Eco-friendly travel guide to Dakar advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Dakar, Senegal.
- Air quality: 3 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 2 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 3 / 5
- Public transportation: 4 / 5
- Parks: 4 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
- Locals' English level: 1 / 5
- Safety: 3 / 5
- Accommodation: US$10 - $300
- Budget per day: US$40- $600
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Dakar is the largest and capital of Senegal, which is in West Africa. The city is an Atlantic port on the Cap-Vert peninsula. Dakar is a major financial centre, home to a dozen national and regional banks, including the BCEAO, which manages the unified West African CFA currency and numerous international organizations, NGOs, and global research centres. Various things can be done to ensure responsible travel, and these include:
- Using Public transport such as trains, trams, buses, and streetcars that are available across the city.
- Purchase locally made products.
- Eat local food. Numerous restaurants serve local dishes that you can try.
- Avoid littering and try to recycle whenever possible.
- Find non-profit organizations and try to support them either financially or by volunteering.
Air Quality and Pollution
Dakar's air quality is relatively poor; this is because the air in the city has reached a high level of pollution. Several reasons are considered responsible for the city's pollution, namely natural pollution and pollution from industry and cars. Natural pollution is caused by the harmattan, an unpleasant wind that blows in dust from the Sahara every year during the dry season. Also, the population growth has increased the number of buses and cars in the city, with most of these being second-hand vehicles that pollute more. Lastly, fuel imported to Africa contains much higher levels of sulphur, meaning cars use dirty fuel.
Water pollution is also relatively high in Dakar. Numerous factors cause numerous factors such as littering and poorly managed solid waste, and industries dump their waste products in the water. This has made most water sources unclean and unreliable.
As is typical with most cities where there is bustling life, there is bound to be some noise caused by cars, businesses, and people as they go about their daily lives. Dakar's noise pollution is relatively reasonable, although it is much higher in areas with many construction sites.
Respect the Culture
The city's culture has always been structured around family, with strict and clear boundaries between men and women. Their beliefs are a mixture of Christian, Islam, and secular beliefs and activities. Polygamy is considered normal across the city. Senegalese people also have different birth and death rituals that you might find weird or odd, but it is important not to judge or show outright disrespect or disregard of their beliefs.
Top 10 Places to Visit
There are several places in and around Dakar that offer a fantastic sightseeing experience. The city has many historical, architectural, and outdoor wonders that will keep you entertained throughout your stay. Below is a list of the top 10 places to visit in the city.
- Île de Gorée is a tiny, car-free island off Dakar's coast, which is known for its role in the 15th- to 19th-century Atlantic slave trade. There are colonial buildings on the narrow streets of the island, including the House of Slaves, which is now a museum. The island adequately captures the history of Senegal. There are numerous sites to see across the island, and if you want to explore and enjoy fully, you can dedicate at least half a day to the visit. There are several restaurant and accommodation options on the island for those who are interested. Many vendors sell various wares from paintings to drums to key chains.
- Lac Rose, also known as Lake Retba, is located about 30 km north-east of Dakar. The name came from the pink waters caused by Dunaliella salina algae and is known for its high salt content, up to 40% in some areas. The high saline content of the water gives it a refreshing feeling when you go swimming inside. Local Senegalese people extract salt from the lake, and it is an exciting thing to witness. Besides the view of the lake, there are quad bike rides to the nearby ocean and dunes. Also, there are many touristic shops and offers where you can buy souvenirs.
- IFAN Museum is one of the oldest museums in West Africa. The museum is both historical and educational and is home to a small but impressive collection. The permanent exhibitions are mainly of art from West Africa, such as masks, instruments, statues, etc. There is very little explanation about the collection, with most of the information there being in French, so it is wise to either bring a tour guide who speaks English or Google translate if you do not understand French. You can also explore the grounds as there is a small art space with some cool stuff.
- Duex Memelles are twin hills located in Ouakam, a suburban commune of Dakar. The name comes from the French term "Mamelle," which simply means breast. The hills are of volcanic origin, although they have been dormant for a while. The taller of the two is just over 105 meters high, but they tower over that landscape as a flat area surrounds them. There is a lighthouse on the hill that is closer to the sea.
- The African Renaissance Monument is the tallest statue in Africa and stands at an astounding height of 52 meters. The copper statue is located on top of one of the twin hills known as Collines des Mamelles and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean in the Ouakam suburb. The statue was built to symbolize the future prosperity of the African continent. The tour of the museum is standard with a multilingual guide, and there are beautiful art exhibitions. There is an elevator that takes people to the hat of the man, which is the peak of the statue, for a fee of US$5.
- Ngor is a small island on the Northern coast of Dakar with a traditional village. The island is small, and the overall tour takes less than 30 minutes. However, it is worth visiting as it is beautiful and calm and a great place to escape the city's hustle and bustle. The gorgeous beaches have lovely beachside restaurants as well as places that sell souvenirs. It gets rather crowded on weekends, so you should visit during the week if you don't like crowds. The island offers a tour via boat ride that takes just over 5 minutes. Also, the island offers an amazing view of the sunset.
- Mosque of the Divinity is a vast and brilliant piece of architecture located right next to the sea. The beach nearby is striking and has many artisan boats and a fish market on the shore a few meters from the mosque. The general environment is calm and relaxing and also safe to visit and explore. The Muslim congregation is very friendly, and they even offer you traditional clothes if you want to see inside the mosque. You also can pay a short visit to the small fishing village adjacent to the Mosque of Divinity.
- Leopold Sedar Senghor French Institute is a French cultural organization for the diffusion of French culture in Senegal and promotes Senegal's culture and, more generally, cultural diversity. The building is a clean and quiet place, where you can learn fascinating facts, meet people, and it is a reputable place to learn French. It is also famous for cultural events, exhibitions, concerts, theatre, and modern dance. The on-site restaurant is excellent and offers several delicious dishes at a reasonable price.
- Village Des Arts is a small community built by Senegalese artists in Dakar that, amongst other things, serves as a great place to meet and exchange with local artists. The village is made up of small studios where artists display their stuff, with most of the artists living there. You need to schedule your visit and get the unique opportunity to visit these genius artists and their priceless work that offers a great insight into Senegalese art culture. The village is lacking when it comes to work by female artists, though.
- Marché Sandaga is one of the most popular markets across the city that sells basically everything from jewellery, clothing, and furniture to locally made sandals. The market has everything from traditional Senegalese good to modern items. They tend to charge higher prices to tourists so you can dress like a local or be accompanied by one of the freelance tour guides that you find outside your hotel to get the best prices.
Dakar is a fast-growing city, both economically and in population. It is one of the most popular travel destinations in Western Africa and is known as the ‘gateway’ to Africa. There are numerous things to see and do in the city to ensure that you get the best experience from vacationing there. There are several world-class restaurants, shopping malls, parks, and museums that will keep you busy and occupied. The city also has a rich culture and history, and there are numerous opportunities for visitors to learn and experience both. The food in the city is quite adventurous and worth trying as well, if only so you can have a story to tell about the time you ate ants. The choice to visit Dakar is without a doubt a great one, and it will be worth your time and every cent spent. Keep reading to be able to find out more about this fantastic tourist destination.
There are many parks in the city. Some are garden sort of parks, and others are of memorial or historical value. Listed below are the most popular parks in the city.
- Zone B Amitié Public Garden is an excellent and friendly place with a tranquil and cosy atmosphere. The park is an ideal place for family relaxation and fresh air, especially in the evenings. There are several vendors who sell various things, including traditional dishes. It is also a great place for picnics as well as just hanging out as a family.
- Central Park is an amusement park in the city that serves as an ideal place for children and family outings. There are many exciting rides and activities for both adults and children that are well-built and meet safety regulations. The activities are charged individually, and the prices of the tickets are reasonable and affordable. The park also has a mini fast food restaurant that serves simple but delicious food at an affordable price. Transport to the park is easy to find as public transport options are available that go straight to the park.
- Publique Garden is a beautiful, well-maintained garden where it is good to rest. It's a clean and calm and quite popular park with fitness fanatics who come to the park to play games and exercise. There is a vast area of open space and a few swings, so children are able to play and have a great time while their parents watch.
- Foret di Bandia is a safari park where animals such as giraffes, rhinoceroses, zebras, and other wildlife are set free and allowed to roam as they please. It offers a fantastic experience in that you can encounter all types of animals even as you walk. The park is divided into two parts, one that is solely for exploring and discovering using 4x4 and discovery, and the other part which is more luxurious and has a ranch filled with an amazing swimming pool and private lodge for those who want to spend the night and wake up in a quiet environment with fresh air. The place is kid-friendly, has convenient amenities, and is protected by rangers all time. The restaurant offers high-quality food that is worth every cent.
- Isles des Madeleines National Park is one of Dakar's most beautiful national parks, known for its incredible views and the rocks' architecture, and its rare species of insects and birds. The park is located a short distance boat ride on the Atlantic ocean off the coast of Dakar. The park is very hot, so you should rent an umbrella. You can explore on your own. However, it is wiser to as for a guide to give you a tour on the island. There are several activities including, many local boats to rent and a small rocky mountain with a beautiful shallow beach to swim or go snorkelling. There is a small hill with a lovely bush that is a fantastic place to take photos. The park is a great place for people interested in history, geology, and biology. It would be best if you remembered to carry your food as it can take hours until the next boat comes through, and you are picked up.
- Park Hann is a great expanse of green surrounded by a beautiful lake inside and great zoological park. It doubles as both a simple park and a zoological park. The park is a cool place to walk around and jog. There are also several species of animals, both local and exotic such as elk, lions, crocodiles, monkeys, and snakes. The place is clean and is excellent for family time or even for a solo trip as it has a relaxing environment.
Dakar is a coastal-city, meaning that several beaches offer different experiences to those that visit. Below is a list of the two most popular beaches in the city.
- Virage Plage is a long beach that stretches for several kilometres and is popular with families and friend groups. It is located a five-minute drive from the airport. There are several fun things that you can do at the beach, including watching the glorious sunset, playing various ball games, renting surfboards, etc. You can also rent mats, loungers, and beach umbrellas at several locations, allowing you to have a relaxing time. The beach is not too popular with swimmers as it is quite rocky. There are several hawkers selling fruit, sugar-crusted peanuts, woodcarvings, and beach towels, to name a few.
- Yoff Plage is a large sandy beach covered in a beautiful haze made up of dust blown in from the Sahara and the damp mist that often hangs in the air during harmattan season. The beach offers a beautiful view of a spectacular white mosque. Women are forbidden from walking directly past the gates. Many myths surround the beach, and there are sometimes private ritual cleansing ceremonies held there under cover of darkness. You can rent a mat from one of the private beach areas and spend the day relaxing, enjoying the wind in your hair and the salt on your skin. This is also a great spot for those new to surfing.
- Monument du Millénaire is a modern monument that was built in 2001 to celebrate the beginning of a new era to the African continent. The monument is an excellent and calm place where some couples come every afternoon to sit down and enjoy each other’s company. It looks out at the ocean and offers a great view of the waves and either sunset or sunrise.
- The African Renaissance Monument is the tallest statue in Africa and stands at an astounding height of 52 meters. The copper statue is located on top of one of the twin hills known as Collines des Mamelles and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean in the Ouakam suburb. The statue was built to symbolize the future prosperity of the African continent. The tour of the museum is standard with a multilingual guide, and there are beautiful art exhibitions. There is an elevator that takes people all the way to the hat of the man, which is the peak of the statue for a fee of US$5.
- Canon de Navaronnes is a colossal canon left from the French Colonial Age that goes 5 meters below ground. There is an old rusty staircase that goes down the middle of the canon that allows you to see all the way to the bottom. There are many small shops around where you can buy beautiful local made items at reasonable prices. The experience is better if you have a guide with you to explain the history.
Dakar was the epicentre of the slave trade during the slave buying era, and as such, there are numerous museums that commemorate this particular history of the city. There are also other museums that focus on the history of the city as a whole. These various museums are worth a visit to ensure that you learn more about the city you are visiting. Below is a list of some of the most prominent museums in the city.
- The House of Slaves and its Door of No Return is a museum and memorial to the Atlantic slave trade on Gorée Island, 3 km off Dakar's coast that was opened in 1962 to memorialize the final exit point of the slaves from Africa. Many slaves were held in this building for different lengths of time, with the estimated figures being estimated 15million-20million slaves over 300 years. It offers a very sombre experience as you learn the history and see the holding cells. There are local guides at the deck who are passionate and knowledgeable, and you should get one if you want to learn about the history of the island and the house of slaves.
- Musée Leopold Sedar Senghor was the home of Senegal's first president that was turned into a museum. The residence is built in traditional African mud home style and currently serves a museum about the first president's life. The interior design is amazing and is a combination of both African and European characteristics. There are several guides in the museum, but very few of them speak English, so if you don't understand French, you should do some research in advance.
- Place of African Remembrance is a museum that was built in tribute to the African continent and its most significant figures. These figures range from intellectuals and revolutionaries to writers and thinkers. It celebrates the contribution of Africa's heroes and highlights the influence of Africa on the world.
There are several traditional Senegalese dishes that are found in Dakar. Eating different local dishes is part of being a tourist as you get to experience various dishes that you probably could never come across anywhere else. Several restaurants and street vendors sell different dishes that you could try, whether it is out of curiosity or so that you can have a story to tell later
Traditional Local Restaurants
One of the best things about travelling across the world is trying the various local cuisines available in that area. Traditional restaurants are, in most cases, the best place to experience not only the taste of local foods but maybe even a bit of the culture behind said dishes. Dakar has many traditional local restaurants that you should try. Below is a list of the most famous traditional local restaurants in the city.
- Restaurant Le Lagon 1 is an amazing restaurant that is in an amazing location with the ocean on three sides. They offer a great selection of traditional food, which rarely needs any fancy add ons, so you can just keep your orders simple. I recommend keeping the orders simple, as the fresh food tastes great without add ons. Recommend the grilled grouper with just lemon for example without any sauces. The location has definitely found its voice. Would go again.
- La Calebasse doubles as a restaurant and an art gallery. The restaurant is located on the third floor, which is convenient after exploring the first two floors. There is impressive décor which consists of a staircase that is lined with photography, paintings and masks from the continent and two giant peanut sculptures (Senegal's most famous crop) take centre stage in the restaurant. The food is always fresh and served family-style. The most popular dishes include Yassa (onions, garlic and lime) chicken and mafé (a meat stew cooked in a thick peanut sauce and served with rice) are some of the best in town served with a selection of sides – think attieké (manioc couscous), alokko (fried plantain) and white sweet potato fries. The restaurant is an easy walking distance from the lighthouse and African Renaissance Monument.
- Chez Loutcha is popular with tourists and is known for serving typical Senegalese dishes. The restaurant is simple and affordable and does not have a long wait before serving people. The food is good and is served in generous portions, with the popular dishes including Yassa and Loutcha’s thieboudienne. It is located in a central part of town and is not hard to find, with most taxi drivers knowing how to get there.
Vegetarian and Vegan
- Djinkoume House is a simple restaurant located in the heart of Dakar that offers vegan versions of the most popular Western African dishes. The menu lists a few plates, but if you order ahead, there are many more options that you can choose from. There is tofu from Togo in a Wagache leaves sauce, a 'brochette de soja' and other legumes and vegetable-based dishes on the menu.
- Annapurna Indian Restaurant is a well-loved vegan restaurant that offers an exciting menu made up mainly of Indian food with over ten vegetarian main dishes, some of which can be made vegan upon request. If you want the dishes to be strictly vegan, you need to ask the staff for vegan sides so that they can assist you.
- Dream Sports Bar & Lounge is an American style sports bar and restaurant that offers several choices for vegans, including house salad, veggie kebabs, fried vegan chicken nuggets, and smoothie bowl with fresh fruits. You need to specify that you want the vegan option when ordering. There is an outside deck with a view over the streets. The upstairs section of the lounge is an all-vegan smoothie and juice bar, Juice Junkie.
Street food is quite popular in Dakar as it is almost everywhere. There are a number of shops alongside the busiest roads, with a buzz of sounds, smells, voices, languages, and colours that sell street food. These shops vary in design from private garages converted into catering spaces, to metal and wooden kiosks on the side of the road or fixed to a wall. Some have simple tables set in the open air; some in full sun, while others, like breakfast sellers, tie sheets together to create a form of shelter.
The food is prepared in simple ways using simple tools such as stainless steel, plastic and glass containers with newspapers used for packaging. These canteens sell almost all dishes which are in some cases tastier than those found in fancy restaurants. If you easily get food poisoning, you should avoid eating street food.
Dakar is hot most parts of the year, which naturally means that the urge to hydrate is high as is typical with hot climates. There are a variety of non-alcoholic drinks, excluding water that are the preferred options during the extremely hot days. These include beverages such as soft drinks, lemonade, milkshake and even iced tea or coffee. On the colder days, especially during winter, the beverages of choice are usually hot with things like tea, coffee and warm milk being the most sought after drinks.
Dakar is a dominantly Muslim area, and thus people are expected not to drink alcohol, however, there are no existing laws that ban alcohol consumption, so there are several people, mainly members of the non-Muslim community that love to indulge in a few drinks. There are various brands of alcohol in the city, both local and international brews and people choose which one they prefer drinking. Some people prefer traditional brew as it is cheaper and in most cases more potent, while others prefer the international brands that are usually considered to be more classy.
The tap water in Dakar is not safe for drinking. In most cases, the locals might drink it because they don't have another choice, but if you are not used to it, and you have a weak stomach, it could have a catastrophic effect on you. It is important always to take extra precautions such as boiling the water before drinking it. Most people prefer to buy bottled water which costs $0.71 per 1.5-litre.
Organic foods are foods that are grown without artificial nutrients, pesticides or other chemicals. Eating organic has become a widespread trend where people are very selective about what they put in their bodies. There are several organic cafes which attract patrons of all ages who are careful about nutrition. There are many cafes in the city which cater specifically to this group of people. Below is a list of some of the organic cafes that one could try in the city:
- Lulu Café
- Matcha Café
- Pause Douceur
The local beer brewing industry in Dakar is made up mainly of traditional beer which is in most cases not documented. There are a few breweries that are coming up though and are making beer that is found in shops and bars for a lower price than imported brews. The most popular of these breweries is called Soboa.
Exploring Dakar and taking time to experience and enjoy the various activities in the city is something that both local and international tourists can enjoy. The city is an amazing tourist destination with various activities suit the multiple needs of people, depending on their preferences. There are museum tours, hikes, bike riding, game drives and multiple islands and beaches; to name a few. Some of the activities are in the city centre whilst others are just on the outskirts. It is essential to carefully plan your itinerary to ensure that you get the best out of what the city has to offer.
Yoga and Retreats
Yoga is traditionally a Hindu discipline that focuses on physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines. It has become quite popular across the globe, and there are yoga studios in almost every country in the world. There are several yoga studios in Dakar, although there are some which are preferred, including:
- Prism Yoga Dakar
- Shivani Yoga Dakar
- Yoga Almadies
There are numerous accommodation options across Dakar. The type of accommodation that you end up in depends on your budget, taste and sense of adventure. This section will look into some of the accommodation options that are available for tourists to select from.
Dakar has no hotels that were built to be eco-friendly or that enforce any strict rules on how to conserve the environment. There are a few hotels, however, that do come close, and these include:
- Novotel Dakar
- Hotel Farid
- La Villa Racine
Hostels and Guest Houses
- Dakar International House is a new hostel that offers a variety of rooms to suit the budgets of different groups of people. They have rooms perfectly ordered for students; a group of travellers and students with limited funds, as well as private and shared rooms. Dakar International House is located in a convenient area as it is 15 min by car from the main Airport of Dakar and there are many shops and restaurants nearby.
- Kingz Plaza Dakar offers clean, secure, comfortable and affordable rooms and bunk beds and is artistically decorated in bold colours and outfitted with well-chosen art and furnishing. Each room has satellite-tv with decoders, multimedia player, working desk, in-room air conditioning units, fridge, hot water, private bathroom en-suite. The rooms are non-smoking, but there is a designated smoking area.
For those who plan on staying in Dakar for a long time, staying in hotels might prove to be a bit too expensive. There are several apartments that are hired out for a minimum of one month, and these are more budget-friendly as they reduce costs on several levels. For one, apartments allow for self-catering, which means that you get to save as compared to having to buy all meals at hotels. Also, if you are staying as a group of friends or family, you can share the cost; unlike hotels which charge per head.
Couch surfing refers to staying with a host family that rents out a part of their house to tourists. This is a trend that is gaining popularity in Dakar. There are several websites where people who are willing, can put their homes on offer and tourists can book the one they find most interesting or convenient. One such website is simply called couch surfing.
There are numerous campsites across Dakar for those tourists who want to rough it, by living outside during their vacation. Camping offers a sense of adventure as it allows people to get the full outdoor experience and can be quite affordable. Camping provides a great experience, including the fresh night air as well as the magnificent night skies. Below are some of the more popular campsites in Dakar:
- Malika Surf Camp
- Camping Le Nomade
How to Get There
Several modes of transport can be used to travel to Dakar. People from surrounding cities usually travel to the city by bus or train. While those coming from further away commonly use aeroplanes.
Blaise Diagne International Airport is the main airport in the city that is responsible for both national and international flights. The airport has a reputation of being unreliable so be prepared for delays of up to 2 hours. The airport is 50km away from the city center and to travel from one area to the other, and you can use either a bus or a taxi. The journey from the city center to the airport takes about an hour, so you should include that time in your travel plans.
There are several professional companies that run bus companies from various countries such as Mali, Guinea, and Gambia etc. to Dakar. Some buses go straight to Dakar, while others only get up to other cities and you have to catch a connecting ride. There are also multiple bus companies which offer inter-city travel at reasonable prices. If you are using the international bus, make sure that you have valid multi-entry visas to avoid being inconvenienced.
There is no train that travels into Dakar.
Hitchhiking is quite a popular way of finding transport to Dakar as long as you stick to the major roads. There are many private vehicles, and the Senegalese are sympathetic towards hitchhikers. Most drivers are friendly, and in some cases, if it is almost evening, they might even offer you a place to sleep, then continue the journey in the morning. However, if you are not on the main roads, hitchhiking can be challenging, and you might end up having to walk long distances.
The primary method of travel around Senegal is by sept places which mean seven seats in French. These are questionable station wagons in which they will pack seven people so that you are basically sitting on the next person's lap throughout the journey. They usually have set prices to often-travelled locations, but they will always try to rip off tourists.
Dakar is one of the largest cities in Western Africa, thus moving around it can be complicated and needs to be well planned out. In as much as some tourist attractions are near each other, some are a bit far apart. There are several ways to move around within the city, as will be shown below.
The city is too big for an individual to be able to cover it all on foot. Several places are conveniently located a walking distance away from each other, and people can enjoy a leisurely walk from one place to the other as they enjoy the beautiful scenery. It is important to note that in as much as petty crime is low in Dakar, tourists tend to be the most common victims of small-time thieves. Women also need to be careful when walking around the city, especially at night.
It is relatively easy for people to rent bicycles either for the day, week or month, to use as they move around the city. Some apartments come with a bike rental option so that you can leave and come back easily. Bike rental is relatively cheap although you may need to check the price with a local first as they tend to overcharge you if you don’t know the price.
There are no active electric cars in the city yet.
The Dakar bus system, known as Dakar Demm Dikk (Dakar coming and going), is fairly dependable and runs across most parts of the city. The fares are reasonable although they cannot be transferred or refunded. There is no map to help you with the bus system, but there are several mobile apps, such as Talibi that can be used to track bus routes and travel times.
Tram, Train and Subway
Rail transport is not a common way of moving around Dakar.
There are many shopping centres in the city whereby tourists and locals alike can go for shopping. It is more sustainable to shop in local shops as well as to ensure that you do not only stick to one shop but try to spread the wealth by visiting different shops.
There are several markets across the city that are dedicated to selling fresh food. They sell both local and international food, processed or unprocessed. Some of these markets include:
- American food store
- Dakar Family Market
- Serigne Fallou Market
There are several flea markets across Dakar which offer both an exciting shopping experience and a chance to mingle with the locals. Most of them sell a variety of things at reasonable prices, some of which are found in local shops. However, they tend to double the price when selling to tourists. Some of these flea markets are:
- Marché Sandaga
- Marché soumbédioune
- Sandaga Market
Second Hand Stores
The trend of second-hand stores has caught the world by storm; numerous stores have opened where people can buy things they wouldn't usually afford for less than half the price. The most common ones in Dakar are:
- Colobane Marche Gambie Dakar Senegal
- VNS Sénégal
- Leyze Velo
People have become more cautious about how their actions and choices affect the environment and have started doing things to ensure that they reduce their carbon footprint. There are several eco-friendly designers in Dakar, although they are still trying to grow their names. The most popular brands are:
- Mukupa Dakar Collective, which focuses on designing hand-crafted colourful and sustainable clothing.
- Shoes by Ida Dakar is a brand that makes unique and handmade shoes using the Wax print fabric (100% cotton) in a mix of Scandinavian and West-African aesthetics. The brand also offers fair wages and good working conditions.
The recycling process in Dakar is not yet entirely efficient. Trash piles up in most of the city's disposal sites and most of the recycling are done by men and women who scavenge the city dumps. They collect aluminium cans, glass and plastic bottles etc. and find ways to reuse them. For example, some tailors will collect strips plastic packaging and sew them into vast sheets which will later become waterproof roofs.
Dakar does not have any professional sanitary disposal sites, and almost 70% of the solid waste generated by the city is deposited at numerous unauthorized waste disposal sites, meaning that the country has a severe waste problem.
Work and Study Abroad
There are many job opportunities for foreigners in Dakar, as long as you have the right qualifications. Dakar is home to numerous international institutions, NGOs and diplomatic missions, who tend to offer most of the job opportunities to foreign professionals. There are six universities in the city; therefore, there are numerous opportunities for those who wish to study there. The primary language of instruction is French though, so you need to check with the university and program you want.
There are several programs for exchange students in Dakar, depending on where you come from. The programs effectively place students in participating schools and help them to sort out issues such as accommodation and jobs if necessary. Erasmus Dakar is a program that helps exchange students to find employment in the city.
An au pair is a young foreign person, who helps with housework or childcare in exchange for food, a room, and some pocket money. The concept of Au pairs is just starting in Dakar and is not yet that common. Several agencies and websites connect potential Au pairs with families that need them. One of these websites is “great au pair”.
There are several areas across Dakar that are always open to volunteers. In most cases, volunteers are genuinely trying to help those who are less fortunate, but there are a few people who misuse the opportunity. Of the many areas across Dakar which you can volunteer at long term or even for a short time as you visit the city, the most popular those who deal with vulnerable children, sustainable development and poverty eradication.