Senegal: Saying Goodbye

After the two weeks in Ziguinchor we headed back to Dakar to finish off our final week before returning to Toronto.  We had our last sight seeing trip planned and that was to see Lac Rose – Pink Lake.

A unique bacteria in the water gives it this pink colour.  It also has a very high salt content.  Harvesting the salt is a reliable source of income for many.  When you swim in the lake you float as if you had one of those water noodles.  It’s good for skin conditions but of course you shouldn’t stay in too long as it would be very drying.

We spent the day there and ate at this hotel, the scenery was serene and gorgeous

Joe and his son

It was really hard leaving.  Joe ended up getting sick so he did not accompany us to the airport like he intended.  Upon hearing this I burst into tears which I think surprised even myself.  We had just spent every day with him and I have to say he is the best boss I’ve ever had.

Fanfan, Marie, Olivier

We lived with these cute terrors in Dakar for 4 weeks.  Every time a camera was even in the room must less on them they were posing.  I miss them.  I still keep in touch with the cousin and brother from the family.  Actually, small world, the sister lives in my home town.  Not Toronto, my actual home town of Mississauga.  I visited her after returning from Senegal.

I met Christine 3 days before we left for this trip.  We got along really well and good thing too since we spent every waking moment together.  We shared a room the entire time as well so we were both relieved that we actually liked each other.  We are still in contact.

We returned to snow and ice.  The trip started in February and ended mid March.  When I was clearing my driveway I broke off this chunk of ice.  Okay, I know I was feeling home sick for Senegal but you have to admit it looks like the west coast of Africa, look at a map!

I’d love to return to Senegal, it’s a matter of when.  I was definitely a changed person after the experience.  I forgot to mention Teranga which means hospitality.  Senegalese are know for being very friendly.  There was an amazing sense of community there that I have not felt anywhere else.  You should go, and take me with you.

Part 1: Senegal – the beginning

Part 2: Senegal – Villages

108 Comments Add yours

  1. Love your hair and your piercing!

  2. Alee says:

    Oh, it’s beautiful. The plaintain (or are those bananas?) are so colorful.

    Those kids are so cute.

    1. wanderlust82 says:

      I’m almost certain plaintain. The kids were super cute, except for when they got into my stuff and smeared my lotions all over my bed…

    2. eunachaw says:

      Just a point of correction. They are not plantains but bananas. They look similar and it confuses a lot people if you never been brought up in Africa. I agree with you that the photos are really good. It seemed she had a trip of her of her whole life.

      1. wanderlust82 says:

        Thanks, now we have a definite answer

  3. Wow…that’s a very different view than the concrete jungle that is Toronto, huh? Beautiful photos and welcome home! 🙂

    1. wanderlust82 says:

      Completely different and that is why I love it! It’s good to go away but so nice to return home, thanks.

  4. Woo hoo. So good to see you on Freshly Pressed. Great pictures and post, as always.

    1. wanderlust82 says:

      I had no clue until reading your comment! Thanks 🙂

  5. Senegal looks like an amazing place

  6. Red Toenails says:

    Love, love your pics. Very nice job.

  7. I have never thought about visiting Senegal, but after seeing your pictures, it looks like a beautiful country full of beautiful people. I enjoyed reading this post and your others about your trip to Senegal. How fortunate you were to get to go and get paid for it.

    1. wanderlust82 says:

      Thanks Susan, I didn’t and still don’t take for granted I was able to have this experience and paid for. I’m glad you now consider it a travel destination, it is reasonably priced as well. They also have eco tourist lodgings that are great.

  8. Wow. Super photos! I’ve never been to Africa and I’m so close. We have friends that have a house in Senegal, I hope to make it there one day. Congrats on Freshly Pressed.

  9. Ali says:

    Gorgeous pictures! I swam in the Dead Sea in Israel once, very similar, you couldn’t not float! Also my mother had a terrible skin condition that never returned after and hour in the dead sea! MIraculous salt 🙂

    1. wanderlust82 says:

      That sounds great, I only stayed in here 20 mins tops. Swimming in the dead sea sounds amazing.

  10. livvy30 says:

    Great shots! Congrats on FP!

  11. natasiarose says:

    Beautiful pictures! Sounds like the experience of a lifetime, sign me up!

  12. The shades in that top pic — so incredibly cool!

    Beautiful photos…


  13. trialsinfood says:

    great photos. the pink water is cool, but is it safe to swim in?

    1. wanderlust82 says:

      Hello, yes it is absolutely safe to swim in. They only recommend not staying in too long as it would be too drying for your skin other wise.

  14. Thanks for sharing. Just out of curiosity, since I am definitely a bit of a foodie, what would you say is a typical Senegalese meal? Also, did you get a chance to see the schools; what is the education system like?

    1. wanderlust82 says:

      Hi there, thanks for reading. Typical dish would be fish, rice and some limited veg. I, as well as Christine really liked the food. The girls who went the year before us hated it so we were unsure at first but it was great. It is actually considered to be some of the best cuisine in Africa.

      As for the school system my knowledge there is limited. We did see a lot of schools. However, the majority of the ones we saw were run by the organisation we were with and were specific for language and capacity building. As you might guess in the villages access is not as good as the cities and the villages are seeing a lot of the kids go to the cities. The common theme however was the importance of education and the want to learn.

  15. I’ve loved your posts on Senegal and definitely want to visit there one day. I just love the way the word Senegal rolls off the tongue. I lived in Nigeria when I was younger, for nine months.

    I love the first photo – the lake really is pink!

    1. wanderlust82 says:

      Hey Emm, Senegal totally rolls off the tongue. How old were you when you lived in Nigeria?

      1. I was four years old. All I remember was the prevalence of street beggars (due to te Yoruba tradition of first born businessman, second born priest and third born beggar – they were crippled and mutilated at birth). I got maleria and lived in a big, old doctor’s house and have been scared of the dark ever since!!

  16. chrissie says:

    the pink lake is so beautiful!

    1. wanderlust82 says:

      It really was. It can get an even deeper pink colour than that, and sometimes turns purpleish apparently.

  17. stanlee14 says:

    Thanks for taking me there, even for just one moment.

  18. B.Held says:

    beautiful photographs

  19. Spinster says:

    Congratulations for the feature. Nice post. 🙂

    P.S. Oneika the Traveler will be in my area next. 😉

    1. wanderlust82 says:

      Hey, where is that??

      1. Spinster says:

        I’d rather not say just in case she doesn’t want that to be known. 😐 But she’ll be there. 😉

  20. Vasare says:

    great post, brilliant photographs, I just posted a photo diary as well, but no where as exciting as your sonegal photographs, great blog 😉

  21. Wonderful pictures. The people exudes simplicity and happiness in their way of life, I like first picture the most. The boat seems you drift in sweet thoughts.

    1. wanderlust82 says:

      Thanks for the kind words everyone. If you blog and your name doesn’t automatically link to that blog then please add the link.

  22. I would like to visit Senegal after reading this blog post 😀

    1. wanderlust82 says:

      You’ll have a great time.

  23. cooperbenz says:

    Nice pics. I like it 🙂

  24. ccie3 says:

    Glad you had a wonderful time…Senegal seems like a lovely place!

  25. green36567 says:

    Great pictures im so jealous

  26. pix & kardz says:

    What a great post – well told, and your photos are brilliant. Thank you for sharing & congrats on being freshly pressed!

  27. be awake says:

    a lot of travels! inspiring travels 🙂
    i like your shots (and story). i’m waiting for more!

  28. awesome photos – and great post – love finding new blogs! 🙂


    1. wanderlust82 says:

      Hi Grace, same here. Thanks for the link.

  29. Tammy says:

    Great photos. One of my best friends lives in Senegal and she loves it. I especially like the pic of the green bananas.

  30. Oh, it’s so beautiful… And the kids are adorable.

  31. gaycarboys says:

    Ice then salt! Amazing pics. Thanks.:)

  32. hayadith says:

    u know what..i dunno much about Senegal..and this article is a good start for me..:)

  33. Sang N. says:

    Beautiful. Looking at that, I think you’d Love Malawi.

    1. wanderlust82 says:

      I was just looking at Malawi actually. I am looking for a volunteer abroad opportunity and I found an organisation that works there.

  34. wanderlust82 says:

    @ Spinster, I was just wondering the country..not specifics I understand not splashing that around.

  35. CONIEFOX says:

    Great photo!Congrats on Freshly Pressed.

  36. leadinglight says:

    Sounds like a wonderful experience. Lucky you!

  37. sounds like you left a piece of you in Senegal. i’m sure you’ll go back. thanks for sharing!

  38. bull smoke says:

    great experience and great tour as well. Glad you made it safely and promptly.

  39. pgiuliav says:

    I loved the photos!

  40. ladytamlihua says:

    *hugs* Totally understand how you feel!!

  41. ournote2self says:

    Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  42. Fresh Cut Spaces says:

    Oooo I really like your blog! I will follow happily. Great post 🙂

  43. Wow!!!!! Pink lake, beautiful. Fabulous pictures and plaintains, staple food from my country.

  44. itscecilia says:

    Great post! I red it by any chace and I love it, not only pictures but also the texts 🙂

  45. crazypumba05 says:

    The ice chunk does look remarkably like Africa! :^) And, this is the first time I’ve heard of a Lake with ‘Pink’ water! Interesting…

  46. Love that first photo. I had a professor from Senegal in college, and have wanted to go ever since. I hope you get to go back someday. 🙂

  47. sarsm says:

    Beautiful photos. I particularly like the one with the bananas!

    Congratulations on being freshly pressed!

  48. Wow, Senegal seems simply gorgeous. I had never thought about visiting there, but looks like I’ll have to add it to my Bucket List. Africa is so intriguing…I hope I get there some day.

  49. mujerboricua says:

    Congrats on making it on Freshly Pressed! This was a great post to be featured.

  50. David Hall says:

    Excellent travalogue and congrats on freshly pressed.

  51. H20Laughs says:

    Simply amazing!

  52. Thank you for your share on Dakar. I have a friend there. I don’t know if I will ever get to visit. Your share was a little window on that world.

  53. MORmama says:

    Great post! I was fortunate to spend some time on the continent. My hubby, my son, and I lived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for one year. I am just now beginning to blog about our time there. Senegal is definitely on our top five for future places to visit, (along with Morocco, South Africa, Zanzibar, and Egypt).

  54. MORmama says:

    Oh, and gorgeous pics, especially the plantains!

  55. jamiew1288 says:

    Hi, I saw your blog on Freshly Pressed. I’m currently a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal. I’ve lived here almost a year now. I’m happy to see you gave my country of residence a raving review. Always good to boost tourism!

    Here’s a link to my blog. I share my experiences living in this crazy country:

    1. wanderlust82 says:

      Yay! Finally a blog from Senegal. I am a part of expat blogs and there aren’t any (good ones) on there. Thanks for the link.

  56. Great pictures 🙂

  57. thebigbookofdating says:

    Great post! love the photos

  58. senegal is a nice place to see… in pictures online…lest you get your calf muscles chopped off by machetes if you land there for a “vacation”

    1. wanderlust82 says:

      Ah, only one ignorant comment. Not sure if I expected more or not. My calf muscles are doing fine thanks, as are the many others who have visited for vacation. I however did not go on vacation. This was a youth exchange and I was there working. I saw the amazing work that many dedicated community agencies and mostly volunteers are doing for and in tandem with the community.

      There is conflict, however Senegal on the whole is a stable democratic country. The country is not perfect but I am from Canada, living in the UK and neither of those countries are either.

      1. pgiuliav says:

        Very good reply to this ignorant comment. Every country has conflicts, and yes, some more than others, but it is terrible to generalize its people based on the country’s problems.

  59. You must miss them now!! Nice pictures!!

  60. khasyi says:

    high skill of photograph

  61. news says:

    When I can visited it..?

  62. bearing says:

    Ond day,I will must go and see it.

  63. dianewrites says:

    I’ve never seen a “pink lake.” You take great photos and I enjoyed looking at the beautiful sceneries you captured.

    Congratulations for making it in the freshly pressed! 🙂

  64. munira says:

    Lovely photos, reminded me of my trip to Tanzania a few months ago (which I loved), though I wonder how different the West African landscape is from the eastern parts…
    Sorry to hear about all the wasted lotion! 😉

    1. wanderlust82 says:

      I do wonder as well. I would think very different because the diversity in animals is greater in the East…well at least more ‘exotic’. The only animals I saw besides dogs, cats, cows etc were monkeys and dolphins.

      The wasted lotion was unfortunate but at least it was the end of the trip. It was mostly funny to hear the kids apologizing in french, hard to get and stay mad.

      1. munira says:

        Ooh, French-speaking Senegalese kids! How fabulous!
        Here’s some of the fauna I saw in Tanzania 🙂 …

  65. GED online says:

    Nice collection of pictures

  66. rubiescorner says:

    Nice work! Love the pictures. Your writing shows your love for the place. I hope you get to go again!

  67. It looks beautiful! That 1st photo (of the boat) is AMAAAAZING! I love that photo!! Looks like a fun trip. 🙂

  68. Your photos look amazing. Something to cherish forever. Good luck with settling in home x

  69. good post keep posting frnd thanks 4 sharing

  70. DanEastSide says:

    Brilliant photographs!! You are very pretty!!

    1. wanderlust82 says:

      Aw, thanks for the nice compliments

  71. emfilmgeek says:

    Congrats on being FP! Gorgeous photos from a gorgeous lady hehe. Loved that west coast of africa connection to the chunk of ice! There’s lots of positivity in this post.. it’s very inspirational. I recently saw this documentary called Discover the Gift and it talks about spirituality, and having a connection with yourself, the world, and those who you love… It’s a great film. Have you heard of it? Don’t mean to get off topic but… it really helped me out and maybe it can do the same for you.. Have a great day!

    1. wanderlust23 says:

      Thanks I’m a little late on seeing this comment. I haven’t heard of that film, I’ll check out a trailer.

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