Looking to visit somewhere new this year? Why not consider Senegal? There’s a lot to love about this West African country, particularly the region of Dakar. Located on the most western point of Senegal, it’s a tourist spot on the rise.
Ideal for surfing
When you think of surfing, places like Australia or the U.S. probably come to mind. However, the beaches in Dakar are also ideal if you love riding the waves. There are more than a dozen different spots to surf here, with each one seemingly tailored to different experience levels. Anyone new to this activity would probably benefit from starting in Yoff or Virage before moving elsewhere. Luckily, all the best surfing locations are within a 30-minute radius of one another.
Even if surfing’s not your thing, you should still head to Dakar’s cost anyway. The region is surrounded on almost all sides by golden beaches and bright blue waters, from Plage des Mamelles to Plage de Yoff. You can easily spend an entire day – or an entire vacation – just lounging under the hot African sun. Of course, if you wish to avoid sunburn, you can also visit some of the eateries along the coast, which specialize in seafood dishes and other local delicacies.
While Dakar might seem like a beach paradise – because it is – the coast isn’t the only thing that makes this place worth visiting. The region is actually becoming increasingly beloved for its religious elements, including buildings like the Mosque El Hadji Omar Al Foutiyou. Religion is important to the locals here, but unlike in other places, there’s very little judgment when it comes to differing views. The Muslim and Catholic communities seemingly live in harmony, so you can broaden your horizons without feeling judged.
Delicious food everywhere
No matter where you are in the world, the local area is bound to have its own delicious delicacies. Dakar is no different, with the region making use of its coastline to serve fresh fish. This is usually combined with other local produce, like peanuts and seasonal vegetables. These ingredients make for some interesting combinations, including the thieboudienne, yassa, and mafé. You can expect to find all of these foods wherever you are in Dakar because they’re the area’s most popular dishes.
The pink lake
It seems that the Red Sea isn’t the only body of water that can turn a different color. Lake Retba in Dakar also has an abnormal hue to it, although what causes it to change colors is rather different here. Apparently, the high content of salt in the water creates a chemical reaction that turns it slightly pink. It makes for some impressive photo ops, as well as a great place to take a dip. What’s more, you don’t need to worry about being an excellent swimmer, because the high density of water means you’re more likely to float than sink.
If you’re hoping to make the most of Dakar before it’s overrun with tourists, you might want to book a vacation sooner rather than later.