Every time I step off the plane in Senegal, the feeling of peace and tranquility is completely unmatched. To me, it's the closest feeling to euphoria. All the chaos from getting to the airport, the constant delays to the ever present turbulence is instantly washed from my mind.
As a young child, Senegal always seemed like a magical place. It’s the place where my parents met, where they got married and they love the land of Teranga (or hospitality) so much they named my brother after the capital city. I didn’t take my first trip to Senegal until I was 13-years old but since then, it has almost become a yearly ritual that my family returns in the summer.
Preparing for the flight is easily the most taxing part of the journey. Besides the hassle of securing a flight on AirSenegal, if you travel during the summer time, one of the essential items are malaria pills. June to late August is the rainy season which means mosquitoes. It’s better to air on the side of caution and purchase the pills although if you need more than 4 it can be a bit pricey.
Since its creation in 2016, AirSenegal provides direct flights from NYC to Senegal which instantly shortens your travel time. Previously, you either had to have a lengthy layover in Morocco or Paris.
Depending on where you’re visiting in Senegal, your flight journey either ends at the Blaise Diagne International Airport in Dakar, Senegal or, if you’re like me, you take an additional hour flight to the southern region of Senegal called Casamance.
While Dakar being one of the most visited areas of Senegal, my favorite part to visit is the Casamance. It’s one of the more tropical regions with lush jungles and pristine beaches.
One of my favorite activities is either going for a morning swim in the Atlantic Ocean or ATVing with my brother and dad. Personally, I just like driving on the sand and seeing the sights but they both LOVE going up sandy dunes and splashing through puddles.
One of the favorite places to visit in Cap Skirring ( a city in the Casamance) is the artisanal market in town. You can find everything from art work, clothing, jewelry to hair salons and shoe cobblers located in this one market. It’s also across the street from some fantastic restaurants.
Easily the best place to eat in the area is at a resort called Hotel Hibiscus. Everything from the steak to fish and desserts are absolutely delicious and seasoned to perfection!
A trip to Senegal is a must because it truly has something for everyone. From architecture, food to nightlife and art, Senegal is an absolutely beautiful country that should be on everyone’s list.