Senegal 2005 - Itinerary

23k .jpg image of P at Sobo Bade

At Sobo Bade.

The trip

Below is a very rough sketch of my recollection of our Senegal itinerary. Some of the exact events may be recorded in the wrong days or missed and places may be confused. But it does provide a broad indication of the trip.

Saturday 17/12: TGV Train Brussels-Paris Nord RER and Orlyval to Paris Orly, Paris-Dakar after a long delay. The temperature change from snow in Brussels to high 30's C (80's F) pretty stark!
Sunday 18/12: Arrival. 12 on trip accompanied by Daniel. Met by GB with a van that just fitted the group with no room to spare. Into Dakar. A few hour's sleep in hotel and then on the road for St. Louis, the ex-colonial capital. Visted the Lac Rose, the end point of the Paris-Dakar rally, on the way. Stayed at Hotel Mermoz at the end of the Langue de Barbarie for three nights - passing through the crowded fishing quarter (see some great photos elsewhere) on each outing.
Monday 19/12: Visted the town of St. Louis (official site) and travelled by horse drawn car.
Tuesday 20/12: Visited the Parc du Djoudj and saw the major colony of white pelicans as well as numerous other birds.
Wednesday 21/12: A long road trip. On the way a very special local lunch (cost 2 euros 50 for 14). Stopped at Touba to visit the mosque there - the second most important place for pilgrims next to Mecca. Then on to Kaolack where our hotel, the Auberge Diollof In, was in the process of reconstruction, like much else! Daniel not best pleased.
Thursday 22/12: Off to Tambacounda. Many potholes on road and overloaded trucks coming in the other direction from Mali. Stayed in the Hotel Nijji, also being renovated, but less intrusively than the auberge. Late night Patrice twists her knee.
Friday 23/12: Found a local chemist at 8 a.m. which sold their only pair of pretty dusty crutches, along with cortisone, for a disabled Patrice. We still have the cortisone since the severe white-robed doctor in the local clinic pronounced it too dangerous. Half an hour late the party headed for Kedougou, staying in the Campement Diao for three nights.
Saturday 24/12: Visited a Christian Bedik village in mountains (for Emma's blog for another trip there). Patrice and Fleuvine meanwhile entertained many local children down in the valley with yo-yos and they, in their turn, were entertained by Baobab pods.
Sunday 25/12: Took the "Bonne Chance" bus (a more luxurious version) on a dirt road to hike to a waterfall near Dindifelo ( see for photos from area). Mutual decision not to walk the 9kms into Guinea. Despite the inaccessibility of the place much market activity. Patrice bought some local fabric back in Kedougou and had a dress made by next evening at 6 p.m.. It was delivered promptly as promised - an unusual event in Africa!
Monday 26/12: Retraced steps to Dar Salam. Visited Niokolo-Koba National Park. Some were unsure whether burning to clear scrub, and give tourists a better view, encouraged animals. Dancing with locals at night at Campement Dar Salam.
Tuesday 27/12: From Dar Salem long drive to Mar Lodj in Siné Salom crossing to the island in boat. Stayed at the 'Nouvelle Vague'. Many mangroves (see a surfer's site for more).
Wednesday 28/12: Taken around the island visiting three villages in a calleche (horse drawn cart).
Thursday 29/12: We drive via Joal Fadiouth (a shell island reached by long footbridge) and M'Bourg to an incredible Gaudisque hotel 'Sobo Bade' in Toubab Dialao.
Friday 30/12: Head back to Dakar. Visit Ile de Gorée - the departing point for many slaves long ago (see the impressive Unesco site). Major art purchase with spare CFAs (local money).
Saturday 31/12: Arrive Paris 7 a.m.. Back to winter!

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