Things to do in Senegal

Senegal Wooden Canoe Piroques

When travelling around the beautiful country, make sure to stop at some of these top Senegal attractions within the colourful land:

1. Gorée Island

This car-free island is situated just off the coast of Senegal’s busy capital city, Dakar. Known for its role in the 15th-19th century Atlantic slave trade, this island was the center of the Europeans lust for control over the slave trade.

Visit the island to really delve deep into the history of Senegal.
Senegal Gorée Island

2. Lake Retba

Also known as the Lac Rose, this lake lies north of the Cap Vert peninsula of Senegal. Named for its pink waters caused by Dunaliella Salina Algae, as well as its high salt content.

Less than an hour away from Dakar, this unusual lake will surely catch the unsuspecting visitor’s eye because of its unusual yet vivid pink colour.

Senegal Pink Lake Retba

3. Îles de la Madeleine

Locals believed earlier that these islands were possessed by evil spirits and therefore uninhabited. No one has tried to settle there since.

Immaculate bird, fish and plant life can be seen on these islands, as well as steep cliffs carved by the sea over millions of years.

Senegal Îles de la Madeleine

4. Our Lady Victories Cathedral, Dakar

Also known as the Cathedral of Dakar. The sanctuary was built on the site of an ancient Muslim cemetery, whose land was given to the church from the government. The cathedral was blessed by Cardinal Jean Verdier, archbishop of Paris. The funeral of former president, Léopold Senghor, was performed in this church in 2001.

Senegal Our Lady Victories Cathedral Dakar

5. Faidherbe Bridge

A road bridge over the Senegal River linking the mainland of Senegal to the city of Saint-Louis, this bridge serves as a century old emblem of Senegal’s former colonial riverside capital. The bridge carries vehicles as well as foot traffic, it is half a kilometer long and weighs over 1.5 ton.

The Faidherbe Bridge is said to be the emblem and jewel of Saint Louis.

Senegal Faidherbe Bridge

6. Lompoul Desert

This desert is characterized by its orange sand dunes, forming a landscape remarkably similar to that of the Sahara desert. Named after the nearby village Lompoul, this desert is one of Senegal’s popular tourist attractions.

Senegal Travel Lompoul Desert

7. Dindefelo Falls

Located in the town of Dindefelo, in Southeast Senegal. The falls are roughly 100 meters high. The Park area forms part of the larger Niokolo-Koba National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere world heritage site. UNESCO estimates the annual tourist visits to the falls in the thousands.

Senegal Dindefelo Falls

8. Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary

Located on the Southeast bank of the Senegal River. This sanctuary provides a range of wetland habitats which are extremely popular with migrating birds, many of which have just crossed the Sahara. The most visible birds here are pelicans and flamingos. A wide range of wildlife can also be found in the park, which is also a designated World Heritage Site.

Senegal Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary

9. African Renaissance Monument

If you are travelling within Dakar, this cannot be missed! This 49 meter tall bronze statue is located on top of one of the twin hills known as Collines des Mamelles overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Originally scheduled for completion in December 2009, delays stretched into early 2010, and the formal dedication happened on 4 April 2010, Senegal’s “National Day”, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence from France. This statue is the tallest statue in Africa.

Senegal African Renaissance Monument

10. IFAN Museum of African Arts

This is one of the oldest art museums in West Africa. It is one of the most esteemed centers for the study of African culture and part of the Cheikh Anta Diop University. As one of the essential cultural research centers of the colonies of French West Africa, it contains important collections from across Francophone Africa. This museum is a regular location used in the Dakar Biennale exhibition, showing art by contemporary African and diaspora artists.

Senegal IFAN Museum of African Arts