Birds, beaches and a warm, Senegalese welcome
Senegal has an energy which sweeps you up and keeps you afloat in the maelstrom of African beats, colourful markets and smiling people. French colonial influence lingers in the language and architecture, yet there is a distinctly African flavour to discover in the communities and landscapes. The capital, Dakar, is a lively metropolis spoiled with seafood and rich with cultures and traditions, including a world renowned music scene. Elsewhere, a multitude of adventures awaits. Surf the Atlantic coast, explore the waterways in search of bird life, or visit the Ile de Gorée, a scenic island steeped in history.
Top three things to do in Senegal
There are many wonderful experiences to be had in this West African nation. For further inspiration take a look at the trip ideas put together by our trusted local experts at the foot of this page, but in the meantime here are our top three things to do in Senegal.
Birds are big news in Senegal, which lies south of the Sahara and provides a much needed rest stop for for migratory birds after they have crossed the desert. Several wetland regions are favoured by Palaearctic and Afrotropical birds, while Sahelian species and West African specialities are widespread. Major areas for birdwatching are the Senegal River and the Sine Saloum river delta, but the most important site is the Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary, host to around 1.5 million birds.
Despite being known as ‘the Paris of Africa,’ you’d have to search hard to find much Parisian froideur in Dakar, instead you are more likely to find a beguiling Senegalese exuberance in its place. This is what makes the city such a fun place to be; it feels like good things happen here and the positivity is infectious. Music is the other addiction in Dakar, where the legendary Mbalax rhythms are forever associated with Youssou N’Dour, Senegal’s most famous artist.
Explore the Delta
A web of waterways, mangroves, islands and swamps characterises the Siné Saloum delta, a region which is protected as a National Park and recognised by UNESCO. Seawater penetrates into many of the watercourses, and a unique ecosystem has developed as a result, supporting several species of shellfish which are the staple food of the local villages, Centuries worth of shells have been discarded and some islands in the delta are entirely formed of shells.
Tailor-made holiday ideas for Senegal
All holiday ideas on TravelLocal are curated by us - we make sure our ideas showcase the best of each country. Take a look and be inspired!