Dream of Dakar

To get to Senegal, first I purchased tickets from Chicago to London (we stayed in London for two weeks), and then from London to Dakar. I saved over $500.

I posted in a Facebook group looking for suggestions and a tour guide reached out. That guide happened to be Blek Niang owner of Teranga Tour Guides. He was amazing, extremely knowledgeable, and made sure our four days there were unforgettable.

Day 1: We arrived and didn’t get to our AirBnb until 2 am. Luckily, Blek reached out to me before we left and asked how I intended to get to my room…something I thought I was going to wing when I got there. Not the best idea. Upon arrival, he had is cousin, who works at the airport, meet us and escort us to our driver.

Day 2: “But it’s not even pink”

We started the day at noon and drove to the infamous Pink Lake (Lac Rose). It was not pink. Not even pinkish but several people told us the months of October-December are the best times to go. It wasn’t a complete bust as Blek had another connection. One of the salt workers took us out on his boat and Jayla and I both took turns steering. The salt is less than three feet deep and I had to scoop-push to get anywhere.

Chillin’ on the lake with our guide and driver

After that, we returned to our room for a short rest. Blek came back around 9 pm and we went out for a late dinner but it seemed like that was the time dinner started because there were so many people out.

Day 3: #TeamNoSleep

We got started at 9 am on the dot! The first stop was the African Renaissance Monument. We climbed 193 stairs to the top. Inside, there is a museum and our guide explained the significance of the monument. There is an elevator that takes visiting guest to the top located inside the man’s crown. (700 CFA)

Next, we headed to the Museum of Black Civilization where there is art from several African countries. We stayed for about an hour as we had to catch the ferry by noon. (2500 CFA)

Finally, we wrapped up our day wandering around Goree Island. It was a visit I had stilled myself for weeks ago. There were some positives, Jayla made a sand art picture and I was able to find a doll which I collect in every country I visit.

This island is home of The House of Slaves (1200 CFA)

The Door of No Return

The amount of history around Dakar is present in every location.

Day 4: Shopping Escapades

Another early start, we woke up and went to Sandaga Market. Blek did all the negotiating for us. Not only did we get to shop, we went on a short factory tour (because he’s plugged in).

After all the running around, and short stops in between to eat and see other sites, we spent our final day at Ngor Island. We took a boat ride and just relaxed on the beach.

A relaxing day at the beach

In total, I spent less than $300 (excluding flight).

The people were friendly everywhere we went. Blek called everyone his brother and I wouldn’t have known if they were biological or not (I mean, it did become obvious) but that’s how everyone treats one another, like a family member.

Can’t forget about the food…

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