Day 1: Saturday February 15th, 2014
Depart JFK International Airport, New York on Delta Airlines flight # DL 216 at 8.55 p.m. to Dakar, Senegal.
Day 2: Sunday February 16th, 2014
Arrive at Yoff - Leopold Sedal Senghor International Airport in Dakar at 9.45 a.m. After completion of customs and immigration formalities, you will be met by our tour manager/guide in the Arrival Hall and transferred to your hotel for check in.
On the way to the hotel, stop over at a Currency Exchange center to change your US Dollars into CFA Francs
Arrive at the hotel and complete the check in process. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure recuperating from the trans-atlantic flight. Your hotels location in downtown Dakar, affords you the opportunity to independently explore the area. Go on a walking tour and view unique examples of French Colonial architecture such as the Le Manege Gallery, Hotel de Villes and Place Tirailleurs.
Spend some time meeting with seamstresses and tailors to have your measurements taken and purchase fabric/textiles for sewing of custom African outfits.
Enjoy a delicious Welcome Dinner at the hotel restaurant, After dinner, spend the rest of the evening at leisure.
Lunch on own account, Welcome Dinner included, Overnight: Novotel Dakar Hotel
Day 3: Monday February 17th, 2014
After breakfast, board a ferry for a 30 minute cruise to Goree Island. This infamous island shaped like the African continent, was the last view of Africa seen by captured men and women taken to a life of Slavery in the Americas and Caribbean.
Upon arrival, go on a comprehensive tour of the House of Slaves (Maison des Esclaves), a UNESCO World Heritage site with views of the famous staircase, male, female and children slave dungeons, weighing room and the Door of No Return. The museum curator will provide an overview of the history of Slavery in Senegal.
After lunch at Saint Germain restaurant, the tour continues with a visit to the IFAN Historical Museum for an ethnographic overview of the history of Senegal. Visit the Fort to view the Goree–Almadies Memorial and spend the rest of the afternoon either walking through the narrow streets interacting and socializing with the local inhabitants or relaxing on the beach. Upon completion of the island tour, take an early evening ferry cruise back to Dakar.
After dinner, the evening will be spent at leisure or sampling nightlife in Dakar at the downtown cafes, bars and nightclubs.
Lunch included, Dinner on own account, Overnight: Novotel Dakar Hotel
Day 4: Tuesday February 18th, 2014
After breakfast, go on a city tour of Dakar. Dakar is a cosmopolitan city with fashionable residential and commercial districts and beautiful beaches. Your tour begins with a drive through the administrative district of Dakar to view the Independence Square, National Parliament, Presidential Palace, Chamber of Commerce the Cathedral, and the Great Mosque.
After lunch at Calebasse restaurant, your tour continues with visits to the African Museum and Cheikh Anta Diop University, a drive through the picturesque district of Medina and residential district of Fann with a stopover at the Gate of the New Millennium.
The highlight of the city tour is a visit to the African Renaissance Monument unveiled in April 2010. Learn about the controversy and pride associated with this bronze statue of a man, woman and child emerging from a Volcano. Spend the rest of the afternoon at the colorful Soumbedioume and Kermel markets shopping for arts, crafts, fashions and jewelry.
Lunch included, Dinner on own account, Overnight: Novotel Dakar Hotel
Day 5: Wednesday February 19th, 2014
After an early breakfast and check out of the hotel, embark on an overland trip to the mysterious Lake Retba (Pink Lake). This incredible rose-colored body of water surrounded by sand dunes and a Boabob Forest, is purported to have unique floating capabilities. We will view the unique techniques used by village men and women to harvest salt.
Go on an exhilarating 4-wheel driving experience over the undulating sand dunes and visit a typical Fulani Village to gain exposure to the culture and lifestyle of this nomadic tribal group.
After lunch at a restaurant with views of the lake, continue the road trip to the City of Thies to visit the world famous co-operative operated National Tapestries Factory. Spend some time learning about the craftsmanship involved in producing the cotton tapestries on hand woven looms. Purchase a tapestry depicting art created by Senegal’s best artist.
In the early evening, we will arrive in Saly, Senegal’s main beach resort enclave with its beautiful beaches and wide variety of recreational activities. After checking into your hotel, spend the evening at leisure exploring the resort area.
Day 6: Thursday February 20th, 2014
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and go on a road trip to the Holy City of Touba, located in the middle of the Lompoul Desert in Senegal. The city was founded by Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba Mbacke who also founded Mouridism (the African Islamic Movement). The Cheikh played a leadership role in the struggle for independence from French Colonial rule and died as a martyr.
Touba is known for its unique architecture with the Grand Mosque (Great Mosque), one of the largest and aesthetically grandiose in West Africa being the most symbolic edifice. It is also an educational center for Islamic Study and the library at the Shrine of the Mourides holds thousands of volumes of books on African Islam.
A stroll through the labyrinths of this city with your tour guide will take you back to a time when religious intellectuals strived to gain independence for their country.
After lunch, depart Touba on a journey back to Dakar. Upon arrival in Dakar in the late afternoon, transfer to your hotel for check in. Meet with tailors and seamstresses for final fitting of African clothes ordered at the beginning of the tour.
Transfer to a restaurant in the city for a Farewell Dinner with entertainment. Enjoy a performance by the African Folkloric Ballet while you eat a delicious meal. After dinner, spend the rest of the evening at leisure
Lunch on own account, Farewell Dinner included, Overnight: Novotel Dakar Hotel
Day 7: Friday February 21st, 2014
The morning and early afternoon will be spent on an Art and Shopping tour of Dakar with visits to museums, galleries and arts and craft markets around the city. Venues of interest include:
- The IFAN Museum of African Arts: one of the oldest art museums in West Africa with a diverse collection of traditional art from Francophone West African countries including Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali and Guinea. Currently, it is one of the prestigious centers for the study of Art and part of the Cheik Anta Diop University. The museum is a regular venue used for the Dakar Biennale exhibition, showcasing art by Contemporary and Diaspora artist.
- The National Gallery of Arts: This gallery is located in a colonial building and exhibits both local and international contemporary visual arts. It is a venue for major exhibitions of paintings and photography.
- Visits to private galleries of Senegalese painters
- Visit to the Art Village to shop for popular art in the form of under-glass paintings and sand paintings
Transfer back to the hotel in the mid afternoon to package Arts and Crafts purchased during the tour and finalize packing for your return flight to the USA.
After dinner at the hotel restaurant, check out of the hotel at 11.00 p.m. and transfer Yoff-Sedal Senghor International Airport to check in for Delta Airlines flight # DL 217.
Lunch on own account, Dinner included, Overnight: Novotel Dakar Hotel
Day 8: Saturday February 22nd, 2014
Delta Airlines flight # DL 217 departs to the USA at 2.15 a.m.
Arrive at JFK International Airport, New York. at 6.20 a.m. on the same day. Transfer to connecting flights or rides home.