Renowned to have some of the most friendly locals and natives around, Senegal is an absolute joy to holiday in. The West African country is an incredible mesh of rugged mountainous terrain of Fouta Djallon, fash gushing waterfalls, luscious mangroves and gorgeous palm-fringed tropical beaches. When in Senegal, enjoy the delicious culinary delights and wander about the haze maze of the chaotic but colorful markets.
Kick-start the tour by heading out to Darkar - capital of Senegal. Be sure to view the African Renaissance Monument. This massive structure is devoted to Africa's emergence from the oppressive European regimes and the end of slavery. Take a trip to the picturesque Goree Island. It is known for housing interesting colonial architecture, mostly in ruins, including the iconic 'House of Slaves' museum. Spend some time at the Hann Park and Zoo. The public gardens were constructed in 1903 and the tree arboretum was built in 1903. The gardens are home to a plethora of Senegalese plant-life and the zoo includes over 130 animals.
Sit by Lake Retba which is also referred to as the 'Pink Lake'. Owing to its high concentration of cyanaobacteria, the pink tone is vivid in the lake. It also possesses a high concentration of salt and can observe the salt harvesters who still collect salt in a traditional fashion. Those who are into bird-watching can head out to Les Almadies to view sea-birds and the Iles de la Madeleine is the only nesting site of the red-billed tropic-bird.
Senegal's former capital, St. Louis, will help you go back in time to imagine life back in the bygone era. Wander about the narrow, winding streets and walk past the stunning colonial homes, balconies and verandas. Visit the Faidherbe Bridge, remainders of its colonial past. Also try to attend one of the awaited and iconic festivals - the world-famous St. Louis International Jazz Festival that usually occurs in May/June every year.
Be sure to explore the Carabane Island - a serene and tranquil destination, stepped in history, local legends and culture. Indulge in the many activities while visiting the islet - rent a dugout canoe and go fishing, walk to the mouth of the Casamance River and so on. Explore Senegal's underwater universe with the stunning Cap Vert Peninsula. Diving enthusiasts will find a plethora of great diving water all around this area, with February to April being the best months to visit. It houses over 70 shipwrecks that have sunk over the last four centuries.
When it comes to shopping, be sure to spend a lot of time wandering about the colorful markets. They are numerous with a wide array of products such as food items, handmade craft, electronics, wooden carvings, traditional fabric, embroidery, pottery, necklaces of clay beads and so forth. A trip to Senegal is not complete without including in their local cuisine. Some of their delicious delicacies are: Chicken au Yassa (barbecued chicken in an onion and lemon sauce) and Avocat au crevettes (avocado stuffed with shrimp).
The stay options in Senegal is abundant with the tourists being spoilt for choice. They can choose from the best luxury hotels, swanky apartments or cheap lodgings depending on how much their budget will allow.
The climate in Senegal is usually warm to hot. The best time travel in Senegal is between November and March when the weather is usually cool and pleasant.