12 Instagrammable places in Dakar

Tural Abbasov04 December 20202083 views8 min. read
12 Instagrammable places in Dakar
where is Dakar? Dakar is the capital of Senegal. It was founded in 1857 on the site of the square currently called “Place de l’Independance”. French constructed a fortress to defend traders` interests who had settled there for 20 years and of the inhabitants of Goree. An island in the centre of the peninsula was once an outpost for slavery and other trade. Dakar is a metropolitan area that is the nation’s commercial, political, and most populated centre. Despite being the main administrative centre of the region, Dakar is also home to the Presidential Palace, which is surprisingly enough, the former colonial Government Palace of France that was reconstructed as the Presidential Palace as we see it today. The urban area of the city has a population of about 1 million inhabitants. French is the national language. The Dakar region, one of the 14 administrative regions of Senegal, is Senegal’s smallest region, and that, unfortunately, leads to high density in the city. I think it is one of the factors you should be considering before you travel to Dakar. Now that we answered the question of where is Dakar, we can continue exploring this hidden gem of Africa! However, today we will not be talking only about the places to go in Dakar, but take a more interesting approach specifically for the readers who are obsessed over Instagram as I am. This place will guarantee to earn your most-liked Instagram photo. So, here are the 12 Instagrammable places in Dakar.

1. Lake Retba

lake retba One of the best places to visit in Dakar is Lac Rose which is another way to call “Lake Retba”. It is situated north of Senegal’s peninsula of Cap-Vert, about 30 km northeast of the capital of Senegal. Named for its pink waters caused by Dunaliella salina algae, it is recognised in some areas for its high salt content of up to 40 percent. Just a small corridor of dunes divides the lake from the Atlantic Ocean and is named for its pink waters caused by Dunaliella salina algae. As a contribution to consume light, the algae produce a red pigment that provides energy to produce ATP.

2. The Island of Goree

goree island Off the coast of Senegal lies the island of Goree. Very sadly, it served as the largest slave-trading centre on the African coast from the 15th to the 19th century. The contrast distinguishes its architecture between the bleak slave quarters and the luxurious houses of the slave traders, governed in succession by the Portuguese, Dutch, English, and French. And it continues to serve today as a reminder of human abuse and a sanctuary for reconciliation. So, if you want to “educate” your Instagram followers while taking colourful pictures, do not miss the opportunity to visit the island during your time in Dakar!

3. Ngor

landscape of ngor island If you want just the best backgrounds of the ocean, then Ngor was made for you! There lies the westernmost point of the African continent. Ngor is, along with Yoff, Hann, and Ouakam, one of the four founding Lebou villages on the Cap-Vert Peninsula, which covers the tiny island of Ngor. The recorded history of Ngor dates back to 1550 when migrants from the interior of Senegal entered the peninsula of Cap-Vert, including the Walo, Cayor, Jolof and Baol.

4. House of Slaves

house of slaves The House of Slaves itself is a museum right now. An evocative building complete with iron shackles and dingy cells, wherein horrifying darkness, the slaves were said to have been crushed together, awaiting their inevitable fate. Aside from the political debate, the site’s influence as a morbid monument to one of the deadliest eras of our species has garnered visits from luminaries such as Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama and, as opposed to a heritage site, the House of Slaves is better considered a memorial. It is a perfect place to dive into dark pages of Senegal history while you travel to Dakar.

5. Grand Mosque of Dakar

grand mosque of dakar One of the most notable religious buildings not only in Senegal but in the whole region is the Dakar Grand Mosque that was designed by French and Moroccan architects. It was opened in 1964 by Hassan II, King of Morocco, and Leopold Sedar Senghor, president of Senegal. It’s lavishly painted from inside and outside. It is stylistically similar to the Casablanca Mausoleum of Mohammed V. All these features make the building unique. Its minaret rises to about 67 meters. Ever since its construction, the mosque is one of the favourite places to visit in Dakar by both tourists and locals.

6. African Renaissance Monument

renaissance monument A 52-metre tall copper statue on top of one of the twin hills known as Collines des Mamelles, outside Dakar, Senegal, is the African Renaissance Monument. Constructed in the Ouakam suburb overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the statue was designed by the architect Pierre Goudiaby of Senegal. It is Africa’s tallest statue. At US$ 27 million, the colossal statue was criticised for its cost and also important during this challenging economic crisis that Senegal faces. Love it or hate it but you cannot deny that it is one of the Instagrammable places in the city, so make sure you visit it during your time in Dakar!

7. IFAN Museum

ifan museum Copyright: @exploringedtravel At the top of places to visit in Dakar next comes the IFAN Museum. The museum is the primary source of cultural study for the French colonies of West Africa, so it is no surprise that there is a wide range of items from neighbouring countries such as Mali, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Guinea Bissau. That encompasses artefacts and art, including ancient musical instruments, clothing, from all facets of traditional life. IFAN’s well-preserved and exhibited objects offer a glimpse into West Africa’s rich cultural heritage. The museum’s second floor is dedicated to temporary exhibits, often with a more contemporary edge. There are various taxes for locals, non-residents, and student concessions, like most museums in Africa.

8. Iles de la Madeleine

iles de la madeleine Do you want to fill your Instagram feed with an uninhabited island? If the answer is yes, then I have found a perfect destination for you to head to during your time in Dakar. Iles de la Madeleine is located in Senegal, west of Dakar. There are uninhabited islands. Sarpan famous for its Stone Age tool discoveries is the largest island. Often known for their birds, fish, and plant life, the islands are. The cliffs are steep and have been sculpted over millions of years by the sea. It is one of the world’s smallest national parks. Le Parc National des Iles de la Madeleine is the smallest national park in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, at only 45 square kilometres. Maybe your next most-liked Instagram photo will be taken right here!

9. Deux Mamelles

mamelles lighthouse Mamelles is another name for the twin hills situated on the Cap-Vert peninsula in Ouakam, a suburban municipality of Dakar. These hills are of volcanic origin and from the early Quaternary are the remains of a plateau. The tallest peak is only 105 meters high, but thanks to the flat surroundings, they stand out in the landscape. The name of these breast-shaped hills derives from the word “Mamelle” in French, a term widely used to refer to a breast in the French-speaking parts of the world. Travel to Dakar cannot be fulfilled if you will not visit this beautiful natural phenomenon.

10. Cathedral of Dakar

st louis cathedral in dakar Dakar Cathedral is a sacred spot in the city of Dakar. It is currently serving as the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Dakar, which functions as a Catholic cathedral. The sanctuary was founded on an ancient Muslim graveyard site whose land had been given to the church by the state. Behind the altar, beside the statue “Our Lady of Victories”, leader of the cathedral, is buried Cardinal Hyacinthe Thiandoum, who died in 2004.

11. Marche Kermel

kermel market I love taking pictures of my food from all around the world and posting it on Instagram, I know even though the trend is weird but if you too, feel like becoming the next “food Instagrammer” of your country then I found a place for you! Initially constructed in the late 19th century, Marche Kermel, near the harbour, was rebuilt in 1997. The Dakarois do their food shopping here. In front of clients, cows are butchered, langoustines and shrimp struggle to flee boxes, and fresh fruit and vegetables are abundant. There are stands outside that sell an assortment of original wood carvings made by hand.

12. Marche HLM

marche hlm Copyright: @keur_niamala Looking for shopping places to go to Dakar? Marche HLM is a smaller market targeted mainly towards clothing vendors. Hundreds of cloth choices that you can purchase and then get customised to exactly suit traditional Senegalese wear. The majority of manufacturers would not deliver fewer than 3 to 6 metres of cloth. It is also worth mentioning that rather than decorating, the price is dependent on quality.

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