Our repeat excursion to Senegal was just as much fun as our first visit in this lovely, laid back country. Saint Louis was our first stop and we stayed at the popular overlanding haunt of Zebrabar where our stay coincided with the Amsterdam to Dakar rally event so it was a busy campsite. Saint Louis was as picturesque as we remembered, with colorful artwork spilling into the streets next to crumbling colonial architecture. We enjoyed exploring every nook and cranny, getting lost in the bustling market, admiring the pirogues on the Senegal River, and soaking up the old world atmosphere. From Saint Louis, we pushed on to Dakar where we spent a few nights at Skipper Camp. Our free day in Dakar was a busy one! First we hopped over to the African Renaissance Monument before checking out the Mosque of Divinity. Then we caught a ride back to Dakar’s medina which was a chaotic area to check out with a meat, vegetable and clothing section. The Grand Mosque was unfortunately closed for prayers so we backtracked towards the medina and found one of Dakar’s best food bargains at Bantyii Dibiterie, a series of local joints specializing in grilled meats. Afterwards, we checked out the Independence Square and nearby train station before catching a train back towards our campsite. Our second free day in Dakar saw us at Gorée island, which is just off the coast of Dakar. It was infamous for being involved with the Atlantic slave trade from the 15th to 19th century, and as a result became very wealthy over the years. Today, it has numerous beautiful colonial buildings, one of which functions as the House of Slaves with its Door of No Return. Our last night in Dakar saw us checking out a local carnival event which got us excited for the bigger spectacle in a few months. After leaving Dakar, we visited Lac Rose (Pink Lake) which unfortunately wasn’t very pink! We then drove to the coastal village of Palmarin where our free day was spent at the nearby nature reserve which is famous for its birdlife, salt ponds and hyenas. Spotting the hyenas in the late afternoon was a bust due to a horse carriage wheel fiasco but the earlier day excursion was worthwhile. From Palmarin, we crossed into The Gambia for a few days before re-entering Senegal and heading towards Cap Skirring. This blissful beachside town had excellent seafood and cows on the beach. Before leaving Senegal, we made one final stop in the town of Ziguinchor for a bit of shopping at the busy market before crossing the border into Guinea-Bissau.

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