Some of Senegal’s most interesting places are highlighted on the map. Hover your mouse over each one to see some information. Find out more about The Great Mosque of Touba, claimed to be the most visited Islamic pilgrimage site in West Africa. Or learn about Retba Lake and why it's called the 'Pink Lake'.

Development

‘People are the real wealth of a nation.’ This is the belief of the United Nations, whose Millenium Development Goals provide a framework for improving the lives of millions.

It helps when nations are peaceful, stable and growing economically. But where even the poorest countries focus on health, education and creating fairer societies, more Africans have the chance of a better life.

Agriculture & Famine

A quarter of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is undernourished and famines can impact whole regions.

Land is available to grow more food locally, but investment is needed in  technologies such as irrigation for land to be used effectively. Farmers must also adapt to climate change if they are to feed the continent's rising population.

Sine-Saloum Delta

This large area of mangrove forests, lagoons, islands and rivers is home to numerous little fishing villages and a variety of wildlife, including pelicans, flamingos and monkeys.

Casamance Region

A boat trip down the Casamance River is one way to explore this area, which is notable for its tropical vegetation, varied wildlife, isolated beaches and dolphin-watching opportunities.  Highlights of this geographically isolated region include Karabane Island.

Foods

Africa has some of the most distinctive cuisines and flavours in the world. Food varies widely, but there are commonalities across regions. Depending on what's grown locally, dishes are also influenced by the traders, immigrants and rulers who settled across the continent. Arab, Asian and European elements blend in with traditional African cooking.

Games & Sport

Africa is home to arguably the oldest-recorded games and sports. While some are only known through archaeology, modern-day games and sports such as Mancala/Mankala and Nubian wrestling are very much alive today.

Of course, new sports have come along to claim the attention of Africans. You may have heard of one - it's called football.

Health

Africa has a high number of communicable diseases, which place a huge burden on healthcare systems. The vast majority of malaria cases and HIV/AIDS-related deaths occur in Africa; these two diseases currently represent the greatest threats.

With low investment in healthcare and a severe shortage of medical staff, many countries struggle to meet the health needs of their people.

Retba Lake

Set in a landscape of dunes covered with palm trees and beefwood, Retba Lake is known as the Pink Lake. Its pinkish-coloured water is caused by cyan bacteria. In some lights the lake appears purple. Salt is harvested by locals from here.

Gorée Island

This small island, just 900 metres by 300, is a poignant reminder of the horrific West African slave trade. From the beginning of the sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth century, it was here that men, women, and children were locked up and then shipped away to the New World.

Guiers Lake

The Guiers Lake, or Lac de Guiers, is the major source of fresh water for the city of Dakar. Though Dakar is hundreds of kilometres south of the lake, water is able to get to the city through underground pipes. The lake is also an Important Bird Area and is home to many birds including the flamingo.

Climate

Africa is a massive continent, with a range of climates. Some regions are hot and dry, like the Sahara, Kalahari and Namib deserts. Other parts are wet or covered in tropical rainforest. Conditions also vary by altitude, from the dry salt pans of the Danakil Depression (one of the lowest points on earth) to the snowcaps (at certain times) of the highest mountains. Weather-wise, Africa has it all!

Mali map

Explore Mali

Learn more about some of the most important places and features of Mali.

Touba

One of Senegal’s largest cities by population, Touba is the holy city of Mouridism and the burial place of its founder, Shaikh Aamadu Bàmba Mbàkke. The Great Mosque of Touba, claimed to be the most visited Islamic pilgrimage site in West Africa, was constructed in 1926 to house his tomb.

Bassari country

Located within the Kédougou Region, the traditional village life of the Bedik and the Bassari people continues undisturbed by tourism in the mountains of Bassari country.  Niokolo Koba, the largest of Senegal's National Parks and a World Heritage Site, is located in the heart of the region.

Dakar

Lying on the Cap Vert peninsula, Senegal’s capital city is the country's administrative, communications and economic centre. Its strategic position on the western edge of Africa makes it a major regional port. Dakar's architecture is an interesting mix of colonial-style villas, old quarter buildings and contemporary structures and skyscrapers.

Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary

This bird sanctuary is home to almost 400 species of bird, the most notable being the pelicans and the flamingos. Many birds rest in the sanctuary’s wetland habitat after crossing the Sahara Desert during their migration. The sanctuary is found on the bank of the River Senegal on the western coast.

Senegal River

The Senegal River is 1,790 km long and forms the northern border between Senegal and Mauritania. It has many sources, including the Faleme River which begins in northern Guinea and flows north forming the border between Guinea and Senegal, and later Mali and Senegal, before joining other tributaries of the Senegal River.

Poverty

Across the rest of the world, absolute poverty has halved over recent decades, but in Africa it has barely fallen.

About two-fifths of the population of sub-Saharan Africa survive week by week on what someone in the UK earns from just one hour's work on the minimum wage.

History

The first humans are thought to have lived in Africa and powerful African empires formed from the medieval age onwards.

However, today's African nations were shaped by the European powers who colonised this vast continent. Having gained their independence, many African countries are still coming to terms with the legacy left by their colonisers.

Children

Around one in six children born in sub-Saharan Africa don't live to see their fifth birthday and life can be tough for those who do.

What are the common challenges facing African children and how do their lives compare with those of children in the UK?

Geography & Wildlife

With its varied geography and diverse habits, the African continent is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. Though famous for its 'big game' animals, Africa has huge numbers of fish, mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and insect species, as well as many tree, plant and flower species.

Women

A woman’s status varies by country and region across Africa. In many parts, women struggle against inequality in laws, education, pay and domestic responsibilities.

Women’s health is also at risk from traditional practices such as early marriage. But with better education, girls can make more informed choices, leading to the greater development of African nations.

Senegal MapSine-Saloum DeltaDakarGorée IslandRetba LakeToubaBassari countryCasamance RegionMali mapGuiers LakeDjoudj National Bird SanctuarySenegal River