Boats on the beach, Senegal © Angel Hernansaez
Located on the north-western bulge of Africa, the small Republic of Senegal sits on the Atlantic Ocean between Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania. The Senegalese enjoy sunshine for most of the year, its rays warming hundreds of miles of beautiful beaches, estuaries, mangrove swamps and savannah, as well as a semi-desert in the north.
Casamance, a strip of land stretching from east to west across the country below The Gambia, boasts some of the best beaches in West Africa, and is one of the most popular regions of Senegal. Here, tourists can experience a vision of tropical splendour with lush forests, coconut palm groves, brilliant flame trees and beautiful bougainvillea, as well as warm waters lapping on the endless stretches of sandy beaches. A multitude of hotels on the fringes of its beaches makes Casamance a coastal paradise.
In contrast, the modern capital city of Dakar, situated on the tip of the Cape Verde Peninsula, is a vibrant hive of local and international activity, where businessmen rub shoulders with tourists and traditionally-dressed Senegalese. The city boasts a smorgasbord of gleaming hotels, cafes, colourful open-air markets and the intriguing medina (old quarter). Just two miles (3km) offshore lies Gorée, an island notorious for being the most important slave depot in West Africa between the 16th and 19th centuries.
Not only does Senegal offer seaside resorts, a fascinating history and a modern business infrastructure, but also national parks rich in flora and fauna, excellent scuba-diving and fishing opportunities.
With its diversity of cultures and customs, and a warm and welcoming attitude towards foreigners, Senegal is a great destination for those intrepid adventurers seeking a new and memorable experience.
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