Rejser til Senegal

Som et af Vestafrikas mest stabile lande er Senegal bestemt ikke kedeligt at aflægge et besøg. Hovedstaden, Dakar er en overvældende men fyldestgørende introduktion til landet. Det er beliggende på spidsen af en halvø, og her mødes elegance og kaos.

Lydene fra gadelivet prøver at overdøve hinanden, larmen på markederne er en del af hverdagen og her findes et kulørt natteliv. Hvis man trænger til at hvile ørerne, så kan man nærmest rejse tilbage i tiden ved at besøge Île de Gorée – et vidnesbyrd om tidligere tiders slavehandel.

I det nordlige Senegal findes den gådefulde hovedstad Saint-Louis, som har status som UNESCOs verdensarv. Her kan man se den koloniale arkitektur og de frodige nationalparker.

De brede deltaer i Casamancefloden afslører hundredvis af fuglearter fra den flaksende lillebitte isfugl til den stolte lyserøde flamingo.

Uanset om du ønsker at blande sig med trendsætterne i byerne eller være alene med dine tanker og naturens lyde, så er muligheden for at finde det her i Senegal.

Grupperejse 1 ► På ekspedition i Senegal og Guinea Bissau

Generel information om grupperejser i Senegal

Happy Lama Travels eksklusive grupperejser i Senegal foregår i små internationale grupper med lokal engelsktalende rejseleder. Derfor er rejsebeskrivelserne på engelsk.

En lokal rejseleder kender sit land bedre end en dansk rejseleder. Det er desuden vores erfaring at en lokal rejseleder giver dig et bedre indblik i, hvordan livet leves i Senegal .

Passer rejsedatoerne dig ikke eller vil du selv have maksimal indflydelse på dit rejseprogram – Kontakt os hvis du ønsker et tilbud på en individuel rejse i Senegal .

Denne rejse kombinerer  Senegal med Guinea Bissau.

Trip Summary

An intriguing journey touching the edge of the Western Sahara and down to the Bijagos Archipelago. We begin by travelling north through Senegal, reaching the border with Mauritania and the Djoudj National Park, a natural oasis composed of hundreds of miles of partially flooded land. We continue our exploration of Senegal with visits to nomadic tribes and sacred towns before boarding a ferry for our overnight journey to Guinea-Bissau. This is one of the smallest, and least visited, countries in Africa. Few western travellers make it to this former Portuguese colony, but those that do return full of incredible experiences and memories of a stunning part of the continent. Depending on the date of your tour, in Guinea-Bissau you will either experience turtle nesting, tribal carnivals or the wild bull mask dancing.

Fitness**** | Adventure**** | Culture**** | History*** | Wildlife****

Day 1 – Arrival in Dakar

Arrive in Dakar and transfer to your hotel. Overnight Novotel or similar

Located on the Cap Vert peninsula and Africa’s westernmost city, Dakar is a thriving, colourful, lively city that provides the first real experience of urban West Africa on this trip. Brash and often uncompromising, it was once of the major cities of the French Empire and today is home to over a million people. With busy traffic and street vendors everywhere, Dakar is a world away from the rest of Senegal. Nearby is Goree Island, in contrast a peaceful sanctuary with well preserved colonial buildings giving it an almost Mediterranean feel. Goree is best known for its associations with the slave trade, although there is some controversy about how much of a role it actually played.

Day 2 – Dakar and the edge of the Sahara

Dakar was the centre of political, economic and cultural French West Africa. We have a morning tour of the city including the IFAN museum with a great collection of African Art, the city hall, the Independence square and the Presidential Palace. After lunch, a minibus will take us to the Lampoul desert where our 4×4 vehicles will be waiting at the edge of the dunes to help us reach our camp. After dinner we will experience some local dancing. Overnight in a fixed camp at Lampoul. Tents are spacious and comfortable and include beds. (BLD)

Day 3 – Djoudj National Park

We start our day reaching the small border post with Mauritania. The Senegal River is the natural border with Mauritania. Arrival at Djoudj National Park which is a natural oasis composed of hundreds of miles of partially flooded land. This is the habitat and nesting site of over a million migratory and sedentary birds including pelicans and flamingos. Later in the afternoon we drive to Saint Louis, a charming colonial town, familiar to pioneering aviator and writer Saint Euxpéry, author of “The Little Prince”. Overnight at the hotel La Residence or similar (BLD)

Day 4 – Saint Louis and the Nomadic Tribes

In the morning we will explore Saint Louis. The best way to get around the narrow streets is on board a calash like the locals. A late morning departure to the Ferlo desert to discover the dry savannah where the Fulani, nomadic tribe herd Zebu cows. Fulani (Peul) is the largest tribe in West Africa living from Senegal to Chad. They are the main herders of this vast savannah and their origins are still shrouded in mystery. We have dinner and overnight in a basic but clean structure of grass huts with mosquito nets and private WC and showers, managed by the local community. We will visit the nearby villages and in the evening when the herds come back, we may be invited to assist in the milking of the herd! (BLD)

Saint Louis
One of West Africa’s nicest towns, Saint Louis was the first French settlement in the region and still retains much of its old colonial architecture, contributing to its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Divided between an island and a peninsula, most of the old European buildings are concentrated on the island with an old governor’s palace, museum, and numerous grand old houses.

Day 5 – Touba Brotherhood

Rarely visited, the sacred town of Touba is the place to appreciate the hospitality of an African Islamic brotherhood. Touba inhabitants are followers of Muridism and the town is a theocratic “State into the State” ruled by the Kalif. Thanks to their peaceful (and African) vision of Islam, Mouridis have become the bastion which protects Senegal from the penetration of more radical forms of this religion. Touba is a sacred town and to be accepted we must be decently dressed. During the visit it will be forbidden to smoke, drink alcohol and listen to music. Mourdi appreciate the interest of visitors to their traditions. By following these simple rules, we will be welcomed. From here we drive to Lac Rose which is a shallow salt lake surrounded by dunes. As it is ten times saltier than the ocean, with a high concentration of minerals, it appears to be pink on occasions. Overnight Le Traza Hotel. (BLD)

Touba is the centre of the Mourids, a strict Islamic sect that started in the 19th century with Sufi associations, and the town is an important centre of pilgrimage within the region. With that in mind, it’s forbidden to bring either alcohol or cigarettes into the town and there are no hotels here, for they are seen somewhat as dens of iniquity. Each year the town plays host to an annual pilgrimage called the Grand Magal, when up to three quarters of a million people descend, raising comparisons with a West African Mecca. The main sight here is Touba’s enormous mosque – construction began in the 1930s but was not completed until the 1960s, and it is one of the largest on the continent.

Day 6 – Goree Island

This morning we leave Lac Rose arriving back in Dakar before lunch. We will leave our vehicles at the port and board a ferry to Goree Island. Goree was a boarding point for slaves waiting to be shipped to the Americas. Some restored buildings remain to bear witness to that dark period. Today Goree is an attractive destination for local and foreign visitors. We return to Dakar port to board “Aline Sitoe Diatta”, our ship that will set sail this evening. Dinner and overnight on board in simple but clean 4 person cabins. (BLD)

Day 7 – Casamance

In the early morning our ship will enter the estuary of the large Casamance River. Local fishermen in a pirogue will collect their nets, opening the way for our boat, while we may be lucky enough to have dolphins follow us. On the edge of the river we will discover a new landscape, large trees and sacred forests where animistic cults and traditional African religions are still practiced. The boat will stop at a small island where we transfer to a local boat to explore the mangroves and villages of this area. In the evening we will reach Cap Skirring, famous for its beaches. Dinner and overnight at Hotel La Paillote or similar (BLD)

Day 8 – The Sacred King

We discover the adobe fortified buildings of the Dioula people in Casamance which are an interesting example of this style of African architecture. We will then be received by the Monarch of one of the oldest Dioula Kingdoms. With the permission of the King we will be invited in to the sacred forest to assist in some traditional rituals. In the evening we will return to Cap Skirring. Overnight Hotel La Paillote or similar. (BLD)

Day 9 – African Manatees

After crossing the border with Guinea Bissau we come to a large strip of land that divides two flooded zones covered by an intense mangrove forest. Leaving the track we reach a fresh water creek where the Manatees come to drink and we hope to catch a glimpse of them. The African Manatees (“Trichecus Senegalensis”) live in the rivers and along the coast of the western side of the African continent. Due to the extremely elusive character of these mammals the time and place of any viewings can never be guaranteed. Overnight in a tiny but comfortable local hotel. (BLD)

Day 10 – Rio Cachungo Tribes

After an early morning departure four miles of walking on flat land and clay dams will take us to remote and unspoiled Felupe and Baiote villages. These people live in an isolated ecosystem farming rice thanks to a complex ancestral technology to desalinate the fields. We will discover a unique landscape of streams, salt swamps, flat lands and rice farms. In this hidden environment, some gigantic and isolated Kapok and Baobab trees give shade to tiny human settlements. A local, large motorized canoe will take us for an intriguing journey in to a mangrove forest and with the experience of a local sailor we will be able to find our way through a complicated network of streams. We then drive to the region inhabited by the Manjacu ethnic group. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Mar Azul or similar (BLD)

PLEASE NOTE – DAYS 10, 11 & 12
The itinerary will be modified to accommodate the ‘Vaca Bruto’ Wild Bull Dancing Mask Festival or to search for the Salt Water Hippo, depending on your departure date.

Day 11 – Bijagos Sacred Archipelago

fter a leisurely start to the day we leave for a four day sailing journey around the Bijagos Archipelago to discover its remote islands. The Bijagos Archipelago is located at an average of 40 miles off shore and is the largest in Africa with 88 islands of which only 21 are permanently inhabited. With its wild and idyllic landscapes, unique fauna and a genuine tribal culture, the Bijagos Archipelago is a geographical treasure. We have a picnic on board and motion sickness tablets may be required. We land at Orango Island, a contrast of colours with the green of the vegetation, white sand beaches, brown rocks and the blue Ocean. It is a one hour walk to the sacred village of Okinka Pampa hosting the graves of the queens, a fascinating place as these populations live as a semi-matriarchal society. We will then meet with the Régolo (local King). Overnight at the Parque Hotel or similar. (BLD)

PLEASE NOTE – DAYS 10, 11 & 12
The itinerary will be modified to accommodate the ‘Vaca Bruto’ Wild Bull Dancing Mask Festival or to search for the Salt Water Hippo, depending on your departure date.

Day 12 – Southern Islands

We sail to the southern islands and the Marine Park of Poilao and Joao Vieira, a protected area that stretches over 495 Km². We will discover Meio Island, perfect for a swim and for walking in the forests. Indulge in an experience where the only footsteps on the sand will be ours. Overnight Chez Claude or similar. (BLD)

PLEASE NOTE – DAYS 10, 11 & 12
The itinerary will be modified to accommodate the ‘Vaca Bruto’ Wild Bull Dancing Mask Festival or to search for the Salt Water Hippo, depending on your departure date.

Day 13 – Canhabaque Island

Today we will reach Canhabaque Island (Ilha Roxa) on board our speed boat and spend the day walking through villages hidden in its forest. You can also choose to visit fewer villages and spend more time relaxing on the beach. Because of the archipelago’s remoteness, the lack of transport and the deep attachment of the locals to their traditions, the Bijagos inhabitants have hardly been influenced by the external world. Women still wear the saiya, a traditional skirt made of straw and life in the village is characterised by the importance of initiations and secret ceremonies. We will visit some villages where the young men have to go through a seven year initiation rite, living in a ‘convent’ with no contact of any kind with the opposite sex. We arrive on Rubane Island in the evening to spend the night. Overnight at the Hotel Ponta Anchaca or Fishing Club.(BLD)

Day 14 – Bolama Ghost Town and Bissau

Early this morning we leave for Bolama, the former capital of Portuguese Guinea from 1871 to 1941. When the Portuguese left, the native people came to live in the town but it is now falling apart and partly invaded by tropical vegetation. The town has large, sunny avenues, empty squares, dry fountains, bush-like gardens and a Governors Palace around which goats wander peacefully. We board a private aircraft and enjoy the view of the Archipelago from above before landing at Bissau airport. Vehicles will be waiting to take us on a brief city tour. Day rooms are available in a hotel in Baiana square for a last shower before your transfer to the airport for your late night flight home (BL)

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