Jan 27 2010, 12:58 PM
I'm a french student and my bf is in Dakar for a semester as an exchange student !
I will have 2 weeks of vacation in April, and I wanted to visit him. He will not be in vacation himself, so will have to go to the university everyday.
I was wondering if there are things to do in Dakar that will keep me busy for 2 weeks... I know about Goree Island, and the market downtown... there is also the beaches but... what else can I do to discover more about Senegal and its capital... ? I will maybe be able to take daily trips to go outside of the city or maybe one week end... I don't know yet... so I'm seeking for advices, recommendations, and other things like that
Thanks in advance for your advices, and help !
Have a nice trip wherever you are
Jan 31 2010, 08:47 PM
[quote name='mjmorrissey' date='Jan 31 2010, 08:43 PM' post='310881']
[quote name='coline.g' post='306441' date='Jan 27 2010, 12:58 PM']
Hi Coline, I was in Dakar in June 09 for a couple of days. The one place I didn’t see on your list is the Pink Lake. It is not that far out of Dakar but it will take you all day to get there. There is the salt mining industry, a little depressing watching pregnant women carrying heavy baskets of mined salt.
Nothing will prepare you for the traffic for the ride out of the city. Bring a large book and/or your favorite music. The sites along the side of the road are fascinating but pass far too slowly. We were often stuck for so long in traffic we struck up conversations with neighboring vehicles.
There is a village you can visit behind the lake. The chef or a village elder will walk you around the village. It is picturesque and only worth visiting as you are in the area.
I won’t elaborate on the places you have already mentioned. I enjoyed my time in the area but would be hard pressed to fill two weeks in Dakar.
Let me know if you have any specific questions. I’d be happy to help.
Feb 7 2010, 05:20 PM
thanks for your advice I will think about Pink Lake, I read about it in other places, but knowing that I'm a young women traveling alone, I'm not sure about how to deal with going out of the city on my own...
What do you think about that? I'm reading a lot of blogs, and forums and it seems dakar quite be intense (with people being really willing to sell you things, or make you pay way too much money because you're a toubab, etc.). DO you think a women alone can manage all of that, or will it be too overwhelming?
I'm trying to be have as many information as I can have before leaving to visit... so let me know, any comment, advice, recomandations, etc will be welcome
Thanks in advance,
Feb 28 2010, 08:55 AM
I am also a student in Senegal for the semester, and I've been in Dakar for a little over a month, so maybe I can throw some ideas at you.
There are definitely beaches; the Mermoz beach, walking distance (a bit of a longer walk, but doable) from UCAD (where he's studying, right?), is nice and big, constantly populated with men working out en masse. This beach is good and convenient, and I probably go about twice a week, but what can be obnoxious about it is how much you get hassled, just because you're white, guys will come up to you and just start talking to you, proposing marriage and the like (granted, you'll get proposals on the street, too, but at the beach it helps if you pretend not to speak French). There is a great beach near Oukam, which is much more secluded. It's safe and breathtakingly beautiful. It's also very close to the Mamelles lighthouse, which is a good reference point to give to the cabby, and also a lot of fun to visit. There's a restaurant at the lighthouse, too, but I haven't eaten there.
You should check out L'Institut Français. There are always exhibits and events, ranging from music to photography to films and dance. They have a library and a pretty swanky restaurant.
There is a place called New Africa that offers salsa lessons. I haven't taken the lessons, but friends of mine are and not only are they enjoying them, but I've been to the place on a Friday night and it's like stepping into a little world where toubabs, ex-pats, and locals come together to dance some amazing salsa, play billiards and eat great food. You might like to check out some sort of lessons while here, and though I don't know what L'Institut Français will be offering at the time, you could always go home with great salsa skills, or take mid-week lessons and then take your bf there on the weekends for dinner and dancing.
There's always live music and dancing in Dakar, just look at places like Just4You (which I have yet to go to) and see what you can find.
Oh! And for a day-trip, Ile de Madeline is spectacular.
As far as being a woman alone in Dakar, you can manage it as long as you can be comfortable with you surroundings, don't let random people bring you anywhere, and don't walk around alone at night-especially on the corniche! Cabs are always worth it at night. The standard Saturday night lowest-price-you'll-get is 1500 (about 3$), but during the week you can always barter lower, if you're going somewhere within Dakar.
Feb 24 2011, 03:18 PM
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