I enjoy traveling by the seat of my pants, making decisions on the fly and having the flexibility to change at a moment’s notice, much to the chagrin at times of my travel companions. Part of the adventure is the unknown and when traveling by bicycle or on foot, it’s hard to know exactly how many miles I’ll travel by the end of the day. But this trip is different.
I’m the most seasoned traveler in a group of three and we’re going to places that have reputations of being rugged, wild, un-developed, dangerous, rife with pick pockets and tropical diseases. We’ll be fine, but it seemed prudent to book ahead. We planned an itinerary, knowing somewhere down the line it’ll change, but having the backbone gave us all piece of mind and a road map to follow.
12 days in Senegal
We fly from Cleveland to Boston to Lisbon to Dakar spending nearly 24 hours in transit before arriving at our first destination.
Arrive in Dakar Airport and stay in Toubab Dialaw (literally slang for “white person“ but also a town 55km south of the capital) known for it’s sandy beaches, arty vibe and drumming, dancing and theater classes and performances.
After a few days to get over our jet lag on the beach we’ll be ready to brace ourselves for the hustle and bustle of the Senegalese capital of Dakar. We’ll go to the island of Il Goree to learn about the Atlantic slave trade, the pink-colored Lake Retba to learn about the salt industry and visit the markets and mosques before taking the 14+ hour night ferry south.
Casamance is a remote part of Senegal south of The Gambia, a country that nearly divides Senegal in half. The region is know for it’s Creole culture and stunning wilderness. We’ll be staying in the villages in homestays and learning about the local culture and traditions.
St. Louis is in the northwest of Senegal and was the former French colonial capital. The historic town is an UNESCO world heritage site and it’s surrounded by protected areas for sea turtles, birds and endangered species.