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5 day trip to Senegal, advice pls..

Columbia, SC
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5 day trip to Senegal, advice pls..

I'll be accompanying my fiance to Senegal (Dakar) while he participates in a conference. We will only be there for 5 days. What should we absolutely see? What about shopping, how much money should we bring? Are there any items in particular I should shop for? Are there any online guides (other than Fodors) for the area? Thanks!!

Dakar, Senegal
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348 posts
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1. Re: 5 day trip to Senegal, advice pls..

I must be the best shopper on the planet...so depending on where you have been, then you will find Dakar incredibly expensive for the same stuff you see in other places....sorry to sound cynical, but I have lived in Dakar for 1.5yrs now, and I have taken many tourists shopping during that time....and honestly its VERY expensive, the Sengalise hate to bargain....they expect you to be stupid enough to pay their inflated prices.....BUT if you must....here are the tips..

Artifacts....mostly from somewhere else...Cameroon, Mali etc...lots of people like wooden or metal small or big figures....

Leather boxes...quite nice if you like leather, they also make nice handbags (but the asking price usually is around 200,000 CFA for a crocodile skin bag, when you faint they come down to around 100,000 ($200USD)

Paintings...various selection from artists some good some look as though they are made in 10minutes...prices vary up to several hundred dollars........

No gemstones so don't get caught with mythical diamonds...

There was a great guy down in the "mali Markets" selling beads from all over Africa, they were beautiful, but the rent has gone up and he was planning on moving...the mali markets is next to the train station.

Places to shop...the Artisanal Markets on the Cornesch is a mess at the moment with all the road works but still offers a great range of "Stuff" and you will enjoy the colour of these markets, they are located next to a colourful fishing village..

I have no idea how much money you should bring....as It purely depends on your taste and what you are used to paying...

One other thing....the Turag Jewellery is lovely, this is silver and usually handcrafted very nicely, quite often carving the silver with intricate engravings...I like this...do a goodle search before you come, so you have some idea what to pay...my favourite Turag guy has a tiny stall set up at the "Virage" outside the supermarche...his jewels are always sparkling clean and I took a New Yorker there just yesterday, she paid $50 for a beautiful necklace, heavy in silver with a huge blue Agate and a silver pr of earrings with blue glass...very nice.

If your staying at Le Meridien walk down the water front near Club Med...its called "Point Almadies" and there are the usual touts selling beads and pictures, they get lots of tourists here, prices are still high...there is a guy who sells very pretty pictures made from butterflies (sounds terrible but they are very nice) the price to pay is around $6.00 MAX 3000CFA..

have a nice time

regards,

Wendy

Colorado
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2. Re: 5 day trip to Senegal, advice pls..

I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal in the mid- to late 1980s, and have a friend there now. My biggest piece of advice is to get to get out of Dakar. It's just a big city. Once you get out of Dakar, things get much better. A big piece of advice, bargan for everything. They alwasy start with high prices, and you are supposed to have a discussion about the price and why it should come down. That is the local custom. You can get some really great deals if you're willing to take some time. French will get you around the country, but try to learn a few phases of Wolof (the local language) and that will get you far. The people will really cut you some slack if you at least try to talk to them.

Vila Velha, ES
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3. Re: 5 day trip to Senegal, advice pls..

Dear Senegal Traveller,

hello - my wife and me from Vitória, Brazil have been to Dakar in November 2006. A must see is the Goree Island. A real good guide book is the new Lonely Planet on Senegal and The Gambia.

Our most important advice for you is to hire a guide around the town - you will see much more and feel also more safe. We had a real nice guide for all the time and only when we went out by our own once we were hassled seriously. If you want we can sent you the contacts of our guide.

Christoph and Simone

Happy New Year!

4. Re: 5 day trip to Senegal, advice pls..

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