It was in the month of February 2015 that I was given a hint that I might be given an opportunity to travel to Dakar, Senegal. It seems that my luck always favours me when it comes to travelling the African Continent. Previously I had a wonderful opportunity to visit Kenya which is Eastern Africa and now I am getting an opportunity to visit Western Africa. By early March it was more or less confirmed that the trip was on and I need to start preparing for the great escapade.
While travelling around Senegal all the locals were constantly trying to point out something out of the window and kept murmuring “Baobab….Baobab”. Since I don’t speak French or Wolof so I could not ask what exactly they were trying to tell me. During one such journey with my trusted taxi driver Pape, he stopped his taxi and pointed out of the window towards this humongous odd shaped tree and uttered “Baobab”. This is when I came to know that Baobab was like a national tree of Senegal. Baobab tree (Adansonia) grows in abundance around the whole country and with a little more research I came to know that this tree was quite common to Western Africa. Later some net searched revealed that this tree can also be found in and around Madagascar, Arabian Peninsula and to my surprise Australia also.
House of Slaves or Maison des Esclaves is one of the prime attractions on Gorée Island, 3 km off the coast of the city of Dakar, Senegal. This is basically a small house which is set to be one of the main building used during the period of Atlantic Slave Trade. This according to locals was one of the prime locations from where the majority of African slaves were transported. However there were other such houses dotted around the Island which were also used for legal and illegal slave trades.
Goree or Île de Gorée is one of the major tourist attractions of Senegal. Its basically an island located two kilometers from the Dakar Port and one needs to take a short ride on a ferry to reach the island. Though this is relatively a small island but people do live here and there is a thriving local community who of course depend heavily on tourism for their survival. Goree is classified as one of the districts within Dakar city.
A visit to this island was always in my list of must to do when visiting Senegal so from the very beginning I started looking out for opportunities to check it out. The day I reached Dakar I did not have any other activity planned so I just reached my hotel kept my luggage and was out to visit this tiny yet significant island.
One of the places that I wanted to surely visit when I got the opportunity to visit Senegal was Lake Retba or Lac Rose which literary means “Pink Lake”. I really could not imagine that a lake would be pink and checked on Google search that indeed it was pink. I had a real tight schedule and the only time I got to go around the city was during the lunch breaks. I usually had a real heavy breakfast and skipped the lunch in order to utilize the time for some local sightseeing. Continue reading “The Pink Lake of Africa”→
The night before our departure I was super excited and had already finished up packing for the next day field trip. We were scheduled to depart at 05.00 AM thus I had set my alarm to 04.00. I went to bed early since I had to wake up early the next morning.