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Day 1: Dakar

Arrive in Dakar airport where you will be welcomed by your tour guide and transported to your hotel. As you acclimate to your new surroundings, you will be briefed on your trip. Enjoy your first meal at the hotel.

Dakar / Gorée Island & Slave House / Pink Lakee


Begin your day with breakfast in the hotel. Take in the sights and sounds of Dakar on a guided tour where you will be introduced to its French colonial architecture and lively markets. Visit the Presidential Palace, Independence Square, Cathedral, Statute of Renaissance, flower market, and artisanal market.

For lunch ferry over to Gorée Island, an outpost of the Atlantic slave trade and an UNESCO world heritage site. Visit the slave house where its own curator will provide you with a personal tour. Here, many guests choose to make a special prayer or somber acknowledgement to their ancestors and the Island's tragic past. Drop by the ethnographic museum. Wander Gorée's cobblestone roads and browse the local artists' work.

In the evening depart for the famed pink lake – where you will enjoy dinner and an overnight stay.

Day 3: Pink Lake / Saint Louis

After breakfast, make a tour of the phosphorous Pink Lake - named for the pink hue that you will witness first hand as the African sun shines from above. Float on its surface with such buoyancy you will feel as if laying on top of a bed. Take a four-wheel drive on an antique French World War II jeep on the surrounding sand dunes. See the population harvesting salt from the lake. Pass the village as you head to the ocean. Take a break and watch the waves as you may also see local boys exercising on the beach.

Travel on to the vibrantly colored island town of Saint Louis - where you will arrive via the famed Faidherbe Bridge. Freshen up and enjoy lunch. Then, take in the sights of the oldest French colonial city in Africa by horse drawn carriage. Visit the Governor's Palace and Faidherbe Square. Stop by the market and shop with the locals for handicrafts, fruit and vegetables.

Your carriage awaits to continue your tour to the picturesque fishing port of Quet Ndar. Greet the fishermen as they arrive on their pirogues with the day's catch. Find women smoking and drying the fish along the shore. Visit the fishermen's cemetery where the graves are marked with fishing nets.

Later, head out on the town to dine on a typical Senegalese dinner of thiebou djeun or other specialty in one of Saint Louis's fine restaurants. Enjoy a restful overnight stay in the hotel.

Day 4: Saint Louis / Langue de Barbarie or Djoudj


Depending on the season you will visit either Langue de Barbarie or Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary for your bird watching pleasure.

Langue de Barbarie itinerary:

Dine on breakfast at the hotel before departing for Langue de Barbarie National Park on the Senegal River. You'll find the park a birdwatchers paradise as it is home to 160 species of birds. Spot cormorants, brushes, pink flamingos, fishing eagles, pelicans, herons, ducks and perhaps a sea turtle.

Stop along the banks of the river for a picnic lunch.

Return to Saint Louis for a free afternoon. Wander Saint Louis's streets and take in its colorful old edifices. Visit the cathedral – West Africa's first church, the museum and modern art gallery. Do some marketing and souvenir shopping. Or just relax on the beach by the Atlantic Ocean.

Djoudj itinerary:

Dine on breakfast at the hotel before departing for the Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary. The park is a wetland comprised of a lake, streams, ponds and backwaters. It serves as a winter sanctuary for migratory birds just crossing the dry Sahara. Spot African spoonbills, egrets, flamingos, pelicans, purple herons, Sudan bustard as well as white faced tree duck, spur winged goose and mammals such as: manatees, crocodile and gazelle.

Stop in the park for a picnic lunch.

Return to Saint Louis for dinner on the town and an overnight stay. If you like, frequent one of St. Louis' "soiree Senegalese" to hear Mbalax or other nightclub for a variety of African and world music.

Day 5: Saint Louis / Touba / Kaolack / Toubacouta


After breakfast depart for the holy city of Touba. Here, observe in awe the Great Mosque of Touba as it soars from the arid terrain. Built to house the tomb of the spiritual guide and founder of Senegal's Mouride Brotherhood, Cheik Ahmadou Bamba, - the mosque is the most visited Islamic pilgrimage site in West Africa and perhaps the most beautiful. Long skirts or dresses, long sleeves and headscarves are required for women and long pants are required for men inside the holy city.

Head to the city of Kaolack and dine in one of its fine restaurants for lunch. Browse with the locals through its markets. Here you will find everything from medicinal herbs, handicrafts, African wax print fabric, vegetables, and talismans.

In the afternoon, depart for the ethnically and ecologically diverse village of Toubacouta. Once is town, hop aboard a pirogue for a sunset boat ride along the Sine-Saloum delta. Gaze at the diverse flora and fauna of the mangroves. Dolphins may join you along the river as you traverse to the Reposoir des Oiseaux (bird reserve). On this Island sanctuary, spy a multitude of species of waterfowl arriving to spend the night on tree branches.

Savor dinner and a restful night at the hotel.

Day 6: Toubacouta /

Enjoy breakfast along the Sine-Saloum River. Then float along the river aboard a pirogue for some island hopping. Visit the Ile aux Coquillages and listen to the crunch of oyster shells beneath your feet as you walk along the shore. Find these shells not only on the shore but used in artisans pottery and jewelry. Take a short hike to a lookout point and take-in the expanse of the delta.

A little further journey along the river, arrive in a fishing village on beautiful and secluded Sipo Island. Observe the fishermen cast their nets. Meet the queen of Sipo who reigns over this multi-ethnic and multi-religious community. This is truly a unique experience in West Africa to find a woman village chief. You may stop in the market and visit the woman's garden before sunbathing on Sipo's white sand beaches. Partake in a tranquil picnic on the beach. Refresh with a dip in the river.

Cruise back to Toubacouta to freshen up at the hotel before dinner. For dessert: West African drumming and dancing are on the menu. Feel free to join in the festivities.

Day 7: Toubacouta / Dakar and transfer to airport


Enjoy Breakfast at the hotel. Ferry from Foundiogue across the Sine-Saloum on our way to Saly. Stop off to observe Senegal's majestic national trees in the Baobab forest.

Next stop: Joal, a town of 5,000 along the Sine River and birthplace of Senegal's first president - Leopold Sedar Senghor. Take in the 19th Century colonial architecture of this predominantly Serer/Christian village where you dine for lunch.

Cross a wood bridge and enter the neighboring town of Fadiouth. Here, meet the elders and notables of the village. Watch women as they pound wheat with large pestles. Observe the granaries on piles. And discover a Christian cemetery built out of shells.

Continue your journey to the natural habitat of the Bandia Reserve for a guided safari ride through thorny scrub and lush vegetation. Have your cameras ready to capture buffalo wading in a waterhole, rhinoceros in the bush, long necked giraffes reaching for acacia tree leaves, and herds of gazelle and antelope leaping across the terrain. Eavesdrop on the conversations of Green Veret monkeys as they hang out in the trees. As a special treat, visit traditional Peul huts in the reserve as well as a thousand year old baobab tree whose hollow contains the remains of local griots (traditional story tellers and entertainers).

Have a dinner of fish or other local speciality and spend the night in the international seaside resort town of Saly on the Petite Cote.

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