My Travel to Senegal!
It sure does, after all, here is the most westerly point on mainland Africa.
Yea, I mean it….Senegal is the very last place on the African continent to see sunrise and sunset. It is a place to be!
Are you a travel enthusiast, or simply looking for an African Country to relax and gentle tune down your city bustling adrenaline rush, a country to bring you original hugs from nature, a country of great lessons, rich history, unique diversity….then come with me on this exciting and memorable journey!
So I flew economy class, Air Cote d’Ivoire from Lagos to Dakar, it was a pleasurable flight, great service, smooth boarding and on-time departure.
Takeoff and landing were hassle-free, no drama, the airplane was pretty new and the seating – comfortable.
Everything that was said to us by the flight attendants were both in French and English, so it was bearable for me. Even though their English sounded like French, I still was able to understand them.
Layover in Abidjan was right on time, as scheduled, no much delays except for the numerous protocols during the security checks. Then again, because people hardly spoke English in Abidjan, it was hard for me to understand and follow through with instructions. My French is less than basic…..bonjour, merci beaucoup, s’il vous plait, qui, excusez-moi…that’s all I know. I was glad I wasn’t heading to Cote d’Ivoire, because I heard it’s more French in Ivory Coast than Senegal.
Then finally, I landed in Dakar. Baggage claim was without a hitch at the Blaise Diagne International Airport (DSS), Senegal.
At first sight, I fell in love with the Senegalese. They were really dark skinned but always wore friendly smiles, like white sparkles lighting up their faces. I was too cautious while dealing with them, of course, this is because I am a good girl….that obeys her mother, who taught me never to talk to strangers….right! At first I wasn’t comfortable, I wondered whether it was safe to talk to or accept help from the strange – looking faces surrounding me.
But in time, I realized that not only did I need help, the locals were relatively trustworthy. Well I claimed my baggage and went on to change my dollars to XOF (West Africa CFA franc).
I have a cousin in Senegal, who I didn’t not inform well ahead of time about my visit, so I wasn’t sure he will be ready to have me. But I was surprised to receive his call, asking to come and pick me from the airport. Unfortunately I was already in a bus to the city area. But anyway, we did meet and he was instrumental to the huge fun I had in Dakar as you will soon see.
As the bus moved, I was immersed in looking and savoring the scenery out from the window of the bus. Dakar is a sun-kissed land, desert-like, dusty and dry. Hot bed of artistic creativity….lots of painters, artists and sculptors, museum and antiquities. I was thrilled by the epic landscape, amazing camel rides, breath taking sand dunes and vast land mass. How can I forget the sights and sound of the horse cart riders? Wow, I haven’t seen those in real life before then!
Talking about sand, didn’t know before my visit to Senegal that it is really a gift of nature. I have always known sand as that stuff I have to sweep out of my house. But honestly, if you haven’t seen a sand dune…you need to…
Is it the different shapes and magnificent sizes as if someone was drawing a pattern on the ground or the stunning feeling of its complexity?
Great wonders of nature to behold.
Nothing was more pleasurable for me than observing the people themselves, yes the Senegalese. Oh, they were highly affable, contented, non-violent people.
They take life slowly and they do not stress too much. Even their police men and women were extra – friendly… to let you know how sweet and gentle life is in Senegal. The people were easy to talk to, and they volunteered their little English willingly in order to answer to my many questions.
The official language is French but most people speak different native languages e.g. Wolof, Mandjak, Soninke and Hassaniyya. (There must be other languages, but these are the ones I heard of).
You May Also Like to Read: https://dearmama360.com/my-senegal-journey-and-how-it-changed-my-life/
I was not prepared for the weather. From my research, I read that Dakar parades a warm tropical climate. But I was surprised that during late evenings and early morning, there is this very cold sea breeze that sips in but dissipates as the day brightens. I guess I didn’t do my research well. It was in April and I think it’s a good time to visit Dakar, because I was told that it gets roasting hot from July to October.
I saw their markets, it was not so different from the market I know in Nigeria…It’s the African way….chaotic and busy markets…..but lively and fun. Now living in Canada, I must say I miss my African Shopping style … the noise, the haggling, the beckoning call from sellers….Wow…the life I had always known. Of course, before leaving Dakar, I paid another proper visit to the markets and street shops, this time to shop for Senagalese gowns, hand crafts and beads (if you know what I mean). I eventually shopped loads of stuff, for myself, for family and friends, as souvenirs to colleagues at work and everybody else that came my way.