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Safari - allah.

Portrait de Lamine BA

Khadija, Defa, Maria, les trois nymphes qui forment le groupe musical Safari , viennent de signer leur retour sur la scène musicale sénégalaise avec le lancement de leur nouvelle vidéo, "Allah".

Safari (ph) Facebook Offciel

En ce mois de "congé" pour la plupart des musiciens sénégalais, les protégées de Gelongal viennent de lancer leur toute nouvelle vidéo, elles se mettent toutefois dans l'air du temps, en adaptant un titre de Maher Zain qui est un chanteur, auteur, compositeur et producteur suédois d'origine libanaise. Ses chansons, mélange de R&B et de World Music, se distinguent par des textes marqués par une forte influence musulmane. Son premier album  Thank You Allah  sorti en 2009, a connu un grand succès sur la scène internationale, et battu des records de ventes dans beaucoup de pays. Pour Safari, cette adaptation est une manière de souhaiter un bon Ramadan à tous les musulmans à travers le monde. Ce titre "Allah" est la deuxieme vidéo de l'album du groupe Safari,  Inata . Leur style est un vrai mélange. Une variété musicale (Rap, R&B, Reggae, Dance hall, Acoustique, Pop, Mbalax). Elles chantent en plusieurs langues: wolof, pular, français et anglais. Créé en 2007, le groupe Safari qui signifie: Savoir, Ambition, Feeling de l’Art pour la Réussite de l’Innovation est un groupe de filles que "le destin a réuni pour une aventure artistique prometteuse".

Khadiatou Bayo alias Khadija chanteuse, et chargé de la communication du groupe, était étudiante en 2ème année en Marketing et Communication à l’école supérieur de gestion (Esup), a attrapé le virus de la musique en 2007. Cette passion n’entrave en rien ses études supérieures.

Defa , de son vrai nom Khadiatou Sow auteure, et lead vocale a commencé la musique en 2005. Après un passage chez Fafadi aussi, elle sera membre fondatrice du groupe Afican Family. En 2005 elle sort un single intitulé Wor Ngama .

Mariétou Koté Cissé alias Maria auteure, compositeur et lead vocale a fait ses premiers pas dans la musique en 2003. Elle a aussi fait un passage chez Fafadi puis chez Mehdi en tant que choriste. Cette expérience lui a permis de sortir son premier single intitulé Toi et Moi.

La rencontre de cette bande de jeunes filles s'est faite au Lycée. En effet, Maria et Khadija partageaient la même classe au Lycée Maurice de la Fosse. Chemin faisant, le groupe s’est élargi avec l’arrivée d'autres membres: Zouk, Betty, Defa et Tima. Ensemble elles formèrent le groupe «Clean Deal» qui n’a pas duré très longtemps. De ses cendres, naîtra le groupe Safari qui a fait le pari de survivre. Pleines d’ambition, elles entendent bouleverser la hiérarchie et se faire une place de choix sur la scène musicale africaine.

Découvrez la magnifique vidéo réalisée par Gelongal

Pour suivre le groupe sur Facebook, cliquez ici .

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Roam Serengeti Safaris

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20 Captivating Safari Songs for Your African Adventure

  • June 20, 2023
  • , Safari Resources

Safari songs

Embarking on an African safari is an exhilarating experience, where nature’s wonders and wildlife harmonize in perfect synergy. To enhance this incredible journey, we have curated a list of 20 sensational songs that capture the spirit of Africa. From timeless classics like Toto’s “Africa” to rhythmic Afrobeat melodies, these tunes will immerse you in the vibrant rhythm of the continent, transforming your safari into an unforgettable musical adventure .

“Africa” by Toto

Toto’s iconic track “Africa” is an anthem that perfectly encapsulates the mystique and allure of the African continent. It’s one of the most popular and familiar songs about Africa—and makes for an incredible experience should it start to rain during your adventure. For Americans, it stands atop our safari songs list.

“Soul Makossa” by Manu Dibango

Manu Dibango’s “Soul Makossa” is a legendary Afrobeat hit, known for its infectious rhythm and captivating energy.

“Yeke Yeke” by Mory Kanté

Mory Kanté’s “Yeke Yeke” is a captivating blend of traditional West African sounds and contemporary beats, guaranteed to get you moving.

“Sweet Mother” by Prince Nico Mbarga

Prince Nico Mbarga’s “Sweet Mother” is a timeless Nigerian highlife classic that celebrates the unconditional love of mothers.

“Pata Pata” by Miriam Makeba

Miriam Makeba’s “Pata Pata” is an uplifting Afro-pop song that will make you want to dance and sing along.

“Soweto Blues” by Miriam Makeba ft. Hugh Masekela

Miriam Makeba’s poignant collaboration with Hugh Masekela in “Soweto Blues” captures the struggles and resilience of the South African people.

“Zombie” by Fela Kuti

Fela Kuti ‘s “Zombie” is a powerful Afrobeat protest song that criticizes the military regime in Nigeria, showcasing Kuti’s musical activism.

“Sorcerer” by Fela Kuti

“Fela Kuti’s “Sorcerer” is a mesmerizing Afrobeat composition that showcases his unmatched talent as a musician and bandleader.

“Yègellé Tezeta” by Mulatu Astatke

Mulatu Astatke’s “Yègellé Tezeta” is a sublime Ethiopian jazz piece that effortlessly blends traditional melodies with modern influences.

“Love and Death” by Ebo Taylor

Ebo Taylor ‘s “Love and Death” is a soul-stirring Afrobeat gem that combines infectious grooves with poignant lyrics.

“Aye” by Davido

Davido’s “Aye” is a chart-topping Nigerian Afrobeats hit that exudes joy and celebration.

“Jerusalema” by Master KG ft. Nomcebo Zikode

“Jerusalema” by Master KG ft. Nomcebo Zikode is an infectious South African house song that became a global sensation.

“Waving Flag” by K’naan

K’naan’s “Waving Flag” is an inspiring anthem that celebrates unity and resilience, originally released for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

“Kuliko Jana” by Sauti Sol

Sauti Sol’s “Kuliko Jana” is a beautiful Swahili ballad that reflects on the importance of cherishing the present moment.

“Khona” by Mafikizolo ft. Uhuru

Mafikizolo’s “Khona” is an energetic South African Afro-house track that will make you want to dance to its infectious rhythm.

“Joromi” by Sir Victor Uwaifo

Sir Victor Uwaifo’s “Joromi” is a Nigerian highlife classic that showcases his unique blend of indigenous sounds and western influences.

“Nakupenda” by Ali Kiba ft. Christian Bella

Ali Kiba’s “Nakupenda” is a Swahili love song with a captivating melody that will serenade your soul.

“Sara” by Oumou Sangaré

Oumou Sangaré’s “Sara” is a powerful song that addresses social issues and showcases her mesmerizing vocals.

“Simi Yadech” by Amadou & Mariam

Amadou & Mariam’s “Simi Yadech” is a joyful Afro-pop tune that will transport you to the vibrant streets of Mali.

“Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” by Shakira

Shakira’s “Waka Waka” became an anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, blending pop and African rhythms to create an uplifting song.

As you embark on your African safari adventure, these 20 captivating safari songs will serve as the perfect soundtrack, elevating your experience to new heights. From the iconic melodies of Toto’s “Africa” to the mesmerizing beats of Afrobeat legends like Fela Kuti and Mulatu Astatke, let the music of Africa transport you to a realm of wonder and excitement on your journey through the wild. Immerse yourself in the rhythmic tapestry of the continent and create unforgettable memories amidst nature’s symphony.

Ready to start planning your next safari adventure? Check out some of our most popular safaris that explore Tanzania’s incredible natural parks landscapes and the wildlife that inhabits them. 

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Africa , All Destinations

Safaris in senegal: are they worth it.

safari music senegal

I did a few safaris in Senegal on my recent trip to the country. Here’s what I made out of them and what to expect if you go on one!

“We have one rhino, I named him Kevin”, Mamadou, our safari guide, informed us. “Hopefully we’ll see him today!”

We were on a bush drive in Fathala Wildlife Reserve, one of the most renowned safari parks in West Africa. 

But, before visiting Senegal, I didn’t know that such a place existed. Aren’t safaris more of an East or Southern Africa thing? 

Well, yes, they are – but a few nature reserves across Senegal (and in other places in West Africa) are opening up, some focusing on their own native nature, others introducing or re-introducing animals. 

Does Senegal have safaris? 

Yes, Senegal has safaris.

To clear up any confusion, let’s look at the definition of a safari. 

The Cambridge dictionary says it’s : an organized journey to look at, or sometimes hunt, wild animals, especially in Africa. 

Note: especially in Africa, not exclusively !

Technically, we have “sea safaris” near where we live on the North Cornwall coast (to look out for seals and birds, rather than giraffes and rhinos!). 

What are safaris in Senegal like? 

safari music senegal

While Senegal does have safaris, they aren’t as “wild” as those in East Africa. 

You don’t have a vast savannah where giraffes and lions wander over – don’t expect the Great Migration! 

But what it does have are reserves of various sizes where they have re-introduced animals (rhinos, giraffe, zebra and antelope all used to live in Senegal, but they became extinct).

This is a similar set-up to national parks in South Africa, although admittedly, the South African equivalents are a lot bigger (Kruger is over 19000 km² compared to Fathala in Senegal which is 60km² – although the lesser-visited Senegalese Nikolo-Koba National Park is 9000 km²). 

I haven’t done an East African safari, so I cannot compare the two. 

But I will say that Bandia reserve, with limited tracks, felt a little more claustrophobic and “zoo-like”, whereas Fathala didn’t – it seemed like there was much more space and it felt like we were going deep into the bush on gnarly roads before we spotted some animals. 

Where to go on safari in Senegal 

The three main places to go on safari in Senegal are: Bandia Wildlife Reserve, Fathala Wildlife Reserve and Nikolo-Koba National Park.

Bandia Wildlife Reserve

Zebra at Bandia Wildlife Reserve, Senegal

Sitting equidistant from Dakar and the beaches of Senegal’s Petite Cote , Bandia Wildlife Reserve is certainly convenient. 

If you drive to the park independently, you can hop in a safari jeep for just 18, or drive your own vehicle (if it’s appropriate for the terrain) with a guide for even cheaper.

The park is famous for its guaranteed sightings of zebra, giraffe, antelope and monkeys – and almost guaranteed rhino sightings. 

But of course, this is because the safari reserve is really quite small – the smaller the area, the more likelihood you have of finding animals on safari. 

safari music senegal

They also keep the hyenas in enclosures, as they are a natural predator. This felt quite unnatural, although as it means that the other animals in the nature reserve don’t have any natural predators, they must have quite a relaxed life!

All that said, I did very much enjoy my safari here. It was my first experience of this type of safari, I adored seeing the elegant giraffes and graceful antelope. 

If you regularly do safaris in the Kenyan savannah, you might be disappointed, but if not, I do think it’s well worth visiting the Bandia Wildlife Reserve. 

Fathala Wildlife Reserve

safari music senegal

That said, if you only want to visit one wildlife reserve on your trip to Senegal , I’d make it Fathala . 

Fathala has everything Bandia has, but better. The tracks are more rugged, nature more raw, the animals (when you find them) more at home. 

Like in Bandia, wild animals were re-introduced to Fathala after being made extinct centuries ago. 

The land is Senegalese-owned, but the lodge is run by a South African company, who transported animals from their native country to repopulate the park.

Things to do at Fathala

Nowadays, day visitors usually embark on a two-hour game drive, trundling deep into the park to see as many animals as possible. It’s usual to see most of the large animals – although Kevin the rhino can be a little elusive (we didn’t see him on our game drive, but he was waiting for us when we got back to the lodge!). 

Lodge guests can also enjoy bush walks and mangrove boat tours.

Then there’s also the opportunity to walk with lions. We didn’t do this for a couple of reasons.  

I don’t agree with keeping lions like this; apparently, they were looked after by humans from a young age which is why they are docile. But in my opinion, they’re still wild animals, and I’d a) be too concerned about walking with them myself and b) don’t wish to support having them in captivity.

Fathala Wildlife Reserve Lodge

safari music senegal

We stayed at the Fathala Wildlife Reserve Lodge for two nights, and it was easily one of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed in. 

Accommodation is in a traditional safari tent, with a ridiculous amount of mod-cons (air conditioning, free-standing bath, fridge and an uber-comfy bed to name but a few!). 

As soon as I unzipped my tent, I was right in the heart of nature, with monkeys outside on the terrace and the sound of birdsong in the air. 

The tents are centered around an airy reception area, with a swimming pool, bar and restaurant. The food was top-notch; everything was prepared to perfection, with decent vegetarian options. 

Service was top-tier as well. 

Nikolo-Koba National Park

I didn’t get a chance to visit Nikolo-Koba National Park , which is right in the southeastern corner of Senegal, but it’s supposed to be the “wildest” safari experience you can get in the region. There are even lions here!

However, it’s difficult to visit without a tour. If you do want to go, I’d recommend contacting my friend Omar from OmiTours ; he’s based in The Gambia offers tours all over West Africa and would definitely be able to help you out.

Animals you might see on a Senegalese safari

So, what can you expect to see on a safari in Senegal? Look out for the following: 

safari music senegal

We saw a few of these towering in both Bandia and Fathala. They’re incredibly graceful! 

Zebra usually move in packs, and we saw a collection of them on our game drives in both reserves. They were a little skittish of the cars, but I got some good photos.

A few different types of antelope live on the safari parks in Senegal. 

Western Giant Lord Derby Eland

safari music senegal

This animal’s only found in Senegal and Mali! Fathala is one of only three places where they exist in the wild. 

Warthog 

We saw plenty of warthogs (aka Pumba from The Lion King) in Fathala. They’re much smaller in real life! 

West African Crocodile 

There are lots of West African crocodiles in the river in Bandia Wildlife Reserve – the viewpoint is far above – and we also saw one on our mangroves tour of Fathala. 

Unless you do the walking with lions experience, you won’t see these creatures in Bandia or Fathala. However, you might locate them in Nikolo-Koba, if you’re lucky! 

Hyenas 

Hyenas are enclosed in Bandia Wildlife Reserve and there aren’t any in Fathala. 

How to book your Senegal safari experience

safari music senegal

Most tourists do Senegal safaris as part of a guided tour. 

There are some tours available on Viator and Get Your Guide, but they’re pricey. 

The cheapest option by far is to join a group tour from the major hotels on the Petite Cote. For example, if you stay at a TUI hotel like the Hotel RIU Baobab, you can book this tour .

If you aren’t staying at a TUI hotel, you can book with Nouvelles Frontieres who offer pick-up from other parts of the coast . 

To see Fathala, most tourists actually do day trips from The Gambia. However, I’d highly recommend spending a couple of days at the lodge ( bookable on their website ) and enjoying activities from there. 

To reach the lodge, you can take taxis, or catch various buses and sept-places to Kaolack and then connect to Toubakouta, then take a taxi to Fathala – this is what we did and it wasn’t too challenging! 

Are you ready for a Senegalese safari? 

It’s not quite the same as an East African safari, but provided you manage expectations, it’s entirely possible to see wild animals in Senegal! 

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The Playlist: Top 10 Songs to Play on an African Safari

  • Ariana Ostrow
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safari music senegal

So now you’ve seen the Lion King in 3D and you want to go to Africa.

OK, maybe that’s just me but I’m sure pretty much everyone wants to go to the big-A for some reason or another, be it for a Safari through the Serengeti, a bit of lazy beach lounging in Cape Town or some white-man-guilt-volunteering in Malawi.

You might even have started planning your trip already by selecting the countries to visit, having all the flu-shots and studying the different types of Antelopes. But we all know that in order to really get into the rhythm for a big journey such as an African safari or a European roadtrip , there’s no better way to get into the rhythm of it than with a nice n’ juicy playlist . Lucky for you, It just so happens that we have bag full of genuinely African grooves and cheesy wannabe-African pop alike to sink your tune-teeth into. But fear not dear traveller, we promise you that our playlist is completely free of any cringeworthy 90’s new age world horror!

So whether you’ve already watching the stewardess demonstrating how to put on an oxygen mask on a flight to Kenya, or if you’re just dreaming of the African sun from a grey and rainy London (like me!), this is what GrooveTraveler suggests you listen to:

Jealousy – Tony Allen Now here we get down with some seriously groovy 70’s Afrobeats by the African drummer legend Tony Allen supported by Africa 70 and Fela Kuti. This tune has you wiggling in your seat (in a good way, not the I-need-to-pee-way) with it’s irresistible rhythm.

Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa – Vampire Weekend After Tony Allen this song by American Ivy league college kids might just sound wrong but think what you might of their adaptaion of Afrobeat, it’s a catchy little bugger and ever so cute and indie.

I Zimbra – Talking Heads  David Byrne of Talking heads and producer Brian Eno were really into African Music, you never would have guessed it! YouTube says that Gene Wilder was on the bongos. I’m perfectly willing to believe it.

Gentleman – Fela Kuti I got a fever, and the only prescription is more Afrobeat! This one’s a classic by the king of the genre, Fela Kuti and comes with some mean sax on top.

Heygana – Ali farka Touré A wailing desert blues to play in the Sahara when you’re parched, your head’s feeling hot, you’re seeing mirages and that lizard has started talking to you…

Sabali – Amadou & Mariam This song by the blind couple from Mali is perhaps not their most African in style, (probably due to the obvious influence of producer Damon Albarn) but it’s a favourite of mine and Pitchfork’s, so shut up!

Warm heart of Africa – The Very Best Not a far cry from our friends in Vampire Weekend but with a bit of Malawi and London in the mix. The song title is obviously perfect for our little playlist and the catchy tune will have you singing along in Chichewa (national language of Malawi) within seconds.

Synchro Feelings – King Sunny Adé and his african beats Wonderfully easy-going sun lounging music at it’s best. Just close your eyes and let the psychedelic guitar wash over you with the African breeze.

Africa – Toto You knew it was coming, the most 80’s, most cliché and the most epic of them all. Don’t fight it. Until you’ve touched the rains down in Africa you have sing along with vigour and punch the air with an overbite. Do it!

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Senegal Safari Tours & Holidays

Senegal, officially the Republic of Senegal, is a country in West Africa. Senegal is bordered by Mauritania in the north, Mali to the east, Guinea to the southeast, and Guinea-Bissau to the southwest.

Senegal is one of the most popular tourist destinations in West Africa, which is home to Dakar and Saint Louis, two dynamic cultural hubs. Senegal is also home to several diverse wildlife parks, including the Niokolo-Koba National Park, the Oiseaux du Djoudj National Park, and the Bandia Game Reserve. Senegal is known as the land of “teranga”, which is the Senegalese value of hospitality, respect, and community. Teranga is a Wolof word (one of the national languages) that encompasses the Senegalese spirit of warmth and friendliness to visitors. Visitors to Senegal are sure to experience a warm welcome on their arrival, as well as throughout their visit. The Senegalese beaches are beautiful and sandy, with rich populations of fish. Savory Senegalese food is sure to tempt your taste as well.

How to get to Senegal

Many international flights from the US and Europe flying into Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport (DKR) arrive in the middle of the night between 2:00 am and 4:00 am. Exhausted and jet-lagged, you’ll find it’s not a bad idea to have a driver waiting for you to avoid being accosted by locals offering taxi services and having to haggle over prices in French. Most hotels either have a pick-up included or can arrange one for you at an additional cost.

Passport, Visa, and Entry requirements for Senegal

To enter Senegal, a passport valid for at least six months from entry is required for most nationals ensure you check with your embassy, You may be refused entry if no evidence of return or onward travel or proof of accommodation can be produced, Visitors to Senegal require a visa unless they come from one of the visa-exempt countries.

The health sector of Senegal

Senegal’s health system is pyramidal, with three main parts: a central level, a regional level, and a peripheral level. Health centers are at the top, with one to two medical doctors and 15-20 people as part of the health staff. Health posts are below these, with four or five health workers. But for foreign travelers may only have access to private hospitals so ensure you purchase travel insurance for traveling to Senegal in case of any emergencies

Malaria and Yellow fever vaccination for  Senegal

Though a yellow fever vaccine isn’t required to enter Senegal, it’s recommended, as are malaria pills and a typhoid vaccine. Using good mosquito repellent, carrying tissues (as toilet paper can be scarce in public spots), and wearing sunblock are all essential. It can also be extremely dusty during the dry season, so having allergy pills on hand can also be helpful.

Currency of  Senegal

The country uses the West African CFA franc as the legal tender. Senegal depends on economic aid from developed nations. The headquarters for the West African States’ Central Bank is based in Dakar, the capital city of Senegal. But ATM machines can be found in the major towns and foreign currency can be exchanged into west African francs but you should reframe from using your credit card a lot rather than take cash with you and they should be new banknotes.

Official Language of   Senegal

In Senegal, English is taught as a second language. French is the official and colonial language used for administrative and academic purposes. However, there are several ethnic groups; therefore six different local languages are spoken in different parts of the country.

Best time to travel to Senegal

The best time of year to travel to Senegal is between November and May, during the dry season. Throughout this period, the temperature tends to be around 25 degrees Celsius. However, between June and October, precipitation is very frequent and the temperatures sometimes 30 degrees Celsius or above.

What to wear in Senegal

Senegalese women wear long sarongs; as a Western woman, it may be considered disrespectful for you to wear the native dress, so you’re better off in skirts or dresses that go to the ground. A woman may also pack long pants, as this garment is becoming more accepted for women. There is really no dressing code for men except if you’re going to visit government offices you may need to tuck in and dress more official but at the tourist sites there is really much concern

What to bring while traveling to Senegal

Pack long pants or long skirts. Choose pants that are loose-fitting and made from a lightweight fabric like cotton or linen blends, since temperatures in the inland cities can approach or surpass 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Pack two or three pairs of pants or skirts that you can wear multiple times during your trip.

  • Walking shoes or sandals
  • Medications
  • Copies of documents
  • Long pants or skirts
  • Long-sleeved tops

Car hire and driving in  Senegal

As infrastructure and roads aren’t great and traffic is maddening (since there are few rules), it’s best to hire a driver rather than renting a car or hopping on an over-packed bus. Prices for both guides and drivers are extremely low, and you can always try to strike a bargain.

Accommodation in Senegal

Dakar is the capital of Senegal, in West Africa. It’s an Atlantic port on the Cap-Vert peninsula. Its traditional Médina quarter is home to the Grande Mosquée, marked by a towering minaret. The Musée Théodore Monod displays cultural artifacts including clothing, drums, carvings, and tools. The city’s vibrant nightlife is inspired by the local mbalax music and accommodation is pretty decent also in the beach sides and popular tourist attractions will have hotels in place however if you go Rural there may be no accommodation facilities available.

Local food of  Senegal

The national dish of Senegal, this boldly flavored combination of fish, rice, and vegetables simmered in tomato sauce is a hearty one-pot meal. You can make it with any fish or vegetables you have on hand, including potatoes, cassava, squash or pumpkin, and plantains.

Tipping while Travelling in Senegal

Tipping is not a common practice in Senegal. Unless the service you receive deserves extra recognition, gratuities are not warranted but at the popular tourism destinations tipping is in place, and feel free to Tip the guides or the hotel staff.

Further information for Senegal

Is a country in western Africa that is south of the  Senegal River. The Atlantic Ocean is to the west. Mauritania is to the north, Mali to the east, and Guinea-Bissau and Guinea to the south and it’s one of the most visited countries in West Africa.

Safety of Senegal

One of the most common questions we hear is if Senegal is safe for travelers – yes, Senegal is safe but like any other destinations, petty  crime does happen in large crowds. Keep a lookout for pickpockets and bag snatchers. Once you get to know the locals, tourist destinations are pretty safe only travelers need to use common sense and keep their valuables with extra care.

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Pictus Safaris

32104519_1772657909464021_38566002133932

Niokolo-Koba NP and Pointe-Saint-Georges, Senegal

Sensational Senegal

£4,095 per person sharing

At a Glance

Dates : April 5th - April 17th, 2024

             March 1st - March 13th, 2025

Extension : No extensions currently available

Prices : This tour is available for £4,095 per person sharing. There is a single supplement of £250.

In a sentence : A novel safari offering species as diverse as Giant Eland and African Manatee, this is a truly unique trip and one that any serious mammal-watcher shouldn't miss!

Senegal is rarely on a list of top safari destinations but it has a huge amount to offer committed wildlife-watchers. The country's rich coastline offers opportunities to encounter the rare Atlantic Humpback Dolphin and African Manatee, the latter being essentially guaranteed. Inland, the arid north is a good bet for the shy Pale Fox, with the estuarine environment of Djoudj offering great birding opportunities. The highlight of any visit, however, must be the beautiful Niokolo-Koba National Park. Here, with a slice of luck, Lion, Leopard and even African Wild Dog can be encountered, and the remote Mount Assirik holds populations of Bush Elephant, Forest Elephant, Lord Derby's Eland and Chimpanzee.

Dakar/Kaolack

On arrival into Dakar, you will be met by your tour leader and the remainder of your group. From here, you will transfer by road the three hours' drive to Kaolack and your comfortable local hotel. After a chance to settle in, this evening we will make the short drive to the famed Kousmar Island, a haven for birders. This small island, between two branches of the Saloum River, plays host to an astonishing roost of scissor-tailed kites and lesser kestrels, often numbering over 60,000 in total. Our evening visit is planned to coincide with the impressive spectacle as these birds return to their nocturnal roosts, and the sights and sounds of this can be remarkable.

After an enjoyable evening at Kousmar, we return to our hotel for dinner and some rest.

After breakfast today, we embark on a full day's drive, taking us first east to Tambacounda and then south as we drive around the Gambia. In total, the drive today tends to take around seven hours, over very good roads, and we may spy our first mammals of the trip in Patas monkeys. Eventually, we will reach the unassuming turn off the road to Campement Wassadou, where we spend the night outside the park. As we arrive, don't be surprised to spy your first green monkeys and Guinea baboons of the tour hanging out around camp, and we may be lucky enough to spot hippo in the river below. The birding is here is superb, and African finfoot is particularly well-seen. After dinner, a night walk along the access road generally produces common genet, civet and Senegal galago, after which we return to camp.

Niokolo-Koba

This morning begins with a boat trip on the Gambia River from camp. This stretch of river not only affords good views of green monkey and Guinea baboon, but is also a birding highlight. African finfoot, Pel's fishing owl, blue-bellied roller and yellow-crowned gonolek are all possible on this relaxed sojourn on this iconic and life-giving river. After an excursion of two hours or so, we return to camp, and make the short transfer by road to the entry gate of Niokolo-Koba. Here, we will meet our local guide and open vehicle and transfer into the park.

Niokolo-Koba is a beautiful park, but it has long been neglected and poorly managed. Sadly, as a result, game densities are much lower here than in parks elsewhere on the continent, and local guiding standards are extremely low. However, some species have clung on, against all odds, and on the long drive to our stunning accommodation, which sits about two hours' drive into the park. The vast majority of this drive is through extremely arid terrain, although we may spy Defassa waterbuck, roan, warthog, red-flanked duiker, common duiker and bushbuck as we drive. The birding is also excellent, with yellow-billed shrike, stone partridge and Abyssinian ground hornbill all possible.

On arrival at the lodge, there will be a chance to settle in and, if time permits, an afternoon game drive will follow. Whilst our lodge offers unparalleled comfort by Senegalese standards, and a wonderful vista, its location sometimes does not lend itself to game-viewing, and we may have to drive some distance to the central game-viewing area of Simenti to give ourselves a chance of spotting lion, leopard and more. Lion are doing poorly here, with just half a dozen or so in this core area, so sightings are far from guaranteed - by contrast, this is the best spot for leopard in West Africa, although these secretive cats are always hard to find. Buffalo and even wild dog can be seen here too, although more common are western hartebeest, kob, waterbuck, bushbuck, warthog, Patas monkey, roan, green monkey, Guinea baboon, Gambian mongoose, common duiker and red-flanked duiker.

Sadly, park rules mean we will have to be back at the lodge an hour before sunset this evening. We have long lobbied park management to change this bizarre rule, and are actively working with Panthera to secure night drives as soon as possible - we cannot guarantee that permission will be granted in advance of this tour. Our lodge does have access to a nocturnal hide, but access is limited to two people for one hour each night, and sightings from this hide are limited. 

Days Four to Nine

The next six full days are dedicated to exploring this park, our favourite in Africa. Game-viewing here can be bruisingly unrewarding, and we have spent months here in the past without seeing any big game. However, with our wealth of experience in this park, we will be sure to target key areas known to produce encounters with lion, leopard, buffalo and wild dog. There can be no guarantees, but morning and afternoon drives to the key watering points around Simenti, including the Gambia River, will give us our best chance of encountering these elusive mammals, as well as the diverse birdlife of the park.

With such an extended stay, we have the opportunity to explore areas of the park not ordinarily visited. We will make a day-trip to the remote south of the park and the area around Mt Assirik. This area is particularly dry and inaccessible, and protects the very few remaining bush elephant, giant eland and chimpanzee in the park. Our chances of encountering giant eland will be greatly increased if rare permission to bivouac here is granted, and we will seek this permission immediately prior to our visit (which is the soonest we are allowed to ask!).

Each evening, we will access the nocturnal hide, and time will be set aside on most days to relax and soak in the creature comforts of our superb lodge. If clients desire, we may de-camp to the much more basic campsite on one night, where honey badger, civet and spotted hyena are commonly seen.

After a final morning game drive near the lodge, we will exit the park and return to Campement Wassadou where we overnight.

Pointe-Saint-Georges

We spend today on the road, embarking on the long drive westwards to the tiny village of Pointe Saint Georges on the Casamance River. We will arrive by late afternoon and will have time to settle in to our basic accommodation before dinner this evening.

Pointe St Georges

The full day today will be spent on the nearby beach, watching African manatee at the nearby spring. This is probably the best place to see these manatee anywhere, although the choppy and dirty water can make clear sightings difficult - the best view is usually granted when the manatees break the surface with their calves. Keep an eye out also for dolphins, both common bottlenose and Atlantic humpback, as we stake out the manatees before returning the short distance to camp.

Day Thirteen

Cap Skirring/Dakar

This morning we transfer to Cap Skirring for our hour-long flight to Dakar, where the tour ends.

Please be aware that whilst we make every effort to follow the above itinerary as closely as possible, circumstances may occasionally arise that mean the tour deviates from the itinerary.

Dates and Prices

This tour will run from March 1st to M<arch 13th, 2025. The tour is timed to maximise our chances of encountering African Manatees and the big game of Niokolo-Koba, but the weather is extremely hot.

The cost of this trip is £4,095 per person sharing, with a single supplement of £250. This excludes all drinks and lunches, but includes breakfasts and dinners. To secure a place on this tour, a deposit of £1,250 plus any single supplement must be paid.

Flights and Visas

Pictus Safaris do not offer flight booking services. However, we do recommend the use of travel comparison websites such as skyscanner.net or momondo.com to identify the best fares, and then booking with the airline directly where possible. This will reduce the likelihood of complications and fees should any issues with your booking arise.

British nationals do not require a visa to enter Senegal. Clients of other nationalities are advised to check well before travel whether they require an entry visa. ​

Weather and What to Bring

The weather in Senegal in March is very hot, with little rain and maximum temperatures of around 39 degrees Celsius. At night, temperatures will drop to around 24 degrees Celsius.

A full packing list will be circulated at least two months prior to departure. Pictus Safaris will be able to provide one extra set of binoculars and two spotlights per group, and clients are welcome to bring additional camera, videography and scope equipment should they wish to. Please note that the use of drones is not permitted in many protected areas.

Do also remember to budget for any expenses not included in the cost of the trip, including for gratuities and additional activities. All major currencies can be exchanged in Dakar.

Safety and Security

There are currently no security issues in any of the areas visited by this tour.

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