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Saint-Louis

Visiting Saint-Louis in Senegal.

I was in Senegal a few months ago and spend a little time in Saint Louis, in the north of the country. And here are a few photos and a little text from that visit.

Saint-Louis in northern Senegal really surprised me. And it was in a positive way. I had only heard only very little about the place before I went, as the trip was very spontaneous.

But the town was pretty in a rustic way. And everyone I met was super friendly and welcoming.

Saint-Louis was the capital of Senegal for many years, during the colonial times. It was also the capital for neighbouring Mauritania by the way. The Mauritania border is only a very short drive from Saint-Louis by the way.

The locals also call the city Near by the way.

Saint-Louis harbour

The bustling harbour in Saint-Louis.

These days, saint-Louis is not as important politically. But since the year 2000, Saint-Louis has been a UNESCO world heritage site. And that has brought in some international tourism. It’s not like it’s a huge tourist destination. It sees a small, but steady flow of tourist who are there for cultural reasons. In many ways the tourism industry in Saint-Louis is quite healthy, from what I saw. Working in travel & tourism myself and being very interested in sustainable tourism, it was nice to see how it has developed so far in Saint Louis.

Hotel de la Poste.

Inside the Hotel de la Poste.

The old part of the city is sitting on an island in the Senegal river. Right where the Senegal river meets the Atlantic ocean. This makes it a perfect place for a harbour. And the harbour is for sure the bustling center of life in Saint-Louis. I spend most of my time walking along the river mouth and enjoying the scenery there.

I also spend quite some time in a few cafes in town. The tourism industry means that quite a few of the old colonial buildings have been turned in to cafes and restaurants. And many of them have quite an old time feel to them.

Guest Saint-Louis.

I stayed at this simple but friendly guest house in Saint-Louis.

Saint-Louis is a safe city for tourists.

Since my visit to Senegal, quite a few people have asked me about safety for tourists there. And I have to say that I felt very safe in the whole country. And Saint-Louis was no exception. I actually arrived at 2:30am in the middle of the night to Saint-Louis. Without a hotel reservation. Me and the two guys I was traveling with spend about an hour walking around the city, while looking for a place. And I did not feel unsafe at any point. And 31 years of non stop travel has taught me when there is danger in the air. But I did not feel it all when walking around at night in Saint-Louis.

 Senegalese fishing boats.

Lot’s of Senegalese fishing boats.

So if you are looking in to visiting Senegal, then I would highly recommend a visit to Saint-Louis. It’s really an interesting and pleasant place to visit.

Street art Senegal.

A little Senegalese street art.

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1 Comment

  1. Fascinating as always Claus.

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