With its lush tropical landscapes, watered by the graceful, winding Casamance River, and the unique culture of the Diola, this area seems far from Dakar and its surroundings, in every sense. That's what many locals feel as well, so strongly that separatist rebellions have troubled the region for years. Things have largely calmed down, but they've left a destabilising legacy of banditry that flares up regularly – check recent travel advisories and news before you go.
If the area is safe enough for visits, you'll discover a fascinating place. Between the sleepy capital, Ziguinchor, and the wide, sandy beaches of Cap Skiring, the banks of the Casamance River are dotted with tiny, community campements that nestle between mangroves and lagoons.