WEST AFRICA: SENEGAL
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Senegal is a country in West Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal
River that borders it to the east and north. Senegal is externally
bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Mauritania to the north,
Mali to the east, and Guinea and Guinea-Bissau to the south; internally
it almost completely surrounds the Gambia, namely on the north, east
and south, except for Gambia's short Atlantic coastline. Senegal
covers a land area of almost 197,000 square kilometres and has an
estimated population of about 13 million.
Tourism in Senegal is a vital part of this West African nation's
economy. The Senegalese landscape consists mainly of the rolling
sandy plains of the western Sahel which rise to foothills in the
southeast. Senegal is known across Africa for its musical heritage, due
to the popularity of mbalax, which originated from the Serer percussive
tradition especially the Njuup.
WEST AFRICA: SENEGAL
Known for its mild climate, attractive beaches and great fishing,
Senegal has long been highly regarded by European tourists,
mostly French and Belgian. U.S. tourists often AfricanAmericans are increasing in numbers, drawn in particular by
the historic slave trading post of Goree Island.
Principal cities of interest include the capital, Dakar; Saint-Louis,
an old colonial town; and the Mouride holy centre of Touba.
Gorée Island, formerly a centre of the West African slave trade
and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, draws many visitors.
Senegal has a small but developing National Park and Reserve
System. Notable among these are the Langue de Barbarie
National Park and Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary which provide
wildlife habitat in the dunes and mangrove swamps surrounding
the mouth of the Senegal River near picturesque city of SaintLouis. The Niokolo-Koba National Park is a World Heritage Site
and natural protected area
A large variety of wild animals, including hippopotomii,
elephants, and lions are protected in the country National Parks.
The Basse Casamance and the Saloum delta National Park, in
the far southwest, includes both ecotourism and tropical forest
excursions, and a popular coastal beach resort aimed at foreign
To the north, the colonial island town of Saint-Louis is visited for
its long history and colonial architecture. There are also safari
trips offered to see wildlife, perhaps limited by east or South