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City Guide : Dakar
Dakar, the capital city of Senegal, is a city where a strong French influence can be observed.
It is distinguished from other places in Africa, just like South Africa, with its European style boulevards adorned with trees on both sides. Cape Verde Peninsula, upon which the city is built, is also the western edge of Africa. Dakar is the home of not only some must-see museums, but also some significant historical heritage sites like Ile de Gorée (Gorée Island).
First organized in 1979, the rally that starts from Paris and ends in Dakar has played an important role in how the city has become well-known around the world. Dakar Rally –formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally- which is the biggest race in the world based on endurance, takes place in South America since 2009.
Tourist AttractionsIndependence Square, situated right at the center of Dakar, can be considered as the best place to start your trip.
If you walk down Avenue Roume, you will pass by Presidential Palace (Palaise Presidentiel). This building, made for the governor of the city in 1907, sits on a magnificient park facing the ocean. Towards Avenue of the Republic, you can visit the African Recollection Cathedral (African Memorial Cathedral) which was opened in 1929.
You can arrive in the central area called “Soweto” by following Avenue Jean XXVI. Dakar National Assembly Building and IFAN Museum of African Arts are located here. The building, where public administration was carried out for many years, was built in 1931 in Sudanese architectural style. The museum, which was completely renovated in 1995, was devoted to Senegal and West Africa.
Dakar is a city that reflects the West African Muslim mode of dressing. Stores, in which traditional and mostly handcrafted pieces of clothing with lace trimmings are sold, are quite interesting and worth a visit. However, it is important to note that shopping there is quite expensive.
Culture & EntertainmentDakar Grand Mosque (Grande Mosquée de Dakar) is a must-see place of worship, especially on fridays. This grand mosque, designed by the architect Gustave Collet, is located on Avenue El Hadji Malick. The mosaics and inner decorations of the mosque were done by craftsmen from Morocco. The structure, strongly resembling the Mohammed the 5th Mosque in Casablanca, was completed in 1957. The 67 meter high minaret of the mosque, which has an Islamic institute and a library inside, is visible from almost anywhere in the city.
Ile de Gorée (Gorée Island), which stands as a monument of a historic shame, is a must see. The reason for this description is the fact that this island was where the slaves to America were gathered and forced to board the ships. Among the buildings on the island, the “Slave House” –which is a museum today—is an interesting example of colonial architecture.
The city is considered as one of the most favored locations in Africa in terms of its entertainment events and night life. Some of the shopping areas and market places are well-known throughout the whole continent. The beaches of Dakar, on the other hand, are great places for people who get tired of these events to relax.
Food & DrinkAuthentic Senegal and French dishes can be found all around the area. For dishes belonging to international cuisines such as Mexico, Japan, and Morocco you can go to the area surrounding Marche Kermel market place.
It is important to note that Lebanese cuisine with its numerous appetizers is quite common in Dakar. One of the most delicious tastes of the area is the roasted peanuts, which you can find even on street corners. Also, restaurants, which are full of surprises, are located on the roof of Marche Sandaga market place.
ShoppingMarche Sandaga Olan is a very busy market place despite its appearance of a ruined concrete building. Meat and vegetables are sold on the ground floor. Basement floor is designated for fish, while there are restaurants located on the roof. From electronics to books on Islam, from CDs to t-shirts; everything is available here.
Marche HLM is a smaller market place where mostly fabric salesmen are gathered. Tailors and tailoring workshops from all around Senegal shop at this market place, in where fabrics are sold only over a length of 3 meters. Marche Kermel which is located close to downtown, and Soumbedioune, where fish salesmen work in the evening, are other market places worth mentioning.
Dakar, For An Adrenaline High
After years of geopolitical wrangling between Africa and Europe, the Paris-Dakar Rally, one of the world’s most famous motorcycle races, finally moved to South America. And while most of the drivers who have been racing now for three years on the new continent say that the route is more difficult, they certainly aren’t complaining.
The race, which will run from the first day of the new year through January 16, will go through Argentina and Chile in this, its 33rd year. The drivers, who will be navigating through some of the world’s most difficult regions, will encounter both dense jungle and vast deserts in the Dakar Rally, in which the degree of difficulty and even the driving can change radically in just 100 kilometers. A new assessment of the race’s carbon footprint is also going to be made this year.
TURKS AT DAKAR
Turkey too is sending a team to the Dakar Rally, in which merely taking part is no less grueling than competing. The team, Kutlu Torunlar and Kemal Merkit, raced in South America in 2010 as well.
Ticket Sales Offices : Dakar
|Address||Immeuble La Rotonde, Rue A.A.Ndoye x St. Michel, Plateau, Dakar, Senegal|
|Phone||+221 33 823 44 44|
Weekdays 09:00 – 18:00
Saturday 09:00 – 13:00
|Address||Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport, Yoff, Dakar, Senegal|
|Phone||+221 33 820 79 29|
The flight days are opened 3 hours before flight and closed one hour later from the departure
|Address||Zone Fret, Aeroport L.S. Senghor DAKAR, BP 29542, Dakar Yoff Senegal|
|Phone||+221 776 39 42 41|
|Fax||+221 33 820 91 66|
Dakar : Airport Information
Leopold Sedar Senghor Intl. Airport
Address : Leopold Sedar Senghor International Airport ASECNA - Aéroport de DAKAR/L.S. SENGHOR - BP 8132 DAKAR (SENEGAL) Phone : (221) 869.22.01 - (221) 869.22.00
Dakar : Airport Map Information
- Thu 29°C
- Fri 30°C
- Sat 32°C
|Monetary Unit||:||Africaine franc|
|Phone Code||:||00 221|