Senegal Travel Guide

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View from Hotel de l'Independence

View from Hotel de l'Independence

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Senegal shows an unusual mixture of Moslem and French influence glued upon the African culture. It is the most touristic of all countries in West Africa , with tourists coming mainly from the Latin parts of Europe . Most of the tourists probably come for the sandy beaches, but for travelers with wider interests the country also has many other things to offer both in culture and nature.

Senegal is the westernmost country in Africa. The Gambia nearly dissects it in two parts but Senegal also borders Mauritania, Mali, Guinea-Conakry and Guinea-Bissau. The borders were drawn by the French, British and Portuguese colonialists and do not at all follow ethnic borders. The dominating group in Senegal is the Wolof but there are also Fula, Mandinka, Serer and Jola. All of these also occur in neighbouring countries. Senegal has distinct rainy and dry seasons. The best time to visit the country is during the dry season from December to April.

Clothes are colourful on both women and men, and the country has a rich music tradition. The country has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites related to its history: St. Louis, the first French settlement, and Île de Gorée which once was an important harbour for the export of slaves.

Two of the country’s national parks are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The one is Djoudj National Park in the north, considered one of the best bird watching sites in the world. The other is Niokolo-Koba National Park in the southeast part of the country, considered to be the best game park in West Africa .

Much of the coast of Senegal is an endless sandy beach but most of the tourists are concentrated along the Petite Côte south of Dakar and at Cap Skiring in the south. It is easy for foreigners to travel in Senegal but local advice must be sought before setting out on excursions in Basse Casamance where separatists are active.

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April 28, 2005 new by giorgio

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