South of the Petite Côte and its hotels, the Atlantic Ocean mixes with the Saloum River in the delta of the same name. Irrigated from all sides by the many tributaries - locally known as 'bolongs' - or by freshwater rivulets, the region is usually visited via the mangrove on board a pirogue or boat. In this way, you will uncover land and seascapes which are more or less green depending on the season. A sanctuary for birds, this 18,000 acre reserve shelters egrets, seagulls, pink flamingos, cormorants and eagles. This foretaste of Casamance is also a delight for fishing enthusiasts because the water is always teeming with numerous varieties of fish. The islands of the Saloum are aptly nicknamed Senegalese Polynesia, with their fine sand beaches, all of which are more beautiful than the next. Meeting the inhabitabts of the fishing villages is always a pleasure, as they are very welcoming and friendly people.
Here, fishing is one of the inevitable activities. Trolling is a method used to catch barracuda fish and jacks, hand-line fishing is practised to snare red snappers or African snook and surf coasting is good for catching stingray, snook and sea trout. Finally, bottom-line fishing gives you the possibility of tasting carp of all different colours. From June to December, there is more fish in the water than during the rest of the year because of the heat.
Sunsets over the Saloum can be breathtaking. The Saloum landscapes are always spectacular and they ought to be explored on board a pirogue or on a road trip so that you'll be able to discover the village islands, baobab forests, salt marshes and the isolated islands, such as Sangomar. Also take the time to admire the wildlife and vegetation with knowledgable guides!
Do not miss out on the pretty village of Fadiouth (and its cemetery) - it is the main village of the Serer ethnic group and it is entirely built from seashells.
You ought to know that water is brackish everywhere in the Saloum delta.
You must get vaccinated against yellow fever and follow an anti-malaria treatment before travelling to Senegal. As mosquitoes do not like saltwater, it is best to stay near a seawater riverlet than close to freshwater.
Trousers and long boots are recommended for walking in the bush.
As far as haggling is concerned, engage in conversation and after a bit of time the price should drop to the desired level.
Never take a photo of the local people without asking their permission beforehand!
Do not swim in rivers or stagnant water, because they are filled with all sorts of parasites which are extremely dangerous.
Only drink bottled or sterilised water!
When shopping, be vigilant, leave aside bags, shoes and belts made of crocodile skin to discourage poaching.
All Senegalese specialities, especially those prepared with fish which was caught the same day!
Even in the delta of the Saloum River, you will find a wide choice of masks, carved wooden sculptures, leather objects, colourful fabric and jewels to bring back as souvenirs.
At the gates of the Saloum Delta National Park, the Domaine des ...