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We invite you to immerse yourself in one of West Africa’s most enchanting destinations. You’ll discover the wonders of Lake Retba, nicknamed Lake Rose because of its unique color. Cruise its crystal-clear waters aboard local boats and take in the beauty of the surrounding landscape. You’ll also visit the local markets, where you can immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of trade and discover the products and flavors of Senegalese cuisine. The trip continues with boat safaris along rivers and mangroves, to discover the country’s endemic fauna. You may be lucky enough to spot monkeys, crocodiles, hippos, sea turtles and many species of birds.
Welcome at the airport. Drive to Lake Retba, the real name of Pink Lake, known for its exceptional pink coloring and higher salinity than the Dead Sea. Settle into a nature ecogite, Le Gîte du Lac (or similar), on a dune overlooking a banana plantation, on the edge of the lake. Charming hut with simple comforts, individual bathroom and WC, solar-powered lighting and hot water. Depending on your arrival time, dinner (before midnight) or a light snack (after midnight). First African night.
Cross the lake in a “salt pirogue” to discover the salt pickers. Mamadou, your local guide, explains the origin of the lake and its color. Ride or walk along a freshwater lagoon frequented by many birds and cultivated by the villagers. A small beach on the edge of the lake where you can experience unimaginable buoyancy.
Lunch with exotic flavors in a restaurant on a shellfish promontory by the lake. Cross the “Paris Dakar” dunes in a 4×4 truck to reach the infinite beach of the Grande Côte, then the cart tracks to reach the largest artisanal fishing center, Kayar.
Return on foot to the Gîte around 5pm. Introduction to African games: Awalé, Yoté, Wali, and learning a few Wolof words and even the first percussion rhythms. Sunset by the lake before discovering a speciality of Eastern Senegal: fonio. Your second African evening includes a griot storyteller accompanied by a kora player, and an overnight stay on the shores of Lac Rose.
Departure for Saloum. Beautiful road through a forest of palm trees and baobabs with many traditional Sérères concessions, then tanns, large stretches of sand covered by high tides. Discover the Palmarin salt flats, a lunar landscape of alternating water holes and piles of salt, worked by women. Continuation to Pointe de Sangomar. Embark at Djiffer, gateway to the Saloum Delta Natural Park, for an afternoon of 100% natural splendor in this UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, made up of hundreds of islands, bolongs (canals) and sandbanks where mangroves flourish, attracting thousands of birds. This is where you have lunch, in the form of a picnic. You can take advantage of the white sand beach to swim in the bolong.
You then join an ecolodge built on an island of shells, offering an extraordinary view of the mangroves.
Early wake-up call for an African safari experience. You reach the Fathala forest on the Gambian border, where you board an open 4×4 vehicle offering a 360° view. The Fathala private wildlife reserve, managed by a South African company, is home to animals endemic to Senegal as well as some imported from the south of the continent: among them giraffes, zebras, rhinoceroses, horse antelopes (Koba), fassa cobs, buffon cobs, forest buffalo, harnessed guibs, Cape eland, derby eland, duiker, warthog, palm rat and civet…
A wide range of afternoon activities are on offer in the heart of the Saloum.
We invite you to experience an authentic day. At around 10 a.m., you reach the village of Touba Mouride by cart track, home to one of the region’s largest traditional weekly markets (Luma). A very special moment to soak up the colorful, fragrant and warm African atmosphere. Every Sunday (or Wednesday), local merchants, farmers, market gardeners and fishermen gather in the village to sell their produce and harvests.
You pass through numerous Sérères villages nestled in the beautiful undulating savannah. You join the Djikoye, a tributary of the Gambia, in a freshwater oasis, for a picnic break. You continue this day of exploration upstream towards the Patako forest, in search of the Diolas (an ethnic group originally from Casamance) who live in this forest in sometimes very precarious conditions. This territory is mainly inhabited by the Mandingue ethnic group from Mali, and you’ll discover other types of habitat and, above all, other customs. Return around 5pm for a relaxing afternoon. Traditional dinner, followed by 3 Senegalese teas to share your impressions of this extraordinary stay.
You take the road to the former colonial prefecture of Foundiougne, whose days are punctuated by crossings of the fossil river by small ferry. You embark at 9:30 a.m. to reach the north shore and then the town of Fatick. We cross a beautiful area of bush to reach Bambey, gateway to the ancient kingdom of Baol, now a center of agricultural training and research. You take a beautiful laterite track to Baba Garage, then Mekhé, capital of Senegalese leather footwear, better known by its Wolof name of Ngaye.
Traditional lunch with a family on a mat and on the communal plateau, followed by an afternoon watching some of the artisans. You continue your journey towards the Lompoul desert. Your local host welcomes you to the village and takes you into the desert in his 4×4 truck. You cross the great dunes and marvel at the imposing panorama in the declining sun. Your Saharan night takes place in an oasis. The evening begins with a cocktail, followed by a Senegalese couscous. Tasting of 3 Senegalese teas around a campfire to the rhythm of djembes.
You’ll spend a day with a Fulani family. Short walk in the Sahelian bush between dunes and acacias to reach a family concession where two activities are proposed: the first with the women to prepare the traditional meal. The second with the men, to tour the crops and livestock.
You share a Senegalese-style meal with the villagers, on a mat spread out on the ground, served in communal trays. Extend this memorable moment with a 3-tea ceremony in the shade of the acacia tree, accompanied by discussions with the villagers. Some can take up the challenge of learning typical African games, while others can engage in a soccer match with the kids back from school, or take up the national sport of Senegalese wrestling.
This African day comes to an end, and we must reluctantly bid farewell to our hosts. You take local donkey-drawn carts into the village to visit the village chief. Continue to your bivouac for a final Saharan evening. An aperitif and initiation to the djembe and African dance are on the program, followed by a goat mechoui and a performance by the villagers to round off this timeless day of immersion.
After breakfast, you’ll enjoy an unforgettable walk and camel ride. Everyone in turn (outward or return) can enjoy the animals’ swaying gait, with the rest of the group accompanying the meharée on foot. From the top of the great ochre sand dunes, you can enjoy a breathtaking panorama of the entire coastline. Refreshment before returning to the 4×4 tracks through typical Sahelian landscapes, dotted with acacia trees and roamed by herds of camels. Arrive at the former mouth of the Senegal River, where the Langue de Barbarie joined the mainland following the creation of an artificial mouth south of Saint-Louis.
A “Robinson Crusoe” barbecue of grilled fish is served on the beach in the shade of the filaos, so you can make the most of this wild setting. Relax and swim in this new lagoon and observe the many birds. Enjoy the late afternoon in the tranquility and beauty of the setting, enjoying the infinity pool overlooking the river or swimming in the river at sunset. Dinner in the restaurant overlooking the site, offering a 360° view. You can extend the evening on one of the many terraces, savoring the 3 Senegalese teas.
Early departure for Djoudj National Park, a world bird sanctuary. Listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site, the park is home to over 3 million birds. Explore this exceptional sanctuary by pirogue. aerial ballet. You return to Saint-Louis for lunch at a restaurant in the heart of the island. You’ll tour the island in a horse-drawn carriage with your guide, who will share his extensive historical knowledge with you. We extend our visit to the Guet Ndar district, ending with refreshments at the Hôtel de la Poste, a landmark steeped in the history of the Aéropostale, where you can take a leisurely stroll through the streets or pick up a few souvenirs in some of the quality boutiques before returning to your lodge in the middle of the afternoon to enjoy the site one last time.
Direction Gandiolais, a market-gardening region and the Langue de Barbarie National Park. Board a pirogue for a trip down the river around Bird Island, where many species nest. Landing on the Langue between river and ocean, nesting ground for sea turtles. Sail to the historic mouth of the Senegal River, with a chance to see pink flamingos. Arrive at the lodge, set on the banks of the Senegal River in an exceptional location, with a view of the river’s crystal-clear waters in the foreground. Enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the setting, and savor the infinity pool overlooking the river. After lunch, drive to Dakar.
You’ll board the 6:30 pm longboat to Gorée Island. Superb approach panorama of this volcanic island. Installation in your room, dinner and overnight stay.
Free morning on the historic island. Visit the Slave House, with a fascinating commentary by the curator. Lunch in an island restaurant. Longboat back to Dakar. Return to Dakar port and guided city tour. Continue along the corniche, with its sunset views of the Magdalen Islands, to the Ouakam Mosque and the African Renaissance Monument. “Climb the 200 steps to reach the base of the 52-metre bronze statue. Last bite of African tapas at the Ngor restaurant, our feet in the water as the sun sets over the Pointe des Almadies, the easternmost point on the African continent. This is where your Senegalese trip comes to an end before your transfer to the airport.
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