Ile de goree Travel Guide

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Gorée harbour

Gorée harbour

jst

The Île de Gorée is located just off the coast at Dakar and is one of the highlights on any trip to West Africa. Take a ferry from the harbour in Dakar and try to get rid of the people who want to be your guide or just want to sell you neclaces. Unfortunately, the island is overrun by souvernir sellers during the day, but relaxes when most tourists and sellers leave in the afternoon.

The island, named after the Dutch island of Goede Rede, was originally a dutch fortress, catering to the transport of slaves. Although nothing remains of the original fortress, the island is littered with fortifications from later dates. the most dominant are the WW2 fortifications on the rocky hill dominating the island.

In contrast to its militaristic past, today the island is a peaceful place, with its stunning colonial architecture and impressive sights and museums, including a museum on the history of africa and the prisons where slaves were kept before they were shipped off to the Americas. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, although it seems that those who prepared the slave museum consider it to be a Francophone heritage site only. (All information is in French, making the many visitors from e.g. Nigeria and USA somewhat disappointed.)

The island also has a reputation for Djembe (traditional drums) playing and Djembe players gather on the island for life sessions. Bloody Great fun!

Contributors

January 02, 2006 change by ingvar

May 22, 2005 change by jst

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