Day-trips from Dakar

Senegal Itinerary

A red lake, beaches and culture

Situated on the Atlantic coast, Senegal has beautiful beaches, lagoons, and island archipelagos. Inland, there are forests, savannas, and mountains. When visiting Dakar, there are plenty of things to do and see. However, if you want to discover Senegal’s diversity, Dakar makes the perfect base to visit the Pink Lake, Lac Rose, and Jaol Fadouth or visit Île de Gorée.

I definitely enjoyed the energy of Dakar. So I was very excited to visit so many different places on a day trip, allowing me to spend some more time in Dakar. Admittedly, most of my day trips inspired me to go back and spend some more time.


Things to do in Daytrips from Dakar

Île de Gorée

A visit to Île de Gorée is a must for anyone spending time in Dakar. This small island, just off the coast of Senegal, was once the center of the slave trade in West Africa. Today, it is home to several important historical sites and world-class surfing. You can tour the island’s slave fort, visit the House of Slaves museum, and walk through the island’s quaint streets. Stop by one of the island’s cafes for a refreshing cup of Senegalese coffee.

We stayed for about two weeks on Île de Gorée to learn how to surf- We loved getting to know the island’s history and people. To read more about surfing on Île de Gor, check out our blog post on surfing Senegal!

For tourists, a return ticket costs about 5.200 CFA (ca. 7.90 €, US$9.70, £7) and 2.700 CFA (ca. 4.12 €, US$5, £3.60) for children; an additional tourism tax of 500 CFA per person is collected on site.

Current schedule from Dakar to the Island of Gorée:

Ilde de Gore
Lac Rose Senegal

Senegal's pink lake

Lac Rose, also known as “Lac Retba,” is a beautiful lake that changes color throughout the year. During the dry season, you can enjoy its pretty pink tones, but if not, there is other magic at your fingertips! You could go for swims or float in salty waters because this place has a high salt content. It is also a great place to take photos. We were sad to only have to spend a day at Lac Rose. Despite the incredible sight, the lake offers a unique glimpse into Senegalese life.

Salt extraction is one of the main economic activities at Lac Rose. It is a manual process that has been used for centuries. During the dry season, the lake’s water evaporates and leaves a layer of salt behind. The salt is then harvested by workers who use large wooden rakes to gather it into piles. The salt is then transported to Dakar, which is used for cooking and other purposes.


Visiting Lac Rose is a great way to learn about Senegal’s history and culture. If you are interested in learning more about the country, its people, and its customs, this is a place you should add to your list!

Gîte du Lac is a cute hotel in case you decide to spend the night and learn more about the fascinating area around Lac Rose.

Joal Fadiouth

Daytrips from Dakar are easy to do, and Joal Fadiouth is another excellent option. You can watch the fishermen returning from their nightly or early morning tour on the beach. The fishermen set out in the dark with small wooden boats into the dark depths of the Atlantic. Unfortunately, the global fishing industry, especially Europe’s fishing industry, has weakened the West African seas, and the people on the coast are also suffering. Nevertheless, it is spectacular to watch how the locals pull their wooden boats out of the water.

Joal Fadiouth is not only known for its fishing culture but also its shellfish islands. The most famous island is Ile Jaol. An impressive footpath leads over a long wooden bridge to the place built on shells. It is said that every year a ton of shells are washed up on the coast, which is then used to build houses or lie around as decoration. It is a beautiful place everyone should have seen once in their life!

The population around Joal Fadiouth is predominantly catholic, the only place in Senegal where schooling is compulsory. 

You can only visit the shell island with a mandatory guide. 

Joal Fadiouth is diverse and very different from Dakar. The people are curious and communicative. Remember, though, the village is impoverished. During the day you can move around the beach or the village without worry. But it would be best if you did not carry objects that look expensive too obviously. There is not much to do when it gets dark, so you should avoid being alone.

When you finally leave Joal Fadiouth, you will have experienced a different side of Senegal than in Dakar. The hustle and bustle of the big city will probably seem much more bearable after this day. Daytrips from Dakar are something you should consider if you want to get to know the country and its people better!

Joal Fadiouth

Popular tours

Get ready to travel Senegal

Best time to travel to Senegal:

The country has two seasons, the rainy and dry seasons. The best time to travel to Senegal is during the dry season, which runs from October to April. This is when temperatures are more relaxed, and there is less rainfall. The harmattan winds, which blow in from the Sahara Desert, also start to blow around this time. These winds can make conditions hot, dry, and dusty. However, they typically taper off by April when temperatures begin to climb again.

The renowned Saint Louis Jazz Festival is taking place in May.


Exchange enough cash and always have cash on hand before you head out of Dakar. 

Safety in Senegal

As female travelers, we felt very safe and respected in Senegal. Just be aware of your surroundings and try to avoid walking at night. 

Tap water

The water is not potable, so bring your Lifestraw Pro.

Challenges for the conscious traveler

Sunscreen: Protect marine life by wearing reef-friendly sunscreen.


Trash: Bring your Lifestraw Pro to keep your water cold, and avoid buying bottled water. A foldable food container and cutlery will go a long way, too!


Photography: People around Lac Rose and Île de Gorée are susceptible to photography, so be extra sensitive. 

tanzania travel Zanzibar beaches

Packing List Senegal

Not sure what to pack for your trip to Senegal? Check out our packing list for everything you need, from clothes to gear to eco-friendly toiletries.

Enjoy your trip without worrying about what you forgot to bring, and Immerse yourself in the culture of Senegal with all the right gear.

Traveling Senegal?

Senegal Itinerary

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