Since our first trip to Senegal left such a strong impression on us, we decided to discover more of this country, this time heading north for 12 days over Easter in April 2004. We only stayed one night in Dakar, at the Hotel Al Afifa, in our opinion the best deal in town. Then we immediately headed for St. Louis, the old colonial center of the very first French administration, with a Taxi Brousse. There we treated ourselves to the Hotel Cap St. Louis, a very pleasant place and a heaven of quietness on the Langue de Barbarie for an absolutely acceptable price.
Besides from being lazy around the pool, we spent a lot of time discovering St. Louis in depth, partly a beautiful old colonial city, UNESCO World Heritage Site, partly a typical African modern city. Especially the Market on the “other side of the river” is remarkable, “vibrant and colorful”, as the Lonely Planet puts it. We also visited the Parc National des Oiseaux du Djoudj, with its amazing wildlife and many species of birds.
On the way back to Dakar, we hired a cab for the whole way and visited the Dunes de Loupoules, a Sahara-like landscape with sand dunes as far as you can see, and the Lac Rose, the saltiest lake in the world, apart from the the Dead Sea. We spent the last hours in Yoff in the north of Dakar, near the airport, an area much more pleasant than le Plateau downtown Dakar, no matter what all travel guides say.