Landmarks of Senegal

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Street in Gorée, Senegal - town without cars
Street in Gorée - town without cars / Mickaël T, / CC BY 2.0

Most interesting landmarks of Senegal

Below are listed the most amazing natural and man made landmarks of Senegal.

Natural landmarks of Senegal

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 of Senegal

  • 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 of Senegal

Megaliths and burial mounds

Stone circle in Senegal
Stone circle in Senegal / / CC BY-SA 2.0
  • 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.

Historical settlements, cities

Inside the traditional house of Enampore, Senegal
Inside the traditional house of Enampore / Ji-Elle, , public domain
  • 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 island 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 center, it had relatively minor importance in this respect.
  • Saint-Louis historical center – 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 of Senegal

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.

Described landmarks of Senegal

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Gorée Island (Goree): 14.667156, -17.398622

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.

Featured: Gorée Island

Gorée Island from the air, as seen from the west, Senegal
Gorée Island from the air, as seen from the west / Ji-Elle, , public domain

Africa has many interesting island cities – small islands which are covered with historical buildings. Gorée Island – predecessor of Dakar – though is one of the oldest, best preserved and interesting colonial cities in Africa.

Recommended books

Senegal (Bradt Travel Guide)


Like the whole of West Africa in microcosm, Senegal boasts a variety of landscapes and cultures that belie its compact size. Northern desert wilds give way to the rain-soaked Casamance, fringed by hundreds of kilometers of pristine beaches and the fantastically frenetic capital city, Dakar, surrounded by ocean and proudly perched at the westernmost point on the African continent.

Gambia & Senegal


“Insight Guides”, the world’s largest visual travel guide series, in association with “Discovery Channel”, the world’s premier source of nonfiction entertainment, provides more insight than ever. From the most popular resort cities to the most exotic villages, “Insight Guides” capture the unique character of each culture with an Insider’s perspective.

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