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This stable and welcoming country might be regarded as the Francophone equivalent to Ghana, as it offers a great general introduction to West Africa, but can be challenging for non-French speakers. Dakar, the capital, is an engaging and ebullient city, known for its fine French cuisine, busy nightlife and lively 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. Senegal's wildlife sanctuaries don't compare with East Africa's finest, but the vast Niokolo-Koba National Park hosts an interesting selection of ...

This stable and welcoming country might be regarded as the Francophone equivalent to Ghana, as it offers a great general introduction to West Africa, but can be challenging for non-French speakers. Dakar, the capital, is an engaging and ebullient city, known for its fine French cuisine, busy nightlife and lively 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. Senegal's wildlife sanctuaries don't compare with East Africa's finest, but the vast Niokolo-Koba National Park hosts an interesting selection of large mammals, including roan antelope, giant eland, lion and chimpanzee. For birdwatchers, a highlight is the southern Casamance, a patchwork of forests and lagoons that hosts several rainforest species at the far north of their range. Farther north, the attractive old island-bound city of St-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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