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5 Experiences In Dakar, Senegal You Shouldn’t Miss

By Parker Diakite

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At the westernmost point of the African continent, Dakar is one of the continent’s most fascinating sites full of vibrant arts and traditions.

During your visit to Senegal’s capital city, here are 5 experiences you don’t want to miss out on.

1. A visit to Lake Retba

Less than an hour away from Senegal’s capital city is a stunning pink lake known as Lake Retba.

Lake Retba, also known as Lac Rose among locals, has a vivid pink color that is caused by the Dunaliella salina bacteria, which is attracted by the lake’s salt content. The bacteria produces a red pigment in order to absorb the sunlight, thus giving the lake its unique color. Its color is the most visible during the dry season, which lasts from November to June, and less during the rainy season between July and October.

2. Experience the views from the top at Les Mamelles Lighthouse

Once described as one of the world’s greatest lighthouses, Mamelles Lighthouse sits on top of one of the city’s few hills.

Not only is it a place to visit for the best views of Dakar, but it’s great for food and entertainment, as it’s known to have live bands throughout the week.

3. Head to the IFAN Museum of the Arts

The Musée de l’Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire, also known as the IFAN Museum of African Arts, is one of the oldest art museums in West Africa.

The museum has a beautiful collection of art from countries across the continent.

In addition to pieces of art, the museum consists of cultural relics including musical instruments, clothing, masks, and jewelry.

There’s also an ever-changing exhibit located in the museum that highlights modern African artists.

4. Shopping in the local markets

@leencrombez via Twenty20

Dakar has long been regarded as a trading hub. Which is all the more reason to visit the local markets in Senegal. 

Marché Sandanga is one of the largest in Dakar and offers an array of local products, including cuisines, housewares, art, textiles, and more.

5. Escape the city for Îles de la Madeleine

Located off the South West coast of Dakar, these tiny volcanic islands are believed to be home to the spirit that protects the capital by locals.

The islands are uninhabited with the exception of the main island Sarpan.

Currently on the Unesco World Heritage Tentative List, it’s a great spot to head to if you want to enjoy nature and escape the hustle and bustle of Dakar.

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