DAKAR – Fascinating Capital of Senegal

Dakar is the capital of Senegal. It is one of the chief seaports on the western African coast. It is located midway between the mouths of the Gambia and Sénégal rivers on the southeastern side of the Cape Verde Peninsula.

The city’s name comes from dakhar, a Wolof name for the tamarind tree, as well as the name of a coastal Lebu village that was located south of what is now the first pier.

It is home to some of the best museums, nightclubs, and arts festivals in West Africa, and there is never a boring day in the city.

History

The area around Dakar was settled in the 15th century. The Portuguese established a presence on the island of Gorée off the coast of Cap-Vert and used it as a base for the Atlantic slave trade. France took over the island in 1677. Following the abolition of the slave trade and French annexation of the mainland area in the 19th century, Dakar grew into a major regional port and a major city of the French colonial empire. In 1902, Dakar replaced Saint-Louis as the capital of French West Africa. From 1959 to 1960, Dakar was the capital of the short-lived Mali Federation. In 1960, it became the capital of the independent Republic of Senegal.

Top Destinations of Dakar

The beauty of Dakar, a city that sprawls across the Cap-Vert peninsula in a jumble of villages and former French colonial towns, comes not from its architecture

Attractions in the city include major markets, Dakar Grand Mosque (built in 1964), Dakar Cathedral, Gorée Island, the IFAN Museum of West African culture, the newly completed African Renaissance Monument is the tallest statue in Africa, clifftop walks and beaches, and Parc de Hann, aka the Senegal Zoo.

The town serves as a port and is home to the Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport. It is also the terminus of the Dakar-Niger railroad line.

It is used to be the finishing point of the Dakar Rally and is a member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities. Cheikh Anta Diop University also known as the University of Dakar was established in 1957.

African Renaissance Monument

African Renaissance Monument was Erected in 2010 to commemorate Senegal’s 50 years of independence from France. At 49m in height, it is taller than the Statue of Liberty, the monument was built by North Korea, evoking criticism from some locals.

Places in Dakar

Yoff Beach

It is one of the best in Senegal. This beach is a great spot for many activities. On the North coast of Dakar, Senegal this spot is one of the best free beaches for surfing! The crystal blue waters are perfect for surfing and boogie-boarding, the sands are clean and the cabanas are cheap to rent.

Places to visit in Dakar

Dakar Grand Mosque

It is one of the most important religious centers in Senegal. This historic building is located on Allee Pape Gueye Fall. This monument was designed by Moroccan and French architects and opened in 1964 by Hassan II, King of Morocco and President of Senegalese, Leopold Sedar Senghor. Open to the public outside of community prayer times, the mosque is a truly stunning sight.

Famous Places in Dakar

Plage de Virage

Plage de Virage is a popular spot with surfers. Winds and currents get stronger from Yoff point to Plage de Virage and, for this very reason, the latter is a top spot for surfers and body-boarders as well as confident swimmers!

Top Places in Dakar