Sights and Activities
Île de Gorée
Goree Island (Ile de Gorée) the smallest district in the city of Dakar. This island has a very large fort on it that was important to trade, although not the slave trade. The island was originally settled in the 15th century because the Europeans needed a place they could defend. With the lack of a natural water source no natives lived on the island, therefore the island made a prefect place to build a fort. The island is home to the House of Slaves (Maison des esclaves), which is one of the oldest houses on the island and also a good museum that shows the horrors of the slave trade. It is placed on the Unesco World Heritage List.
Dakar Grand Mosque
The Grand Mosque of Dakar is one of the most important religious buildings in Dakar. Designed by French and Moroccan architects, this mosque has inspired many followers of Islam. It was originally opened in 1964 and its square minaret rises to 67 meters. Institut islamique de Dakar is located next door to the mosque and has been a major centre for Islamic research and teaching since 1974. A new library was opened in 2004.
Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary
Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary lies on the southeast bank of the Senegal River, in northern Biffeche, northeast of St-Louis. It provides a range of wetland habitats which prove very popular with migrating birds, many of which have just crossed the Sahara. Of almost 400 species of birds, the most visible are pelicans and flamingos. Less conspicuous are the aquatic warblers migrating here from Europe; for these, the park is the single most important wintering site yet discovered. A wide range of wildlife also inhabits the park, which is designated a World Heritage Site. The site was added to the list of World Heritage in Danger in 2000 due to the introduction of the invasive giant salvinia plant, which threatens to choke out the park's native vegetation. However it was removed from the list in 2006.
Niokolo-Koba National Park
The Niokolo-Koba National Park is a [UNESCO World Heritage List|World Heritage Site]] and natural protected area in southeastern Senegal near the Guinea-Bissau border. In 2007 it was added to the UNESCO List of Endangered World Heritage sites. The national park is known for its wildlife. The government of Senegal estimates the park contains 20 species of amphibian, 60 species of fish, 38 species of reptile (of which four are tortoises). There are some 80 mammal species. These included an estimated 11,000 buffalo, 6,000 hippopotomii, 400 western giant eland, 50 elephants, 120 lions, 150 chimpanzees, 3,000 waterbuck, 2,000 common duiker, an unknown number of red colobus and a few rare leopards and african wild dogs, although this canid is thought to be wiped out throughout the rest of the country.
The Great Mosque of Touba
Located at the center of the Mouride holy city, in Touba, is the Great Mosque. Many people think this is one of the largest mosques in all of Africa. Construction was finally completed in 1963 and it has been continuously enlarged and elaborated on ever since. There are five minarets, three large domes and is also the location for the tomb of Amadou Bamba, founder of the Mouride brotherhood of Islam. There is also a good Islamic library near to the Great Mosque.
Other Sights and Activities
Markets: Shopping in the markets in Senegal is a great way to spend half a day and see traditional life.
Beaches: Spend some time on the coast of this African nation for a good time.
Colonial Architecture: Enjoy colonial architecture in cities like Saint-Louis
Arts: Purchase some traditional arts and tapestries in the city of Thiès, including some famous Birds of Paradise tapestries.