About a month-and-a-half ago I packed my bright orange pull-along for a trip I hadn’t done before. I was venturing into Africa for the first time. It actually sounds funny saying “venturing into Africa” being African and all. But, somehow, being South African I’ve always felt a bit removed from the rest of Africa, if that makes any sense? Don’t get me wrong. I’ve always loved this continent, but let’s be honest…we don’t always consider the continent when we’re in our country bubble. Anyhoo, here I was on my way to the Great North (Dakar, Senegal to be exact)…and I couldn’t wait! You see, I have a bit of a fascination with the people of the North. Or rather – the great history that West Africa holds.
So here I was on a cold Autumn morning in Cape Town boarding the second flight out to Johannesburg because, as a traveller on a budget one must do lengthy layovers. Lengthy. My pre-coffee self struggled quite a bit but I survived. And so did everyone else around me. (Side note – if someone is not smiling in the morning it probably means they want to be left alone and need decent coffee before they can communicate with you in any coherent way). About 12 hours later the Washington flight departed with me on it. We were off. And the reading commenced.
At around 1:30 am (yes, am) we touched down at the Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal. I think it must be the smallest airport I have ever seen. And different. I have never seen as many country flags at any airport ever. The Senegalese definitely love their flag. The customs officials all looked like military men…and I was exhausted. Customs done, it was time for the trip to the hotel. More security.
Upon arriving at the King Fahd Palace Hotel my bags had to have x-rays done airport-style once again. My muddled brain tried to hook straight onto that wi-fi because some of us need to be connected. Wi-fi reception? Sub-par at best. ET calling home was an extreme feat. However, the poolside of this hotel is quite lovely. Located right next to the beach it offers beautiful views and tranquility.
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The best thing about this hotel is that the pool is right next to the beach. . . . #travel #photography #traveller #travelphotography #travelgram #travel_captures #travelling #amateurphotographer #amateur #femalephotographer #nofilter #photographer #senegal #dakar #kingfahdpalace #intoafrica #s7edge #photooftheday
We had planned to take a trip to Goree Island later that Good Friday morning because this was the main purpose for moving through Dakar (post on this soon). So we grabbed a taxi (yikes!) and experienced the wonderful Dakar city traffic and creepy crawlies in the back seat. It was hot and sticky but worth seeing the beautiful coastline and countless incomplete buildings. I love to watch people go about their daily lives. It fascinates me. So watching people use the free outdoor gym on the beach and the children playing in the park…on the beach…is awesome.
If you’re an avid photographer with a love for buildings then Dakar is a gem. Construction is ever present on every street corner. Not many high-rise buildings and so much detail. A slower-paced existence. Great seafood. And the gateway to the greater international diaspora.
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Goodbye for now, Dakar. We shall definitely meet again. . . . #travel #photography #traveller #travelling #travel_captures #dakar #senegal #femalephotographer #amateurphotography #amateurs_bnw #bnw #bnw_captures #bnw_photography #bnw_society #bnw_silhouettes #bnw_travel #bnw_landscapes #bnw_life #streetphotography_bw #street #streetphotography #photooftheday #s7edge
Dakar is nothing like Cape Town or Johannesburg…or New York or London. It has a uniqueness all it’s own. If you find you have a few pennies lying around and don’t know what to do with them, consider visiting Dakar. If anything it would be an experience. But go in spring because the summers are really hot when you’re that close to the Equator. And if you’re a fellow African it’s definitely worth the trip to see how the rest of our brothers and sisters live. Let’s look beyond our bubble. I’m glad I did and will definitely make the trip again.
If you would like to see more of my trip feel free to check out my Instagram. It’s not your usual travel photoblog because I want you to see what I see – not for you too see me. There will definitely be a follow-up post on Goree because she deserves a post all her own.
Have you ever travelled to any African country? Any country you think might be worth visiting? Ever been been to Senegal? What are your thoughts. Share and share alike. I’d love to learn more 🙂