Are you planning a two week itinerary in Senegal? Are you wondering what to see in two weeks in Senegal? Are you having trouble putting together a 14 days Senegal itinerary that doesn’t feel too rushed?
Then you came to the right place! In this post I’m going to share with you my personal Senegal itinerary.
Let me start by saying that traveling in Senegal is safe. We often travelled by public transport in Senegal and we never felt fear. However, knowing your own limits and your own place is very important, especially in the non-touristy area. Anyway, always keep your personal belongings guarded, especially in crowded areas such as markets or bus stations.
Alessandro and I travelled in Senegal independently. I mean without hiring a guide, and I’m here to say that if you plan well in advance, you will end up taking back home some of the best memories of your life.
That’s why I published this 14 days Senegal itinerary full of inspiration so you can put together your own travel plan to Senegal.
Day 1: Retba Lake.
Our 14 day Senegal itinerary started at the Retba lake in Niaga. It lies 30 km northeast from the Blaise Diagne International Airport, less than an hour’s drive. Retba Lake is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Senegal. The interesting thing to see here is not only the pink coloured waters but especially the salt extracting activity. There are several excursions offered at this site and in my experience the boat trip on the Pink Lake in Senegal is a must.
One full day is enough to explore the area.
Day 2: Lompoul Desert.
Lompoul Desert is an 18 km2 desert located right in the Lompoul Village. It’s really worth it since the presence of such a small desert in Senegal is so unusual. Just as at the pink lake, in the Lompoul village you will have a chance to select from the many excursions. We tried the camel ride in the Lompoul Desert which was organized by the Camp Du Desert camp, the hotel we were saying at.
Day 3/4/5: Saint Louis.
Saint Louis (or Ndar in Wolof) is listed among the Unesco World Heritage sites and it is West Africa’s first French settlement. The three days spent in Saint Louis are three days well spent. The colonial architectural style and charm that you will see right after crossing the Faidherbe Bridge won’t fail to surprise you.
Walking among the boutique shops, tailors’ workshops, and art galleries in Saint Louis is really a pleasure.
Here in Saint Louis there are several European tour operators who organize day trips from Saint Louis to many different places. We did none of that. We just went strolling around in Saint Louis with no fixed plans. We also visited the less touristy area close to the beach which lies on the external mainland. It deserves a visit.
Day 6: Bandia Reserve.
Bandia Reserve is a small, fenced Nature Reserve of about 3500 hectors in the village of Bandia. It is a privately owned Reserve where you need a four-wheel vehicle to explore the entire area.
Now, exactly for these reasons, Bandia Reserve safari is not like all the others in Africa, but it is perfect for those who are seeking wildlife in Africa for the first time.
Day 7/8: Ndangare/Palmarine.
Your 14 day Senegal itinerary should definitely include the Palmarine area. Ndangane is a base for exploring the Sine Saloum Delta. From the touristy point of view it is quite well equipped. There are many restaurants and aperitif bars along the main street in Ndangane. And all of them organize boat trips in the Sine Saloum Delta.
Actually, I loved this part of my Senegal itinerary a lot. But the reason why I’m suggesting that you spend two days in Ndangane is because journeys in Senegal are always very long due to the old vehicles they use. So once in a while, when you find your comfort zone, you need to stop and breathe before starting another trip.
Read also: Driving from Ndangane to Karang
Day 9: Joal Fadiouth.
Your 14 day Senegal itinerary can’t leave out Joal Fadiouth. Joal lies on the mainland, while the village of Fadiouth, linked to Joal by a wooden bridge, lies on an island (it seems like an island because it lies on a lagoon).
The notable aspect of Joal Fadiouth is that they collect shells around the lagoon and make wonderful craft items. It’s amazing to see that the entire village of Fadiouth is made of shells.
Once you cross the wooden bridge and reach the Fadiouth village, you can take a horse ride or donkey ride to see one of the oldest Bamboo trees of Senegal.
Day 10/11: Saly.
Contrary to what you might think, tourism in Saly started back in 1995 and it remains today one of the best beach resort areas of Senegal.
Therefore, it goes without saying that the village of Saly features hotels, restaurants, and bars for any type of tourist. Many of these are located seafront from where you can admire amazing sunsets.
Day 12: Goree Island.
After relaxing on the beaches of Saly, take a day trip to Goree Island. It is one of the most heart wrenching parts of Senegal since it’s known for its role in the 15th- to 19th-century slave trade.
Gorée is a tiny, car-free island off the coast of the capital Dakar. The house of slaves and the point of no return are certainly among the once in a lifetime things to see.
In the past, Goree Island was ruled in succession by the Portuguese, Dutch, English, and French. Its colonial architecture is in fact characterized by its colonizers and it expresses the contrast between the gloomy slave quarters and elegant houses of the slave traders.
This is why strolling around the narrow streets of Goree Island is really interesting.
Day 13/14: Dakar.
Spending a couple of days in Dakar helps you to taste the urban life of the Senegalese capital. There are numerous activities to do here, among them I feel like I should advise you to check out the Village Des Art.
If you are able to, you can stay even longer in Dakar because as I said, there are so many choices to keep you busy.
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Since life in Africa is so different from your normal one at home, after only two weeks in Senegal you will feel like you have stayed for so long and that you have done and seen so much. This is why I don’t suggest running and running to see everything. This 14 day Senegal itinerary is created to give you the essential together with some relaxation so that you return home with only good memories and not feel like you went through a lot of trouble.
Yes. Because in Senegal moving from one place to another is hard. A journey of just 60 km can last 6 hours. Their vehicles are old and break downs are frequent. Your plans need to allow for this so that your visit isn’t spoiled. That’s why I suggest this 14 day no rush Senegal itinerary. Limit the places to see, relax, and see what you can.