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Basic Facts about Dakar

Dakar is the capital city of Senegal in West Africa. Over 1 million people live in Dakar (double that for the whole metropolitan area) making it Senegal’s largest city. Dakar is located on the Cape Verde peninsula that juts into the Atlantic Ocean. It was first settled in the early 15th Century and the Portuguese arrived just a few decades later to set up slaving forts on Goree Island (Ile de Goree). Dutch, French, British and Portuguese colonialists vied with each other over the next 250 years for control over the slave-trade until it was permanently abolished by the French in 1815.Today, Dakar is a sprawling, lively cosmopolitan city. Modern buildings stand side by side with impressive colonial architecture. Bustling markets selling everything from second hand clothes to livestock are scattered throughout. The nightclubs are legendary. It’s a big African city so it’s chaotic, crowded, dusty and hustlers abound especially around the beaches and markets.The central Place d’Independence is a good place to orientate yourself from. If you speak French, you’ll have no problem conversing with anyone in Dakar.

The Food!

  • Thiéboudienne or Ceebu jën, flavorsome marinated fish cooked with tomato paste and a variety of vegetables, the national dish of Senegal.
  • Yassa, chicken or fish simmered in onion with a garlic, mustard, and lemon sauce.
  • Maafe, seasoned fish, chicken, lamb, or beef cooked with vegetables in a tomato and peanut butter sauce.
  • Bassi-salté, seasoned meat cooked with tomato paste and vegetables over a local couscous called “cere”.
  • Sombi, sweet milk-rice soup.
  • Capitaine à la Saint-Louisienneperch stuffed with spices.
  • Poisson à la braise, grilled fish flavored with lemon, garlic, and black pepper.
  • Dibi, simmered, grilled lamb.
  • Thiou, a bouillabaisse with vegetables.
  • Fondé, rolled millet-balls in sour cream.
  • Fondue, melted chocolate or cheese covered fruit.
  • A lot of the Senegalese people eat many vegetables and fruit, plus many types of fish due to Dakar being a port city.
  • Thiakry, a couscous pudding.
  • Cinq Centimes, the Five-Cent Cookie, a peanut cookie popular in marketplaces.
  • Banana Glace, a sophisticated banana soup dessert concentrated by Mamadou, owner of Les Cannibales Deux Restaurant in Dakar.

Travel to Dakar

Getting There:
Direct flights from the US can be found on Delta and SAA. Fly direct from Paris (AF), Brussels (SN), and Amsterdam (KLM). Dakar is a regional hub and you can get to most West African capitals. Air Senegal is the national airline.Getting Around:
The best way to get around is by taxi, or try a scooter tour.

Where to Stay: Recommended hotels include: Le Meridien President (luxury); Hotel Djoloff(mid-range, boutique); Hotel du Phare Les Mamelles (budget/mid); SenegalSTyle B&B(budget). See Tripadvisor for more choices and reviews.I really enjoyed the Radisson Blu hotel and Hotel Terroubi

Radisson Blu Hotel Dakar, Dakar, Senegal, Featured Image

The Terroubi Hotel

Where to Eat/Go Out:
Popular restaurants include: La Fourchette (upscale); Keur N’Deye (mid-range). Nighclubs: Just 4 UClub Thiossane (owned by Youssou N’Dour); More restaurant reviews, and morerecommended nightclubs.

What to See:
IFAN Museum: One of Africa’s oldest art museums, IFAN is a treasure trove of masks, musical instruments, carvings and more from all over Africa.

Sandaga Market: The biggest market in Dakar, a great place to get some clothes but watch out for the hustlers.
Goree Island: It’s just a boat ride away to this tranquil island that was a major slave-trading post. Visit the “House of Slaves” for a poignant reminder of the horrors of slave-trading.

More Dakar Resources:

Goree Island
Dakar Blogs
Lonely Planet – Dakar
Senegal Facts

This is my favorite House in Dakar, I felt like I was somewhere in south beach! Everything about the house was marvelous! I will definitely suggest for you to plan your next trip to Dakar you would have a memorable journey!

3 Responses “AFRICAN TRAVEL” →

  1. Jennifer

    August 12, 2010

    Wooooow African Fashion is amazing, I never knew this side of Africa, Braaava
    we live and we learn, I love these fabrics!!!

  2. I agree with you Jennifer these fabrics are really sick, I never knew these part of africa. I will love to use these fabrics on my show.
    Good job!

  3. I really love this page, one of favorite, I mean I love your blog period but the fashion part is amazing!!!!!
    Go Africa


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