Be prepared to discover one of West Africa's most fascinating destinations, from the deserts of the north to the wetlands of the south. Witness the vast array of wildlife in its natural settings before learning about the mixed past of this mesmerising nation.
This is just a suggested Itinerary. Please speak to our experienced consultants who can tailor make this trip to your needs.
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• Explore the small colonial city of Saint Louis
• Discover the Mouride Sufi brotherhood
• Witness animist initiations & priest-king ceremonies
• Visit the dunes in southern Sahara
These are just suggested inclusions. Please speak to our experienced consultants who can tailor make this trip to your needs.
8 x breakfasts, 8 x lunches, 8 x dinners
Hotel x 7 nights, 1 x boat
Arrival in Dakar. Assistance and transfer to the hotel. Free time to relax.
In the morning, you will visit the centre of Dakar, large and vibrant African metropolis that was the cultural and intellectual capital of West French Africa.
After lunch, you will transfer by private vehicle to the Lampoul Desert.
Today you will continue to Saint Louis, an old charming town that is steeped in history and offers a colonial and vibrant atmosphere. Saint Louis, on the banks of the estuary of the river Senegal, was an outpost of the French colonial penetration. From the river arrived spices, slaves, gold and gum arabic. The city is built on two large islands between the river and the ocean. Thanks to this ventilated climatic and advantageous situation, the presence of European merchants was constant, even before the colonial period.
Morning departure to discover a humid and isolated ecosystem: the Djoudj National Park, a natural oasis formed by hundreds of miles of partially flooded lands, is the best habitat and nesting site of over a million migratory and sedentary birds, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After having lunch in a local restaurant you will head towards the Ferlo Desert. On your journey you will eave the asphalt road behind to discover the arid region where nomadic Fulani tribes herds large droves of zebu.
The arrival of western travellers is an unusual event in the sacred town of Touba: this is the right place to appreciate the hospitality of an African brotherhood. During the annual festival the town is visited by four million pilgrims. Continuation to Lac Rose, a shallow saltwater lake surrounded by dunes, also known as Lac Retba. The water is ten times saltier than in the ocean and because of the high concentration of minerals the lake often shimmers pink. More than 600 workers here collect salt in the traditional way. For the more adventurous, it is possible to go for a “swim”, or rather a float, in the lake waters.
In the morning, enjoy a spectacular 4WD excursion driving on the beach between waves and sand for miles to discover the largest fishing village in Senegal where more than 4,500 wooden pirogues bring their catch to the shore every day.
From here you will journey back to Dakar. Upon arrival, you will visit the “Village des Arts” composed by fifty-two artist studios. The Village is “the place” to meet the best artist and young talents of the Senegalese vibrant artistic scene.
Finally transfer to the port of Dakar to board the liner-ship “Aline Sitoe Diatta” that links in one night the capital of Senegal to Casamance, the southern region of the country.
Upon arrival, you will head up the water course, the Casamance River. Immersed in the pink dawn light, the fishermen in pirogues will remove the nets to let you pass. The dolphins will joyfully follow along. All around, on the banks of the river you will discover a new landscape: an exuberant environment of large African trees, of sacred forests where animism persists along with native and original forms of religious beliefs. A “Taxi Brousse” after a short ride, will take you to Cap Skirring.
A night of strolling in Cap Skirring, in search of music of local “colour”, between mbalax and salsa.
The clay architecture of the Diojlas of the Casamance reflects the typical defence of the egalitarian and acephalous tribal societies, often victims of the expansionism of ethnic groups that showed more hierarchical forms of organisation. The “impluvium houses” are authentic “fortified” constructions where the harmony of shape and the fusion of traditional materials (wood and clay) are a beautiful and clear example of “sculptural architecture”. During your visit, you will also be received by the king of one of the oldest kingdoms of the Casamance. At the end of the afternoon, you will go down a small path until you reach a small town and … the masks emerge from the sacred forest. The mask is feared and respected by the local population and has a regulating role in the personal conflicts.
Transfer to the airport and enjoy a spectacular flight that flies over estuaries and the Atlantic coast on your way back to Dakar. Transfer to the Port of Dakar to board the ferry which will take you to the island of Goré. Facing Dakar, Goré, was the point where the slaves were crammed into, waiting to be shipped to the Americas. Today the island has taken on a new role: its breezy climate, history and well maintained colonial architecture, together with nice restaurants and boutiques, make Goré an interesting and attractive destination for locals and visitors.
Return to Dakar and assistance until the final transfer to the airport.
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