Best things to do in Dakar

Find out more about those top places in Dakar

Things to do in Dakar - Senegal

This is a city that needs no introduction, it is well-known to tourists which makes it one of the top destinations in Africa. Located on the Atlantic coast in West Africa, it is a city with diverse culture, wonderful climate and great hospitality. 

The city really came to limelight when it started hosting the Dakar rally, and has since grown to greater heights. It is also home to the famous Lake Retba. Dakar is certainly a city that everyone should visit at least once.

  • Lake Retba (Lac Rose)

    Lake Retba popularly known as Lac Rose is a saline lake situated 30 km north-east of Dakar. Lake Retba is famous because it has pink waters. The coloration is caused by Dualiella Salina an Algae, the algae produces a red pigment to assist it in absorbing light, which provides energy after this pigment comes in contact with the lake water it results in the color change. The lake has a high salt content similar to that of the Dead Sea, it is a primary spot for fishing and salt extraction. Lake Retba was the finishing point for the famous Dakar rally before it was moved to South America.

  • Island of Gorée

    The island is a must visit for anyone coming to Dakar, lying two kilometers off Dakar’s South coast it has a significant part in the colonial history of Senegal. It was the largest slave-trading center on the African coast from 15th to 19th century and was controlled by the Portuguese, English and the Dutch. It has a striking set of architectural arrangement, in one part the beautiful houses of the slave masters while at the other part a poorly built slavery quarters. Now a museum it serves as reminder of Senegal’s brutal past.

  • African Renaissance Monument

    Designed by Senegalese architect Pierre Goudiaby, the African Renaissance Monument is a 49 meters tall bronze statue, built on top of one of the twin hills called Colilines des Mamelles. The stature is a massive figure of a man, woman and child pointing out to the Atlantic, the gigantic structure took eight years to complete. It has received a fair bit of criticism from the Senegalese citizens for the fact that it was built by a North Korean company and its cost which is said to be around 30 million euros.

  • Accrobaobab Adventure

    This is one of the favorite spots for tourists seeking the thrill of the outdoors, the Accrobaobab Adventure is a challenge course located in the capital that have been around for decades. Built around baobab trees it focuses mainly on rope climbing and zip lining but also feature a host of other activities designed to improve team work. It is ideal for families or groups.

  • Grand Mosque of Dakar

    Dakar being a predominantly Muslim city makes it a city with many mosques, but the Grand Mosque of Dakar is clearly the most recognized of all. The mosque was opened in 1964 by Senegalese President Leopold Sedar Senghor and Hassan II, King of Morocco and it is very similar to the Mausoleum of Mohammed V in Casablanca. The mosque is also home to Library of the Institut Islamique.

Best places to stay in Dakar

Senegal tours featuring Dakar