Dakar for the mu­sic, art lover

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FEATURES -

Sene­gal’s largest city perched on the tip of the Cap-Vert penin­sula is an ideal start­ing place for your jour­ney.

Spend the af­ter­noons fill­ing your suit­cases with trin­kets and Tshirts from the cap­i­tal’s many fre­netic street mar­kets. For a more serene shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence, head to La Ga­lerie An­tenna. This African art mecca boasts an im­pres­sive col­lec­tion of sculp­tures, paint­ings, masks and jew­elry from across the con­ti­nent, http://ga­leriean­tenna.com/.

Rest up and head out af­ter mid­night to ex­pe­ri­ence Dakar’s thriv­ing mu­sic scene at a lo­cal bar or club. Af­ter your late night, re­group by the beach at one of Dakar’s lux­ury ho­tels: Ter­rou-Bi, http://www.ter­roubi.com/in­dex-en.php , or Radis­son Blu Ho­tel, https://www.radis­son­blu. com/en/ho­tel-dakar/ .

While most of Sene­gal is sur­pris­ingly driv­able, Dakar traf­fic is not for the faint of heart. Be pre­pared for a gen­eral dis­re­gard of road signs and dis­com­bob­u­lat­ing round­abouts. Some rental car pack­ages in­clude driv­ers or one can be ar­ranged through your ho­tel. Or hop in taxis for short trips. They’re abun­dant and in­ex­pen­sive. Be sure to check rates with a lo­cal be­fore hail­ing a ride and ne­go­ti­ate the fare with your driver in ad­vance. The UNESCO World Her­itage site was a ship­ping point for African slaves dur­ing the 16th through 19th cen­turies. The is­land’s most fa­mous and sober­ing at­trac­tion, Mai­son des Es­claves (Slave House), has had many high-pro­file vis­i­tors, in­clud­ing Pres­i­dent Obama in 2013. It is now a mu­seum and me­mo­rial site serv­ing as sym­bol for the larger slave trade through­out Africa.

You can eas­ily book a tour guide when you ar­rive, but the small, tran­quil is­land is quite walk­a­ble on your own. Take in the scenic ocean views, col­or­ful, crum­bling ar­chi­tec­ture, shops and street ven­dors be­fore din­ing on fresh fish at the hill­top restau­rant, Dolce

NI­COLE EVATT — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

group of goats on Île de Gorée, or Gorée Is­land, off the coast of Dakar, Sene­gal. From dizzy­ing Dakar to vi­brant Saint-Louis, Sene­gal pul­sates with rich cul­ture, his­tory and charm. If you want to ex­pe­ri­ence it all — from bustling cities to sleepy, sea­side vil­lages — hop in a rental car, charge up your fa­vorite nav­i­ga­tion de­vice or app, brush up on your con­ver­sa­tional French, and start your road trip across Africa’s col­or­ful western coast.

NI­COLE EVATT — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Gorée, or Gorée Is­land, off the coast of Dakar, Sene­gal. From dizzy­ing Dakar to vi­brant Saint-Louis, Sene­gal pul­sates with rich cul­ture, his­tory and charm. If you want to ex­pe­ri­ence it all — from bustling cities to sleepy, sea­side vil­lages — hop in a rental car, charge up your fa­vorite nav­i­ga­tion de­vice or app, brush up on your con­ver­sa­tional French, and start your road trip across Africa’s col­or­ful western coast.

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