Travel to Senegal and The Gambia


Welcome the image traveler. I'm your host Chris Christensen. Let's talk about West Africa. I like to welcome to the show. Brian Asher from the world hiker DOT COM. Who has come to talk to us about Senegal and the Gambia in West Africa? Brian Welcome to the show. Thank you thank you for having me. I know you were surprised that we had not previously done in episode of Amateur Traveler on this region and as we were talking about before we started recording. We don't get as many pitches but also there aren't as many travelers who tend to go to west Africa East Africa. Southern Africa tend to get a little more tourists in general. Why should someone go to that region before we focus in on Senegal? Gambia I think. West Africa's really vibrance several my friends. Who have been there for years in the Peace Corps? Said it's about the People? It's about the markets it's about the color it's about the way they treat you just the life that's on the streets of West Africa. I think we hear of animals. Safaris maybe eastern Southern Africa West. Africa's is really the beating hearts of the continents with some of the most populous countries in the fascinating region with lots of smaller countries grouped. In that you can visit In the whole region there will. We've chosen to talk about Senegal and the Gambia one. Because you've been there recently and we always try and focus on someplace. That wasn't a ten years ago trip. The you've been to all the countries in Africa. Yes four fifty four nations and Africa hats off to you. Thank you and people may be wondering why we're talking about the two of them. This is one of those very odd places where one country actually completely surrounds. The exactly the Gambia's inside of Senegal. So the Gumby has no other neighbors have Senegal to the North East. The South and the West is the ocean. So it's completely involved excellent. And why should someone go to Senegal Gambia? I think Senegal and the Gambia great introduction to Africa and especially to West Africa. They're safe countries. They're countries that are kind of a soft introduction. They're not quite as hard hitting some the other countries in west Africa. Very safe to visit for me. The the weather was very nice after coming from kind of more tropical and intense heat in the Sahara for example movement way across and the people. The people are very friendly. There's not vowed kind of lively music in the streets that you can listen to all the time and there is a decent number of Europeans between but a large French population. There's quite a few Lebanese. That live there a special indy car in the capital of Senegal. And it's it's very soft welcoming place that would not intimidate so I think most people when they think of Africa that would be a great place to start and by contrast. Then what you're saying is there's some of their neighbors. We're them might be a little more. You think twice about going because of poverty terrorism Civil war or disease. Yeah those those are the only reasons I can think of not to go to some of the areas over the last ten years at least in western Africa and I think the Transportation as well kind of infrastructure with having made my way of public transportation there are a lot of Africa can be extremely slow and the Senegal Gambia. Our little breath of fresh air to be able to get around quite a bit easier than the light of the countries in the region and I'm fascinated to hear about this. I have technically been indycar but really only in the airport. And they didn't let me off the plane so I really knew very little about the area. So what kind of itinerary would you recommend? I think that Senegal be the one that you'd want to spend more time in. The car has quite a bit to see in there quite a few beaches right there. Outside of the city I stayed in a neighborhood called walk. Tom Which is nicely placed next to the African Renaissance Monument which is the largest statue and all of Africa. That kind of looks down on the whole region there and Indycar and you can take a couple of really nice day trip south from the car so if you stayed there for two three or four days I think that would be an ideal amount of time to spend their most people like I went to a place called Goree Island which is very famous for being one of the biggest places that had slaves that were coming out to the Americas and you can learn a lot but the history. They're easy to walk around. There's a ferry that goes every couple hours to get there and place it almost everyone. The cousin Senegal visits during the first couple days sides stay for the car to three days with the city and the surrounding area and then a couple of days up to St Louis which is about four hours for five hours north by bus. Okay and you could spend a day or two. They're known for its famous. Saint Louis Arch known. Not that Saint. Louis Okay the other Saint Louis in Senegal. It takes a good six to eight hours going by bus. You could take a private car if you want. Or if you're on a tour to get down to the Gambia assume that's GONNA take up half or two thirds of a day and then I'd be down in Bonn Jewel and area right below it whether it's nice speeches and a monkey parking things for two to three days so I think you could easily piece together somewhere between eight and ten days which would be kind of a nice length of a visit between Senegal Gambia. Excellent so you started us into car and you mentioned going out to the island whose name I've already forgotten it's gory island heart ee. Eileen with just one of the biggest hubs for the slave trade and they have fairies that go out every couple hours and that's definitely Come a must do if you're in Dakar. I think almost anyone I've talked to has done not visit for half day or two thirds of the day and real easy to walk arounds. Thinks about a kilometre too long. And that's locals there with colorful art kids playing soccer in slave museums. That are there that you can visit as well and so I assume there's a fourth year which is where they keep the slaves locked up. Yes and what else are we going to do the two or three days in the car? How are we gonNA spend that you mentioned the monument and there's a couple of monuments there the country it's about ninety six percent Muslim and so there's several nice mosques to visit as well in the lot of fishermen that go out and I love think West Africa? One of the images of the coastal areas. Are these colorful fishing boats that you can see like dozens of guys sliding off into the water and then sliding back up with their catch from the day and there's a lot of seafood that they bring in so these real colorfully painted. Boats is one of the images that you'll see on the coast there in Indycar and their fishing from the there than rather than from okay and is there a place you would go to see that. There is a mosque called the mosque of the divinity which had a bunch of these colorful boats right next to it and it's right there in the car about five or ten minutes from where I was staying in the neighborhood of calm and I stayed AIRBNB. There's lots of airbnb options there for budget travelers and there's all different ranges of accommodation but there are inexpensive options for those looking for him as well and I stayed with a local man there and enjoyed always like state local people to give you all flavor of what it's like will what I usually find when we're talking about. Travelling in lesser developed areas of Africa is that we're talking about not an inexpensive flight to get in relatively expensive for the distance intra country flights inside of Africa. Compare for instance or a US but then really cheap food and really cheap housing. Is that right? Yeah that's true. And so that's the Pros and cons. I always way between local transport and the flights I think the flights between the Gambian cars forty minutes so in say but I just checked in it's still upwards of one hundred forty to one hundred eighty dollars for a forty minute one slight. It's not too bad for Africa standards. It can be a lot worse a lot worse or west African flights but bus. I WanNa say it was about eighteen dollars that took me there so you just have to pick and choose. What's worth more your your time or your money. Well and that is going to be an individual choice. Yeah another thing. A lot of people like to do is there's a pink lake there several of these in the world. There's one in Mexico unless Jerry I believe and there's one about Sarah outside of Dakar. That is is another kind of one of them. Must do things on the visit. That would take you maybe about a half day and so that is really really pick. Yeah if you look at pictures online. There's one called Rainbow Mountain in Peru or I don't know how much instagram or things put filters on it and this one depending on who's pictured is it's pink. It was quite pink but sometimes the pictures make it. Look even more amazingly think depend on. The season tends to be kind of lighter darker shades of pink. That has the salt miners. That are out there. And kind of local people selling artwork in tourist items. So and so this is Lake Ripa. Yes my GRANDPA Loch rose. I think in French shore the lake what it can go by. I would say gory. Islands and Pink Lake would be to half day trips. That would make sense to have with your day or so exploring around the car so to make it two or three days for the car and it strives. You might say

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