November 02

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Everyone deserves a holiday :-)

After the last couple of stressful weeks and before my next trip to Niger I decided to indulge myself with a short break,  just a few days to discover what is hidden behind this country called Senegal.

I started to visit Goree island , the Pink lake , Lompoul desert, Saint Louis which used to be the capital of Senegal, Touba, the Sine Saloum region and finally the Sea Shell Island ,

goree-map

This time I will just let you go through the pictures as they speak for themselves.

Goree Island is a small island located off the coast of Senegal. Goree Island was developed as a centre of the expanding European slave trade.

View from the boat 

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Funny to see the name of the boat : BEER ??!

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The colours of the house showing the influence of the Dutch

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The island of Gorée was one of the first places in Africa to be settled by Europeans as the Portuguese settled in the island in the 1444. It was then captured by the Netherlands in 1588, then the Portuguese again, and again the Dutch.

The House of Slaves and its Door of No Return is a museum and memorial to the Atlantic slave trade on Gorée Island.

*See link :http://webworld.unesco.org/goree/en/ if you would like to have more info on the house.

You can see the door of no return below the stairs

You can see the door of no return below the stairs*

Nice view from the top of the island

Nice view from the top of the island

Lake Retba or Lac Rose/ Pink Lake.  The odd pink coloration ( well not that pink this time 🙂 is due to micro-organisms in the highly salty body of water. Some areas of the lake contain up to 40% salt.Its salinity content is similar to the Dead Sea and during the dry season it exceeds it.

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The guide did not stop repeating that there was 380 grams of salt per /litre which is higher than the Dead Sea (340g/l) , that ‘s why I have to share it 🙂

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Nice quad stroll around the lake and near the beach

Nice quad tour around the lake and near the beach

Me trying to explain that I did not want to buy anything :-)

I was trying to explain that I did not want to buy anything 🙂 Always challenging..

Its distinct usual pink colour is caused by a bacteria, which is attracted by the lake’s salt content. The bacteria produces a red pigment in order to absorb the sunlight giving the lake its unique colour. The pink colour is more visible during the dry season (which lasts from November to June) and less during the rainy season (July-October). When I went there it was in October and unfortunately only saw pink reflections. I will definitely try to go back to witness the pink colour since it’s less than an hour away from Dakar.

Men are the extractors who dig the salt with large sticks and fill the boats. Women unload the black salt from the boats.

Men are the extractors who dig the salt with large sticks and fill the boats. Women unload the black salt from the boats.

The lake was also known as the finishing line for the Dakar Rally which was an annual car race from France to Senegal that began in 1978.

The Lompoul desert  is a small desert about 18 km2.

I spent the night in a Mauritanian tent

Authentic night in a Mauritanian tent

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My tent

My tent for the night – I will remember the huge amount of insects , trust me 😉

Interesting conditions :-)

Interesting conditions to have a shower :-with a bucket of water and the view of the stars later

Saint Louis

Saint-Louis was the capital of the French colony from 1673 until 1902 and French West Africa from 1895 until 1902, when the capital was moved to Dakar.

Road in Saint Louis

On the main side of the island 

Fisherman boats on the other side of the island 'Langue de Barbarie' sied

Fishermen boats on the other side of the island called ‘Langue de Barbarie’

Apparently In Senegal they tame Pelicans :-)

Apparently In Senegal they tame Pelicans 🙂

Typical house showing the colonial influence

Typical house showing the colonial influence

Touba is a city in central Senegal. It is the holy city of Mouridism. Next to the funder tomb lies a large mosque completed in 1963.

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The mosque of Touba is constently under renovation works 

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Sine Saloum

The region is formed where two rivers converge, the Sine and the Saloum is a region of great diversity consisting of beaches, mangrove swamps, sand islands etc. There is a real animal life and a huge variety of birds, such as flamingos, pelicans and herons which are more likey to be seen after the rainy season.

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Biggest Baobab in Senegal. 

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Getting to the Mangroves by Pirogue where I could see some flamingos but too far to take a pic

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View from my Bungalow which was way more comfortable than the Mauritanian tents

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The Sea Shells island and Joal-Fadiouth

Joal-Fadiouth is a village at the end of the Petite Cote of Senegal.

Joal lies on the mainland, while Fadiouth, linked by a bridge, lies on a clam shells island  which are also used in local architecture and crafts.The island is only accessible by a narrow wood bridge. The village has no motorised transport. It has a large Christian and a small Muslim population with cemeteries on another shell island shared among the 2 communities.

The bridge that was built to link Joel to Fadiouh

The bridge was built to link Joal to Fadiouth 

House sea shell crafts

House made with sea shells

The main church showing the importance od the Christian presence in Kadiouth

The main Church shows the importance of the Christian presence in Fadiouth

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Just walking on tones of sea shells

There are so many places of this king in the island where the oldest are used to meet to discuss important business

There are so many places of this kind in the island where the elderly are used to meet to discuss important business

There are so many other things to visit in Senegal such as the ‘Casamance region’ but I would need to take a plane. I hope that I will have time to go…but if it is not possible what I have seen so far was really worth it and gave me a good oversight of this beautiful country.