Often overlooked as a holiday destination, Senegal is considered one of the safest countries in Africa. This vibrant and welcoming country offers great beaches, seashell islands and rich fauna. History, culture and natural beauty combine here to great effect.
This unique pink lake lies just north of the Cap Vert Peninsula, 40 km northeast of Dakar. It is a natural phenomenon that occurs due to the unusually high salt content, which rivals that of the Dead Sea. The saline in the water attracts the salt-loving micro-organism, which produces a red pigment to absorb the sun. Salt collectors come here daily, covered in shea butter to protect their skin from the harsh salinity. The salt is used by Senegalese fishermen to preserve fish.
The water in Lake Retba constantly changes its shade. The most intensive pink shade appears during the dry season. With the salt levels reaching up to 40%, the lake can sometimes take a more red shade.
Photo: Anton_Ivanov, Shutterstock
How to get there:
Take a look at the flight deals to Senegal:
- Cheap flights from major German cities to Senegal from only €253! >>
- Summer! Cheap full-service flights from Brussels or Amsterdam to Senegal from only €99 one way! >>
- Cheap flights from many European cities to Dakar, Senegal from only €74 one-way! >>
- Cheap non-stop flights from Amsterdam to Dakar, Senegal for only €244! >>
Where to stay:
In Dakar, we encourage you to stay at the 3* Residence Les Calanques with a good price and excellent reviews! Located at just 4 minutes walk from the beach, this 3-star residence offers self-catering accommodation. The apartments feature a TV, air conditioning and a balcony as well as a private bathroom with a shower/bath and a bidet. Free WiFi access is available.
In Mbour we recommend you to book 4* Royam Hotel. This top rated 4-star hotel offers a tropical garden with outdoor swimming pool and private beach. It has a shaded terrace with sun beds, a cocktail bar and tours and entertainment are organised. The air-conditioned guest rooms are set in bungalows with traditional, African decoration. They have a private terrace with garden or pool views and a private bathroom. Some rooms also have a minibar, a TV or sea views. The breakfast buffet offers a range of pastries, crêpes, fresh fruits, eggs, cereals and cheese. The restaurant with sea and garden views serves traditional, local cuisine and there is also a snack-bar. Free private parking and free Wi-Fi in public areas are provided. Massages can be enjoyed on site and there are watersport activities like windsurf, jet ski, paddle boat or sea fishing nearby. Guests can go on quad or buggy excursions or horse riding. Bandia Nature Reserve is located just 15 km away and Dakar Airport is 80 km away.
What to do:
Take the Accrobaobab Adventure challenge course to experience zip-lining and rope climbing in the only baobab forest on earth! The only park in the world solely built on baobabs is located deep in the bush, 65 km south of Dakar and 15 km from the seaside resort of Saly Portudal.
Senegal is one of the best places to go surfing in Africa.
Discover the Stone Circles of Senegambia, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The four large groups of stone circles represent an extraordinary concentration of over 1,000 monuments. Some of them have been excavated to reveal material that suggest dates between 3rd century BC and 16th century AD.
Learn to dance sabar. This traditional, energetic dance, performed to the Sabar drum, originated with the Serer people.
In Saloum Delta you can take a wooden canoe trip past flamingos and pelicans.
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