Senegal Holidays – Tours & Adventure Travel Guide
“Senegal is the most popular destination in West Africa. Senegal offers lovely beaches, intriguing culture and amazing wildlife. This diversity brings in adventure seekers and culture lovers alike who come to Senegal for the wonderful memories they can take back home with them. The history of Senegal showcases a colonial heritage, much of which is still in tact and available for exploration. The warm climate also makes it a great place for water sports and exploring the vast amount of wildlife in the area. The bird watching alone is possibly worth the trip, Senegal’s Parc Nactional Des Oiseaux Du Djoudj is one of the world’s most important sanctuaries.”
Senegal Holiday Highlights
History & Culture - Senegal’s culture is an incredible chance to examine the past with all the amenities of home. This rich and interesting culture began as a colonial civilization and has been replaced by a modern and bustling city. Although Senegal is more modern than its colonial façades, the colonial architecture happily resides alongside and within more modern structures. The town of Île De Gorée is filled with historical architecture. It is this detail that makes Senegal so intriguing and appealing. It is able to offer a cultural experience with modern conveniences. The capital city of Dakar is alive with elegance, vibrancy, and history.
Water Sports & Activities - Senegal is the ideal location for water sport lovers. With many cities right on the coast, there are several options for finding some fun activities in the water. Many of these towns offer resorts and other accommodations that make doing your favorite water sports easy. Scuba diving and snorkeling are very popular. The crystal clear waters and plentiful marine life make these activities very worthwhile. Taking a pirogue through the Siné-Saloum Delta is a wonderful way to view the scenery. There are also many great beaches north and south of Dakar when not in the water. Many of these beaches offer the benefits of clean and unspoiled land.
Nature & Wildlife - When not near the water, there are still many other beautiful natural wonders to explore. Senegal has many rare animal species that are very hard to find anywhere else. Many of these animals are preserved in the national parks and nature reserves, which can be found all over the country. These parks add more ease to the exploration process, allowing visitors to examine wildlife in an inviting setting. The Parc Nactional Des Oiseaux Du Djoudj is home to many rare species of birds.
When To Go
Senegal has a very warm climate, as with many African countries, so visiting is possible throughout the year. However, a good time to visit the country is from December to April when the country is cooler and drier.
- Respect the customs of the locals, especially those in the tribal areas.
- It may be wise to invest in an interpreter when traveling to smaller villages, and make sure to become familiar with local greetings.
- Never turn down an offering when it is presented, as it is considered rude and inhospitable.
- Check the latest developments in the country before venturing to any area as some parts have been home to long-running conflict, namely in the Casamance region.
Senegal Holidays In Focus
History and Culture - Senegal’s intriguing culture is one of the best reasons to visit the country. The people, customs and even music of the country shine brightly and provide a great destination for any traveler. Here, the real Africa can be explored, with unspoiled areas that have just the right modern touches to make it a 21st century travel destination. Yet, Senegal still maintains it’s colonial heritage that makes it unique and approachable.
Due to Senegal being under French rule until the 1960s, it still maintains some unique French flavor that adds great appeal to the area. Senegal has a well-established government, which works efficiently and encourages peace and freedom. The cities of St. Louis and Dakar, in particular, are great areas to see the French influence.
Senegal’s music scene is another great cultural draw The most popular form of music is Mbalax, which has gained much notoriety throughout Africa thanks to several musicians who have gained success. Today, most of the Senegal people listen to this music on stereos throughout the day.
The city of St Louis, which once served as Senegal’s capital, is another great place to visit. Here, much of the colonial atmosphere has been preserved with many original homes and verandas still in tact. An annual jazz festival is held in St. Louis every year. St. Louis is also a well-known fishing community and offers a great culinary destination with many of the local restaurants embracing the easy access to fish and other seafood.
More culture can be discovered in the various museums and historic buildings found all over Senegal. One great museum is the Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire, which contains many statues, musical instruments and other relics that are prevalent in West Africa. The Grande Mosquée, located in Medina is also a great cultural site, and is the most famous mosque in the country. The church itself is not open to the public, but the outside décor and the people who congregate here make it worth the trip. The Palais Présidentiel is another interesting building, which boasts a beautiful garden outside the grounds that draws in many visitors. One other site that is especially interesting is the Île de Gorée, which was once a slave station, and still holds a large number of slave houses that are available for exploration.
Water Sports and Activities - The warm climate, and easy access to water, makes Senegal a great place to partake in water sports. The Petite Côte, which is just south of Dakar, is one of the most revered beach areas in the country. The Cap Vert Peninsula is another great place for swimming and divers and contains some of Senegal’s clearest waters. Some other beaches in Senegal include Casamance, N’Gor Beach and Hann Bay.
Deep-sea fishing is another popular water sport, especially in the Dakar area. Don’t forget to take a trip down river in a tradition pirogue, a long and narrow African boat. There are many swamps and lagoons in Senegal that offer a great place to take a ride on one of these boats. One of the best places to do this is on the Siné-Saloum delta and in the Parc National du Delta du Saloum, which is a small convergence of islands and channels.
Nature & Wildlife - Exploring the nature of Senegal is one of the most rewarding travel experiences one can have. The many national parks and reserves in the country offer the perfect backdrop to exploring the country. A great place to start is at the Parc National de Niokolo Koba, which is a park with a vast savannah and a large forest. There are over 80 different species of animals that live in the park including lions, elephants, crocodiles, antelopes and panthers.
Bird watching is also very popular in Senegal, as it is home to many rare species of bird. The Parc National Aux Oiseaux du Djoudj is the perfect place for bird watching in Senegal. Here, some of the most sought after species of bird can be found. This park, located in the southern area of the Sahara desert, is one of the most revered bird sanctuaries in all of Africa and is highly regarded for the work done to preserve the wildlife of Senegal.
Joining an ecotourism program is another great way to enjoy the nature of Senegal, namely in the beautiful Casamance region. Many of the villages offer traditional accommodations and activities that are very popular among visitors.
- Tour the fertile Casamance area, especially Cap Skiring, where some of the finest beaches in West Africa can be found.
- Discover Senegal's underwater world near the Cap Vert Peninsula, which is especially popular among diving enthusiasts.
- Enjoy the Petite Côte’s major areas of Mbour and Saly Portugal, which offer great beaches when you need to relax
- Sightsee around Eastern Senegal, especially the people of the Bedik, Bassari and Tenda tribes in the Kedougou area whose villages offer breathtaking views of the countryside.