Getting the good shots - photography locations
Favorite thing: If you are like me, you want to get some good photos while traveling. Of course, weather is often a big factor in how nice the photos are, but in Dakar there are plenty of sunshine and blue skies. I tried to be considerate and not take obvious photos of the local people without their permission – if I could snap photos from a distance without offending, then I prefer to do that.
There are a couple places where you could get some beautiful photos:
From the top of the lighthouse: Wonderful viewpoint for coastal shots, including the westernmost point of Africa; photos of the city and airport of Dakar (although not as beautiful as the ocean).
From base of the African Renaissance Monument: Not far from the lighthouse, so you can get similar photos. While it is possible to take photos from the top of the monument (the man’s hat is actually windows), I found the windows were not clear and it was difficult to get good photos from that vantage point, although you get some good close-up shots of the woman’s head and the baby.
Walking along Rue de la Corniche Ouest near the Sea Plaza and outdoor gym: Lots of opportunities for beach and ocean photos. The sun sets on this side of Dakar, so opportunities for beautiful sunset photos are plentiful.
Île de Gorée: An excursion to Goree Island can provide many opportunities for photos of colorful homes, seascapes, Dakar from a distance, local artists, and the old fortress. This was one of my favorite places to take photos due to the variety of people, places, and plants.
Flora and Fauna of Dakar
Favorite thing: I really enjoyed the beautiful flowering plants that were all over Dakar and Île de Gorée. Bright and cheerful bougainvillea in pinks and whites were my favorites as they appeared even in the driest and dirtiest areas. Fan palms along the highways and interesting cacti added to the unique botanical treats of this city.
Clearly, the favorite plant in Senegal is the baobab tree, which I have created a separate tip for. This symbol of Senegal could be found in numerous places in the city and along the highway as we headed south towards Mbour.
The fauna was equally interesting as the city of Dakar had roaming herds of goats along the highways, horses and donkeys standing idly without anything apparently keeping them in one place, and the smaller critters that you had to look closer for.
While on the Île de Gorée, we came across two large chameleons blending into the bricks on the fort. Later we would see more of these foot-long critters in other places on the island and in town.
On our final day as we were walking along the road near the African Renaissance Monument, we spotted an enormous spider in its web by a flowering bush. I was able to get a good photo of it, but I didn’t want to get too close since I was unsure about what type it was. A little bit of research tells me that I need not worry – it was a yellow and black garden spider and is nonpoisonous. But, really, any spider that has a body several inches wide and legs to match is not something I plan to mess around with!
boat trip and beating drums
Favorite thing: You can take a local boat trip across the bay..which is a must for the gutsy. Especially if you cannot swim! lol I truly miss the sound of the voodoo drums at night. They go almost all night and lull you into a trance-like sleep. And awakening by the minaret in the morning call to prayer. Church services are nice..although the benches need some padding. You will need a fan, and unless you speak French..a translator. A specific fried fish that is served with rice at a restaurant in Fann Hock. Chez Adama. Kitty corner from a market and next to a seamstress. She is a good seemstress by the way. And the young man named Omar at the market is a sweetie.
Fondest memory: See above
Unfortunately, all my photos have been lost. But I would not have traded the experience for the world. We as Americans are spoiled. Americans do not appreciate what they have. I still believe each woman in Africa deserves a good washing machine! God bless them. They have a hard life. But the life in Africa has meaning. I that is what will stay in my heart. I pray one day to be able to return.