*Return flight, all taxes & charges included. Subject to availability.
Dakar is a lively, dynamic city with charming markets, a bustling street life and beautiful warm and sunny weather.
Dakar is the capital of Senegal and has a population of about 2 million. It is situated on the most westerly point of the African mainland. You can wander through wide boulevards lined with luxury villas and stroll through narrow alleyways and slum areas. You can enjoy magnificent architecture from the French colonial period interspersed with modern buildings.
Dakar is best known for its large number of markets. In every little square, you will find stallholders displaying their goods. You can buy charming souvenirs at the tourist markets, since the local markets are geared more towards food. You should certainly try a “bissap”, the traditional drink made from hibiscus leaves.
Travel to Senegal made easier: as of 1st May 2015 a visa for visiting Senegal is no longer required.
SLEEP With just 20 artfully decorated, spacious rooms and suites, boutique hotel La Villa Racine (Rue Jules Ferry 37, lavillaracine) is a charming oasis set around a pretty Moroccan-style central courtyard.
EAT Surrounded by the hectic city streets, escape and relax on the verdant, tranquil, shaded terrace of the French Cultural Centre’s Restaurant Le Bideew (Institut Français, Rue Joseph Gomis 89, www.facebook.com/lebideew), where you can enjoy fresh shrimp salad, meats, cheeses, desserts and cocktails.
- Despite its history as a former slave port, Île de Gorée (http://webworld.unesco.org/goree/en/visit.shtml) is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s also a calm and peaceful place to while away the day. Take the regular island ferry from Dakar port (travel time is approximately 30 minutes), then wander around the island, pick up souvenirs from the artists’ market, visit the slave museum, take a swim in the ocean, and dine on fresh seafood in one of the numerous excellent beachfront restaurants.
- A 10-minute taxi ride from central Dakar and overlooking the fishing port of Soumbedioune, the Soumbedioune Craft Village (Western Cliff Road) is the place to go to watch local artisans at work. Buy leather goods, wood sculptures and masks as well as exquisite sous-verre – paintings under glass.
- Dakar is a global centre for music and there are plenty of great venues. Just 4 U (Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop near Canal IV) is a good bet. There’s nightly live music on a small outdoor stage, and it hosts some of the best Senegalese and international stars, including big names in jazz, rap, folk and reggae.
Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport is 15km from the city centre. Taxis cost around CFA7,215/€11, including luggage. Or ask your hotel about their shuttle service.