Last Monday, we were landing in Dakar, and have been welcomed as kings by Khadi, manager of Lygo Senegal. It now has been 4 days in the capital city and we have already made wonderful encounters and discoveries. And … it is not over!
Discovery of Dakar
Dakar is a city of 1.056.009 inhabitants (source: UN – population 2011 of the big cities in Senegal) so a bit less than twice than in Paris (we are talking here about the city not the agglomeration). The city is divided in several neighborhoods (Le Plateau -also called the city center-, Les Almadies, Yoff, Fann, Point E, etc.). To move in the city, the most common transportation is those yellow and black cabs, that you can find anywhere in the street (better ask the price before getting in ;)).
Our first cab experience was authentic. 10 minutes after we jumped in, the driver pulled over, the gearbox broke down, he needs to fix it back. So here we are, seating on the back seats, watching at the gearbox moving by itself. Ask any cab driver in your city if s/he’s able to fix a gearbox by him/herself :).
From one neighborhood to another, the landscapes can be really different. The beach on one side, the buildings on the other. The sandy roads on one side (and there are plenty outside the city center!), the paved ones on the other side. The “dibiteries” (understand “grilled meat shops”), the street vendors to do your shopping while stuck in traffic, the beautiful mosques, the sand that gives sometimes a very misty atmosphere, the cabs (that sometimes have fun messages written on their trunks ; the last one we saw was “good luck” – really?), the colored and often crowded buses, the big hotels on the sea side, the more modest ones on the inside,… And in contrary to what we might have read in the travel guides, we think that people are not too much on your back trying to sell you things all the time (compared to other cities we have seen like Abidjan, Marrakesh or Dar Es Salaam). Voila, our first impressions of this beautiful city that surprises us over and over by its diversity.
The encounters, the very heart of the engine
We have already had the chance to make multiple encounters: Lassana, the general prosecutor of the republic, who received us in his bureau of the courthouse and then invited us for a lunch in his house before taking us to his farming lands, in the North of Dakar (we wrote about this in another article); Rawane, Bilal and Aboubacry, potential future Twamers (what, you don’t already know TWAM – Travel With A Mission? Click on the link to discover); Kante, a renewable energy specialist; Khadi, Mati, Saliou and the whole Lygo team, our partners that makes our wonderful bag tags; Sadio, who just came back from 4 years and a half is the US where he passed his master; and the whole team who is taking care of the lands of the prosecutor.
Others are to come, and we can’t wait to tell you all about them!
This HopTour West Africa started event better than expected which makes us so happy.
Meanwhile, we invite you to read this article, talking about our rich experience in the fields.
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