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Trail Africa: 10 Amazing Places And Things To Do In Senegal – Part II

Trail Africa: 10 Amazing Places And Things To Do In Senegal – Part II

In the first part of this series, you were introduced to the friendliness of the Senegalese encapsulated in the word teranga. We also talked about Senegal being a country of griots and great poets such as Léopold Sédar Senghor
and David Diop, and the calm, laid-back qualities of some Senegalese towns and destinations such as the beach town of Saly and the small but unforgettable island of Gorée, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

In this follow-up piece, we explore more places to visit and things to see in Senegal to thrill a variety of individuals. From those with an appetite for discovering ancient wonders to seekers of sand and sea, you’ll certainly discover that this serenely-beautiful West African country is home to sights that will etch its place in your heart. So, allow me to take you on an exciting ride that will no less wow you.

Check out these additional fun things to see in Senegal… 

#1. The Tree of Life

Photo: @senegal/Instagram

Nothing compares with a view of this baobab tree – tall, majestic, and sublime. The fruit, leaves, and bark of this gigantic, mythic tree provide the locals with shelter, food, medicine, and clothing. No wonder this versatile tree is often called the “Tree of Life” by the locals.

Baobab trees have also served as burial sites for griots for ages. In addition, the juice of the baobab fruit, also called monkey bread, is said to be six times richer in Vitamin C than an orange and 50 percent richer in calcium than spinach. Your experience of Senegal won’t be complete without indulging in its succulent fruit. Smoothie forms are worth trying, too.

 #2. Ngor Island

Photo: @senegal/Instagram

Make your way to Ngor Island, one of Dakar’s local islands. Boats will be waiting to ferry you across the serene, turquoise-blue waters. Ngor is a beautiful place to explore on foot, and you will find a lot of street art you will definitely fall in love with.

Ngor is also a surfer’s haven. It courts surfers from all over the world and has a surf school. Horticulturists and flower lovers will enjoy its lush richness in bougainvillea and other flowers.

#3. Senegal’s own Dead Sea – Lake Retba

Photo: @mominatu via @dakarlives/Instagram

Lake Retba, or Lac Rose, is also worth seeing. Famous for its characteristic pink color – from the presence of microalgae known as Dunaliella salina. Lake Retba is Senegal’s own Dead Sea, except that Lake Retba is even saltier than the Dead Sea. The color of the lake varies depending on the brightness of the sun and the time of day, but an early morning visit will give you a pleasant bluish-pink shade perfect for your photographs.

A dip in the lake is all right as it’s shallow. But make sure to smear some shea butter on your skin to protect your skin from the high salinity. But you will mostly cherish your pictures on this most scenic of lakes long after you are gone from here.

#4. The largest statue in Africa

Photo: @senegalesepeople/Instagram

It is every visitor’s delight to come to Africa’s largest statue, and gaze in awe at its dizzying height and scope. Don’t be left out. It’s called the African Renaissance Monument and is the figure of a man, woman, and a child lounging on the man’s shoulder and pointing to the Atlantic.

Built on one of Dakar’s two hills, figuratively called Collines des Mamelles (breasts), it stands at 52 meters, making it taller than even America’s Statue of Liberty, which stands at roughly 46 meters. This monument of Senegal is every photographer’s delight. Get your cameras or phones, the pictures will be your prized possessions.

#5. Dakar’s markets

Photo: @travel_senegal/Instagram

There is no place like the capital of Senegal – Dakar. It straddles both the rustic and the urban. In one minute, you will find a local market; in another minute, high-rise buildings and skyscrapers will loom and tower before you. You will find markets of different sizes and specialties in Dakar.

If you are looking for crafts such as masks and malachite sculptures, go to Soumbédioune. If you care for Senegalese fabrics or clothes, Marché HLM comes highly recommended. But the biggest and oldest of the markets is the famous Marché Sandanga. It’s a bustling place with lots of things to buy. But don’t fall easily for the first price you are given; there is an art to pricing in most African markets. Feel free to go as low as you wish. Smile and gauge the feelings of the seller. Cajole them and see if you can shift ground. There is teranga in them, and you will realize that Senegalese people are easy to deal with.

You will leave the shops smiling from a good deal and a pleasant experience. Perhaps what will surprise and delight you as you explore the richness and sheer size of this famous West African city is its laid-back air. There is a slow, calm, poetic aspect to this great city, unlike the fussy and frenetic ambiance that its fellow West African city Lagos is known for. This calm, poetic virtue of Senegal is the charm that will keep calling you even when you are long gone from here.

See 5 more Amazing Places And Things To Do In Senegal

Trail Africa: 5 Amazing Places And Things To Do In Senegal – Part I

Featured image: Aida Đapo Muharemović via @dakarlives/Instagram 

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