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Senegal

Main attractions

The pink Retba Lake, Senegal
The pink Retba Lake / Mickaël T., , CC BY 2.0

Most interesting landmarks of Senegal are:

  • Numerous megalithic monuments and burial mounds. Remarkable is the group of 52 stone circles in Sine Ngayene.
  • European colonial heritage. Slave trade which was organized by Europeans left a deep scar which obstructs the development of Western Africa for centuries. Nevertheless this (and trade with other African resources) brought much profit and Europeans built in Senegal several cities with interesting historical architecture. Most interesting is Gorée Island - minor island covered with historical buildings.

Natural landmarks

Trees

  • Fadial baobab - Thies. Giant, sacred tree. Girth of tree is 26.2 m.
  • Iwol baobab - Tambacounda. Sacred tree which is located in traditional village of Bedick people. Giant tree with a girth of 23.6 m. In this village is found also Iwol kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra) with a girth of 15.4 m.

Other natural landmarks

  • Dindéfello Falls (Dindefflo, Dindefelo) - Kédougou. Approximately 100 m tall waterfall. Stream is not powerful but the fall is vertical, surrounded with lush tropical forest.
  • Retba Lake - Dakar. Lake where the water often is colored in pink. Color is created by algae Dunaliella salina. Lake water has very high salt content.
  • Taiba Ndiaye Quarry - Thies. Rich find of the remnants of Eocene animals including remnants of unusual animal - the first African Prorastomid: a kind of manatee.
  • Tomboronkoto Caves - Kédougou. Group of natural caves where chimpanzes live during the dry season. This is the first proved case of chimpanzes living in caves.

Man made landmarks

Stone circle, Senegal
Stone circle in Senegal / Jim Atherton, , CC BY-SA 2.0

Megaliths and burial mounds

  • Cekeen Tumulus - Diourbel. The largest burial mound in Senegal. Numerous local chiefs of Serer have been buried here.
  • Sare Dioulde - Tambacounda. Group of megaliths and some 20 burial mounds, made in the late 16th - early 17th century.
  • Sine Ngayene stone circles - Kaolack. Group of 52 stone circles (including one double circle) with 1 102 standing stones, erected mostly in between 640 - 860 AD. Before the erection of stones the site served as necropolis, nearby was located settlement.
  • Tiekene Boussoura - Kaffrine. Group of 19 mounds, largest has a diameter of 82 m and height of 8 m. In the site is located a megalithic circle. Made around the 8th - 9th century AD.
  • Wanar stone circles - Kaffrine. Group of 21 stone circles and one double stone circle. In the site are found many lyre-formed stones as well. This site at first served as a necropolis, stones were added later, in the 12th - 13th centuries.
Inside the traditional house of Enampore, Senegal
Inside the traditional house of Enampore / Ji-Elle, , public domain

Historical settlements, cities

  • Enampore - Ziguinchor. Traditional village with the characteristic impluvium houses - circular mud buildings which consist of covered walkway in a circle, with rooms located around this walkway. Dwellings in such house remain cool in hot weather.
  • Fadiouth - Thiès. An island which is densely covered with historical buildings. Island is connected to the mainland with a bridge, next to the island is another island with cemetery and islan with granaries.
  • Gorée Island - Dakar. One of the oldest European settlements in Africa, established in 1444. Small island which is covered with historical buildings. Although it is known as slave trade centre, it had relatively minor importance in this respect.
  • Saint-Louis historical centre - Saint-Louis. Former capital of the French colony of Senegal in 1673 - 1902. Old city covers small, narrow island. Valuable, very well preserved example of Creole Atlantic colonial cities which is more common in Americas.

Other man made landmarks

Faidherbe Bridge, Senegal
Faidherbe Bridge / Jeff Attaway, , CC BY 2.0
  • Baron Roger palace and park (Folie de Baron Roger) - Saint-Louis. Ruins of fine palace in Neo-Renaissance style, built in 1822 - 1827. Palace is surrounded by beautiful park where European plants are planted.
  • Faidherbe Bridge - Saint-Louis. Bridge over Senegal River, built in 1897. Length of this steel bridge is 507 m.
  • House of Slaves in Gorée - Dakar. Historical house, built around 1776 and owned by a slave trader. Now a museum of the Atlantic slave trade.
  • Point of Sangomar - Fatick. Some 10 km long sand island at the mouth of Saloum Delta. Island is moving to the south. Locals consider that on this island the souls of ancestors can be met, it is sacred place.
  • Touba Grand Mosque - Diourbel. Enormous and ornate mosque, the centre of Mouridism order. Built in 1963. Touba is Islamic city with strict rules of conduct.

List of described attractions by regions

Senegal is divided into 14 regions.

Dakar
ArrowGorée IslandCities and towns
Diourbel
Fatick
Kaffrine
Kaolack
Kédougou
Louga
Matam
Saint-Louis
Sédhiou
Tambacounda
Thiès
Ziguinchor

Map of Senegal

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