The Republic of Senegal is a country in West Africa. It is bordered to the north by Mauritania and by Guinea, The Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau to the South. Its capital is the city of Dakar, which also happens to be mainland Africa’s westernmost city. Perhaps one of the most fascinating things about the country of Senegal is the way it encompasses both Saharan and Tropical landscapes, providing a wider range of landscapes for visitors to enjoy.

Senegal is known as the “Gateway to Africa.” In fact, it has been welcoming European and American visitors for centuries. Despite this fact, the country remains a bit of a tourism secret as it is famous for its best family vacation spots. So, if you’re looking for a safe, accessible, and culturally-diverse experience, Senegal is well worth a visit.

Though there are plenty of nightlife options year-round, it’s worth noting that during the month of Ramadan, alcohol sales will be restricted in many areas of Senegal.

Here are just some of the amazing sites Senegal has to offer…


Situated way out on the Cap-Vert Peninsula, Dakar has long since overgrown its seaside surroundings. Indeed, the capital now stretches far into the desert regions in the east. The city is famous for many monuments and sites but also boasts a lively energy often found in other port cities.

Ngor Island:

Senegal has some of the most gorgeous beaches on the continent, and Ngor Island, located just north of Dakar, is a great example. You can reach the island by taking a short boat ride, but its rustic beauty will make you feel as if you’re thousands of miles from civilization.

Dakar Rooftops

Dakar’s Mamelles refer to the two hills that sit next to the main peninsula. From the city’s rooftops, you can see a lighthouse-turned-restaurant on one hill, and the tallest statue in Africa on the other. At 150 feet tall, the African Renaissance Monument is a truly breathtaking sight. While you can see it up close, of course, it looks truly remarkable from the city as well.

The Pink Lake

Lake Retba, which is also referred to as “Lac Rose,” is Senegal’s very own version of The Dead Sea. It lies some 15 miles to the east of the capital and is so incredibly high in salt content that the water has turned a bright shade of pink. Like the Dead Sea, those who enter the water bob and float on the surface. Needless to say, it’s quite a unique place for a visit.

Goree Island

Ile Gorée is often considered the biggest attraction in Dakar. Located just off the coast of the main city, the island has been recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site due to the major role it played in the Atlantic Slave Trade. Today, it is a beautiful and calm place filled with pastel homes, cobbled streets, and even a castle that once served as a WWII outpost. The 18th century Maison des Esclaves (House of Slaves) is a remarkable place to pay your respects to those who suffered during that time.

Visit the Petite Côte

One of the most popular day trip activities in the Dakar area is to visit the Petite Côte (Small Coast) for some town hopping. The area covers some 70 kilometers of coastline with seaside villages, restaurants, and lagoons. Join in on an oyster hunt, do some surfing in the Atlantic, or relax at the luxurious Saly resort.

Saloum Delta National Park:

Founded back in 1976, Saloum Delta National Park is truly a sight to behold. Essentially a giant marshland of mangroves, islands, and woodlands, it is a great place to watch birds and many other animals. On a guided tour from Palmarin or Toubakouta, you can feast your eyes on rare species like the Goliath Heron, warthogs, Red Colobus Monkeys, and more.

Saint Louis:

Located on the country’s Northwest coast, Saint Louis is known around the world for its stunning colonial architecture. Its old town is located on its very own island called N’Dar, on the Senegal River, and is attached to the mainland via the Faidherbe Bridge, which was designed in 1865 by Gustave Eiffel.


The city of Saly is often referred to as the French Riviera of Senegal. It not only boasts five-star hotels, golf courses, and luxury spas, but also some of the finest restaurants in West Africa. However, the coastline here is the real attraction, and it’s not uncommon to see marinas filled with yachts of all sizes.
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