Must see attractions in Senegal

  • Top ChoiceSights in Dakar

    Île de N'Gor

    For a quick escape from the frenetic streets of Dakar, head to peaceful Île de N'Gor, a tiny island just off Dakar's north shore. It has a few calm beaches on the bay side, and some legendary surf on the northern coastline. Most visitors just come for the day, to relax on the beaches, stroll the sandy lanes of the village and have lunch in one of the waterside eateries, but there are several appealing guesthouses here as well.

  • Sights in Toubakouta & Missirah

    Fathala Wildlife Reserve & Lodge

    For those not heading to wildlife parks in other parts of Africa, this 60-sq-km reserve might be worth adding to your itinerary. This reserve was created in 2006 as a habitat for the western giant eland, and today includes troops of this critically endangered antelope, as well as giraffes, rhinos, warthogs, buffaloes and several monkey species. While it's pricey to visit, it can nevertheless be thrilling to see these animals in the (semi-)wild.

  • Sights in Oussouye

    Mlomp Musée de la Tradition Diola

    Set amid towering kapok trees on the main road between Oussouye and Elinkine, this striking case à impluvium houses an exhibition dedicated to Diola culture. A guide on hand can explain some of the rustic, crafted objects: hoops used for climbing palm trees, baskets that serve as fish traps, mortar and pestle for making palm wine, and shields made of thick hippopotamus skin.

  • Sights in Petite Côte & Siné-Saloum Delta

    Parc National du Delta du Saloum

    Established in 1976, this lush national park is a water-filled wonderland with mangroves, salt marshes, islands and woodland all part of the great delta's backdrop. Birds are abundant in this reserve, harboring species like the dwarf flamingo, goliath heron and dimorph egret. There are also some 36 mammal species, including warthogs, spotted hyenas and red colobus monkeys.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Dakar

    Musée Théodore Monod

    The is one of Senegal's best museums. Exhibitions delve into African art and culture with over 9000 objects on display. Lively displays of masks and traditional dress from across the region (including Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Benin and Nigeria) give an excellent overview of styles without bombarding you with more than you can take in.

  • Sights in Dakar

    African Renaissance Monument

    Allegedly Africa's highest statue, the African Renaissance Monument was unveiled in 2010 to commemorate Senegal's 50 years of independence from France. At 49m in height, it is taller than New York City's Statue of Liberty and Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Saint-Louis

    Pont Faidherbe

    Transferred to Saint-Louis in 1897, the Pont Faidherbe is the city's most significant landmark. The metal arches of this bridge linking Saint-Louis to the mainland were designed by Gustav Eiffel and originally built to cross the Danube. You'll cross its steel planks when driving into town.

  • Sights in Dakar

    Mamelles Lighthouse

    A photogenic 1864 lighthouse graces the top of one of Dakar's few hills. It's worth making leisurely 20-minute walk, with sweeping views across the city and the water waiting at the top. Once there, you can visit the exterior of the lighthouse (CFA1000) or pay a little extra (CFA2000) for a short guided tour through the lighthouse and up to the top.

  • Sights in Dakar

    Plage de N'Gor

    Plage de N'gor is a small beach popular with families and football-playing youths, and there are a few snack spots with tables on the sands. It's not a bad beach, but there better options on Île de N'gor, which you can reach by pirogue (CFA500, 10 minutes) from here.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Île de Gorée

    Maison des Esclaves

    Set in a former grand home allegedly used as a departure point for slaves, this is one of the most important monuments to the slave trade and features the famous 'doorway to nowhere' opening directly to the sea.

  • Sights in Dakar

    Plage de Virage

    Plage de Virage is a popular spot with surfers. This small beach gets packed on weekends with a mostly local crowd, though a few foreigners pass by, sometimes before or after a flight as it's fairly close to the airport (located 1.5km south).

  • Sights in Senegal

    Parc National de Niokolo-Koba

    At 900 sq km, Niokolo-Koba is Senegal's largest national park. It's listed as a World Heritage Site in danger, as park resources barely suffice to adequately protect the remaining animals (including elephants, lions, warthogs and various monkey and antelope species). The park's official opening season is 15 December to 30 April. It's open at other times, but is largely inaccessible during the wet season (June to September).

  • Sights in Ziguinchor

    Alliance Franco-Sénégalaise

    This is easily Ziguinchor's most stunning building, a giant case à impluvium (a large, round traditional house) decorated with blindingly busy South African Ndebele and Casamance patterns. Inside are exhibitions, a large concert hall (shows take place at least once a week) and a welcoming restaurant and bar (with a weekday lunch special for CFA1000).

  • Sights in Saint-Louis

    Parc National de la Langue de Barbarie

    This park includes the far southern tip of the Langue de Barbarie peninsula, the estuary of the Senegal River (which contains two small islands) and a section of the mainland on the other side of the estuary. The park covers a total area of 20 sq km, and is home to numerous water birds, swelled from November to April by migrant birds from Europe.

  • Sights in Mbour & Saly

    Réserve Naturelle Somone

    This serene 700-hectare reserve is a great spot for seeing some of the avian wildlife along the coast. Pelicans, egrets, herons and flamingos are among the commonly observed species. The best way to see it all is on a short boat trip; from the beach beside the Royal Decameron Baobab, guides ask for about CFA6500 per person (for a roughly one-hour trip), including the CFA1500 admission fee to the reserve.

  • Sights in Dakar

    Village des Arts

    An arts tour around Dakar is simply not complete without a visit to this famous art complex, where some of Senegal's most promising and established painters, sculptors and multimedia artists create, shape and display their works in individual studios scattered around a large garden space. There's also an on-site gallery, which exhibits works by artists both home-grown and from abroad.

  • Sights in Saint-Louis

    Musée Jean Mermoz

    This small museum gives a glimpse into the life and times of Jean Mermoz, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and other pilots who flew during the golden era of aviation in the 1930s. Saint-Louis was a key stop on the European to South American aeropostale route, and the point of embarkation for the challenging flight across the Atlantic to Brazil.

  • Sights in Île de Gorée

    IFAN Historical Museum

    Gives a glimpse of island (and regional) history dating back to the 5th century. Exhibitions cover cultural lore, megalithic sites, key figures in the resistance against European colonisers – and in room 9, the heartbreaking slave trade. Head upstairs for fabulous views of Dakar from the old fortress walls.

  • Sights in Senegal

    Parc National des Oiseaux du Djoudj

    From November to April, some three million birds migrating south from Europe stop here, because it's one of the first places with permanent water south of the Sahara. Some 300 species have been recorded, including vast flocks of pink flamingos, pelicans and migrating aquatic warblers.

  • Sights in Dakar

    Plage de Yoff

    Like all of Dakar's beaches, Yoff's stretch of sand isn't very clean. That doesn't stop beach-goers and surfers who come for the consistent waves. Aside from a few beach shacks selling food and drink, there's also a surf camp here.