Senegal

Copyright: Igor Grochev/Shutterstock

Senegal

This West African gem is one of the safest countries on the continent, and also one of the most exciting. Senegal is named after the river that gives it its natural border to the north, where the sand of the Sahara graces the land with its barren beauty. Contrasting with the aridness of the north, the areas near Guinea-Bissau, on the opposite side of the country, are home to landscapes of luscious tropical forests, while the land in the middle is a wide strip of tallgrass savanna. Dakar, the flourishing capital of Senegal stretches out into the ocean on a peninsula pointing towards the far-off islands of Cabo Verde. Rightfully holding on to its substantial and unmistakable culture, Dakar has been able to combine modern commodities with long-standing tradition. Learn about the slave trade at Gorée Island, take a trip to the Grand Mosque in the lively neighbourhood of Medina or admire the pan-African artworks in the Théodore Monod African Art Museum. Then take a breather from the busy city centre and observe the process of salt extraction at Lake Retba, dubbed ‘the pink lake’ due to its high concentration of cyanobacteria which lends the water a very particular hue.
Dakar Copyright: Igor Grochev/Shutterstock

Dakar

The Cap-Vert Peninsula sticks out westward into the Atlantic Ocean, reaching from the Old World to the New, harbouring the westernmost city on the African mainland: Dakar. A city that represents Africa's development better than almost any other, Dakar boasts the comforts and luxuries of modern living, while firmly keeping a grasp on its history and traditions. The bustling markets of downtown are juxtaposed with the laid-back pace of Île de Gorée and the surrounding beaches, making a visit to Dakar a fascinating experience of contrasts.