Artisanne Handwoven Round Storage Baskets

A snapshot of stunning Senegal

Our talented weavers have so much to inspire them from Senegal’s amazing surf beaches, spectacular Sahara Desert and incredible birdlife to its seven World Heritage sites. Let me share a few amazing features of their country which not only inspire their colourful craft, but which left a lasting impression on me and may surprise you.

The incredible pink lake – Lac Retba has a pink hue due to its unusually high salt content that attracts harmless bacteria, producing a red pigment to absorb the sun – it’s a strangely beautiful sight.

An island of shells – South of Dakar, Ile de Fadiouth is a small island made entirely out of seashells. The sea-loving Senegalese created it from millions of mollusc shells so the streets are paved with them, houses decorated with them and even the unique Muslim-Christian cemetery is entirely made of shells.

Photo Credit: Abdou Cisse @cissengal

A twitcher’s paradise – Djoudj National Park is one of many outstanding birdwatching spots in Senegal and the third largest bird sanctuary in the world as a haven for migratory birds. You can hire a pirogue (traditional canoe) and glide through the calm waters with your eyes peeled for beautiful birds.

Taxis with tails – this quirky custom involves some cab drivers attaching a goat’s tail to the back of their cars as a good luck charm – and they probably need it. Most taxis are old and battered making it a white-knuckle ride travelling by car, especially at night. It’s no surprise that the famous Paris-Dakar Rally was considered the world’s most gruelling car race.

Latest dawn and last sunset – Dakar, the capital is the most westerly point in mainland Africa which means it’s the last place on the continent to see the brilliant sunrise and colourful sunset.

Photo Credit: Abdou Cisse @cissengal

 With its stunning scenery and the colourful energy and enthusiasm of its people, Senegal is a captivating part of Africa, one which Emma and I can’t wait to visit again. The weaving community always greets us with excitement and warm smiles, just like old friends.

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