Ah, Dakar! A beautiful coastal city on the far western edge of the African continent, full of history, life and spirituality. With easy access to some of the most beautiful beaches this side of Africa and displays of culture at every corner, this vibrant city aroused my passion in exploring the rest of the continent.
My two week adventure was one filled with lazy beach days, amazing food and walks in the basking heat. After leaving the cool Swiss weather, it was a welcome change.
Besides Cameroonian food (because it is obviously the best cuisine in Africa, the world really), the Senegalese cuisine ranks high on my list of favorites. They do a lot of peanut stews and because you are on the ocean, fresh fish is always available.
Chez Loutcha: Do you devour enough food for someone twice your size? Then you're like me! This place gives massive portions and you will leave completely satisfied. With luch costing around $8, it is pretty cheap too.
Le Ngor: If you're looking for succulent, fresh fish, this is where you need to go. Located in Les Almadies, a swanky part of town, you will spend more than you think is necessary (approimately $18 a plate) but it is well worth it.
Ali Baba’s: The quintessential Dakarois fast food.
Terou-Bi: Terrou-Bi is one of the top hotels in Dakar, and they serve a fantastic brunch on Sundays. My family and I went there to celebrate and the buffet brunch was excellent. The meats...oh my gosh, my mouth is watering just thinking about them.
African Renaissance Monument: That majestic monument is like a beacon in the Dakar night. It sits high atop the sky and mesmerizing when you first come across it. Make sure you visit and climb all the way to the top to get a fantastic view of the city of Dakar.
The Plateau: The downtown area of Dakar is know as the plateau. There is so much to explore downtown - several markets, the train station, the mosques, the Presidential Palace, Hotel de Ville etc. Just enjoy a leisurely walk and watch your step!
Museums: There are seeveral interesting museums in Dakar. I was only able to visit the Galerie Nationale, but if you have a chance, check out the Musee Theodore Monod and the Institut Francais Leopold Sedar Senghor.
Beaches: I definitely explored the beaches in the area, and my fave was definitely Plage de Marabouts. It was a hidden gem, clean and still undiscovered. The more popular beaches which had their own charm include: Yoff Plage & Plage de Ngor. If you have time, Ile de Ngor is great for surfing.
Cap Vert Peninsula: Location: about an hour away from Dakar. Camel riding, an ATV adventure, untouched beaches and a pink lake. What else could you want? This was easily my favorite thing to do throughout my whole trip. Separate blog post coming soon.
Goree: This island off of Dakar is amazing. It was a deeply spiritual visit, and inspiring as well. Separate blog post coming soon.