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Hi there!

I'm Margaret, a female traveller from Nigeria, and welcome to my personal blog , TheAjalaBug.com.

Here, I document my adventures in travel and life experiences generally. Hope you get inspired!

A Sightseeing tour of Dakar | Senegal Travel (3/4)

A Sightseeing tour of Dakar | Senegal Travel (3/4)

Many destinations offer their version of paradise; in Dakar you will find a multi-faceted and original city that has its own story to tell with amazing beaches, restaurants and night life

Dakar is a diverse city full of vibrant arts and traditions. Oh the beaches – did I mention Senegal is like an island surrounded by the Atlantic?! Hence, there are so many beaches to chill at and forget your worries for a minute. See and read all about the beaches here.

In addition to the beaches, Dakar is a city full of bright colours and modern restaurants. It is also home to the world’s tallest statue, the African Renaissance Monument. Definitely a must visit!.

Walking around and touring Dakar was an eye opener to a different culture. Though the most common mode of transport are the colorful minibuses called "car rapide" , I noticed a lot of horse-drawn carts. They are popular for lugging cargo around Dakar. 

 Horse-drawn carts

Horse-drawn carts

I spent a day touring the town. The air was fresh and unpolluted that I began I wonder why Nigeria is the way it is. Anyways, I saw Total's office and the America Embassy. The Embassy was heavily guarded and no stopping or cameras allowed from miles away. For once, I wished I was an American. lol. On a lighter note though, there has been terrorist threats and security concerns in the country in the past, that explains the paranoia. 

 Total Dakar

Total Dakar

 America Embassy Dakar

America Embassy Dakar

Dakar is artful. I saw more street-arts and Graffiti in the city than I have ever seen. The street-arts like the one below can be viewed as a form of cultural and traditional heritage.

 Street arts

Street arts

 Street arts in Dakar

Street arts in Dakar

By now we all know I'm not a food tourist. I generally try to play safe with foods especially in a foreign land. Actually, I can travel and not eat or shop but I found this restaurant on airport road called Ali Baba. It was so fascinating so I stopped for meal. They serve largely hamburgers and sandwiches but as part of my fitfat journey, I'm prohibited from such saliva dripping meals. Somehow, they found me rice and Senegalese sauce with chicken. It was yummy.  

I also tired to have a meal at Uncle Ben's but unfortunately, they were closed. Heard the steak is heavenly.

 Ali baba restaurant Dakar

Ali baba restaurant Dakar

 Uncle Sam Dakar

Uncle Sam Dakar

Places to visit in Dakar

In addition to the first article on this series (catch up here), below are some tourist places in Dakar;

1. African Renaissance Monument

The African Renaissance Monument was unveiled in 2010 to commemorate Senegal's 50 years of independence from France. It is taller than NY's Statue of Liberty and Rio's Christ the Redeemer, standing at 161ft & 49m in height. I climbed over 

It is the tallest status in Africa followed by the great phinx of Giza in Egypt (66feet), the colossi of Memnon Egypt (60feet) and the Moremi statue of liberty in Nigeria (42feet).

 African Renaissance Monument

African Renaissance Monument

 African Renaissance Monument

African Renaissance Monument

 View of Mamelles lighthouse from African Renaissance Monument

View of Mamelles lighthouse from African Renaissance Monument

2. IFAN Museum of African Art

The museum offers exhibitions of African Art and it is professionally curated. "Organization and ambiance are truly African (poor maintenance and lots of dust)". IFAN usually have exhibitions during the biannual DakArt. Definitely worth a visit. No cameras allowed inside though.

  IFAN Museum of African Art

IFAN Museum of African Art

   I FAN Museum of African Art

IFAN Museum of African Art

3. Our Lady of Victories Cathedral, Dakar

The sanctuary was built on the site of an ancient Muslim cemetery. The cathedral was consecrated by a Cardinal, archbishop of Paris in 1936. A learnt a cardinal was buried in the back of the altar, next to the statue of Our Lady of Victories, patron of the cathedral. Unfortunately, I was unable to enter as it was closed.

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IMG_20160707_134650 (2).jpg

4. The Place du Souvenir, Dakar

It is situated near the Sea Plaza shopping mall and Radisson Blu hotel. I found on my arrival an unexpected oasis of tranquillity amidst the hustle and bustle of life in Dakar. Senegalese flags fluttered in a cool ocean breeze. Palm trees, exotic plants and ornamental fountains adorned the area, with the vast Atlantic Ocean providing an impressive backdrop.

The most impressive feature is the sculpture of the African continent. It symbolises the strong, vibrant and forward-moving African continent.

  The Place du Souvenir, Dakar

The Place du Souvenir, Dakar

  The Place du Souvenir, Dakar

The Place du Souvenir, Dakar

5. Librairie Athena

I also visited Librairie Athena, a bookstore owned by a trio of Senegalese writers. The store sells everything from business studies textbooks to crime novels to children’s books, but its real specialism is African writing. Showcases high quality Africa writers.

 Librairie Athena

Librairie Athena

6. Mosque of the Divinity

An impressive, half-century-old oasis of peace. My taxi-driver stopped for me to take pictures. I didn't go inside but the mosque looks beautiful and there's a beach in front.

 Mosque of the divinity

Mosque of the divinity

 Mosque of the divinity

Mosque of the divinity

7. Art Gallery

I found this gallery near the ferry dock in Dakar. Sincerely can't remember the name but I loved the space and the art pieces I saw. Dakar is definitely a great destination for art lovers!.

 Art gallery Dakar

Art gallery Dakar

 Art gallery Dakar

Art gallery Dakar

8. Dakar Railway Station and La Place du Tiralleur

Let me laugh first.Hahaha. Okay, you must have read my about page and realised I am into economic development. Just as we have food tourist, I'm a 'development' tourist. lol.

Okay, I visited the old railway station but more interesting was the statue I saw in front of the station. It is dedicated to the Senegalese soldiers who participated in the war and in the construction of Dakar's railway station. The statue stands just in the front of the colonial train station, built in 1885. It was the first railway station in West Africa.

 Railway Dakar

Railway Dakar

 Railway Dakar

Railway Dakar

  La Place du Tiralleur

La Place du Tiralleur

9. Grand Theatre National

  Grand Theatre National

Grand Theatre National

  Grand Theatre National

Grand Theatre National

10. MAGIC LAND

Magic land is few minutes away from the Independent Monument and located on the sea front. It is a theme park for children and has a wide variety of activities. There's also a hotel called Hotel Magic land just next to the park if you wish to stay close. 

 Magic Land

Magic Land

 Magic Land

Magic Land

Walking around Dakar

I spent half of a day just roaming the streets of Dakar, trying to decide if it was time to relocate from Nigeria to Senegal. I visited the presidential palace but has you would imagine, the security was very tight. What was so funny was that I got so close and no one stopped me until I tried to ask the guard a question. "Please can I take a picture", I said. The guy didn't move and before I knew it, security men gathered. LOL. 

 Presidential palace

Presidential palace

 The streets of Dakar

The streets of Dakar

 There's a king inside of us :)

There's a king inside of us :)

Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember

Final words

Hopefully, I have inspired you to visit Senegal. More specifically, Dakar should be on your travel list. The tourism sector in Dakar is like no other and I felt extremely safe. I can honestly go on and on about how great of an experience travelling to Senegal was, though Arik Airlines almost spoilt my experience.

Whilst it looks like I toured the entire country, I didn't even scratch the surface. I can't wait to visit again. This was a solo trip and I'm so perplexed that I covered so much in four (4) days. 

Ever seen or heard of all these places? Ever visited Senegal? What other places in Senegal are of interest to you? Please share your comments / recommendations / suggestions with us.

Thanks for keeping up with TAB. xoxo

Margaret.

Recommended hotels in Dakar | Senegal Travel (4/4)

Recommended hotels in Dakar | Senegal Travel (4/4)

Beaches in Dakar | Senegal travel (2/4)

Beaches in Dakar | Senegal travel (2/4)