of the lake. All over the banks were huge mounds of salt dug up from the lake bed and put to dry in the sun.

    Ladies selling souvenirs were all over the place harrasing visitors to buy. I told them no and they played a well rehearsed trick on me by asking to take pictures with them and later offering me free souvenirs after which they asked for a tip! I gave them CFA 500 and they complained?

    Lots of traffic on the way back to Dakar and the hotel, aparently the Pink lake is in another region (state) of the country. Got back at 8pm and it was still bright outside apparently they are experiencing long days and short nights here like europe.
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  • Day3

    La Patio - late dinner & drinks

    March 22 in Senegal ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

    Got the hotel receptionist at 11pm to negotiate a taxi for my night outing. First stop was a visit to 5 club for dinner. There was a live band playing, few guest, they wasted almost 1hr of my time without brining the food I ordered so I left angrily and went to Le Patio for a late dinner of Chicken and Chips (CFA 8,000) which was incredibly fast and delicious. Attached to the restaurant was a night club which I popped into, not surprising they played a lot of Nigerian songs. At 2am I called my taxi man to come take me back to the hotelRead more

  • Day8

    Sandaga Market

    March 27 in Senegal ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Got to Sandaga market shortly after 12 noon. This time around we parked in a proper place within the port so no locking of tyre when we return. Walked through the central business district to the market.

    Sandaga is the largest market in Dakar. Hawkers everywhere following and harrasing visitors to buy their goods. Similar to naija market we had escort who followed us throughout and eventually I had to buy 1 item from his shop. Was able to achieve a 50% reduction in price of some of the items bought using advance procurement skills with "Should cost analysis". I believe I got a good bargain although I ended up spending more (CAF 195,000) than I had budgeted for shopping.

    Left the market shortly after 2pm. The shopping was quite efficient based on the male buying process ... see, select, negotiate & pay....

    Stopped over at a local restaurant "Duda" in Mbour to eat Thiebou Djeune (CFA 1,000) which am told is the no 1 meal of Senegal.

    Drove round Mbour, a rural town with pot holes and sandy untarred roads, passed by some other resorts such as Neptune Hotel etc before finally arriving at the resort at 4:20pm. Paid Malick CFA 40,000 for the transportation and interpretation services.
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  • Day11

    Off to Plage du Virage

    March 30 in Senegal ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    My last day in Senegal. For lunch I wasn't prepared to eat hotel food so I consulted google maps for the nearest African restaurant which happened to be restaurant le Xalam at plage du virage. Next challenge how to communicate this to the taxi driver. 1st one didn't understand me. 2nd one pretended he did after I showed him the spelling on google maps, but stopped a few meters ahead for me to show a young chap in a street side store who now pronounced it the right way. I had already negotiated CAF 1,000 with him but he started speaking rapidly in French, I suspected he wanted more money, but I refused and told him we had already agreed but trust taxi drivers when he dropped me off he wanted more money. I just ignored him and walked off.

    Used Google maps to navigate to the Restaurant Le Xalam where I ordered Thiou (white rice with stew and smoked beef chops) CAF 6,000. After the sumptious meal I strolled down to the beach (Plage du Virage). It is quite popular with surfers due to the waves but not regular beach swimmers. Breeze was very cold and I couldn't stay long due to my cold.

    Found AFC (African Fried Chicken) for Uddy although I didn't go in to find out if their chicken taste like KFC's.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Dakar, Region Dakar, Дакар, Región de Dakar, Dakar eskualdea, Rexión de Dakar, Regione di Dakar, ダカール州, 다카르 주, Dakaro regionas, Regiunea Dakar, ڈاکار علاقہ, Diiwaanu Ndakaaru, 达喀尔区

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