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Overview

Senegal boasts arguably the most developed beach resort industry in West Africa, comparable only to neighboring Gambia, but with added spice provided by its hipper and more Francophone feel. The main center of beach activities is the so-called Petit Cote, which is well developed by African standards, but still pretty low-key and uncrowded by comparison to the Mediterranean. It also offers limited safari opportunities in the form of the small baobab-studded Bandia Game Reserve, home to rhinos, giraffes and various antelope. Farther south, the Sine-Saloum Delta is geared less towards beach tourism than towards fishermen, though it also ...

Senegal boasts arguably the most developed beach resort industry in West Africa, comparable only to neighboring Gambia, but with added spice provided by its hipper and more Francophone feel. The main center of beach activities is the so-called Petit Cote, which is well developed by African standards, but still pretty low-key and uncrowded by comparison to the Mediterranean. It also offers limited safari opportunities in the form of the small baobab-studded Bandia Game Reserve, home to rhinos, giraffes and various antelope. Farther south, the Sine-Saloum Delta is geared less towards beach tourism than towards fishermen, though it also features regularly on ornithological tours. A short distance north of the Petit Cote, the capital and normal point of entry for international visitors is Dakar, a chaotic but engaging city, known for its fine French cuisine, busy nightlife and lively and ebullient city music scene. Dakar lies on the scenic Cap Vert Peninsula opposite sleepy Gorée Island, a former slave trading center whose historic alleys are lined with old buildings and museums. Farther north, the attractive old island-bound city of Saint-Louis is also steeped in colonial history, and offers easy access to three worthwhile reserves: Djoudj (superb aquatic birds), Langue de Barbarie (marine birds) and Guembeul (rare Sahelian antelope such as scimitar-horned oryx and dama gazelle).

Philip Briggs
About the Expert

Philip Briggs has written or contributed to 50-plus editions of Bradt, Insight, AA and Berlitz guidebooks to African destinations.

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Philip Briggs for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    With some regional variation, the northern winter (November-May) is the driest, coolest and most comfortable season.