Travel & Leisure

Casamance for your next vacation

Why do people go on vacation? For many reason: to rest and relax, to have fun, to reminisce, to escape the hustle and bustle of work or just to see the world. For many though, vacation means going to a few set destinations  — London, Dubai, and maybe the now-popular Santorini. Attention please, check out this new destination that would serve your purpose with less stress and expenses.

Welcome to Casamance, Senegal.

Casamance is located in the southern region of Senegal, West Africa. It should be a delight for genuine vacation seekers who are after relaxation, fun and adventure. For one thing, the destination offers a multicultural experience hardly found in any of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Apart from retaining both of its Portuguese and French colonial influences, the Casamance region is connected in the east to Senegal, while it is separated from the rest of Senegal by the Gambia. Excited already?

Also Read: Fly Smart: 7 ways to get the best deals on your next flight

Here are tips to make your trip to Casamance the best ever.

 

Travel

There is no dearth of airlines going to Senegal’s capital, Dakar from Nigeria – Air France, jetBlue, Emirates, Royal Air Maroc, Turkish Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, among others. The price starts from N280,000 per return ticket. Barring any stopovers, it takes only four hours by air. If you choose to go by road, it is about 47 hours to Dakar. From Dakar, you can proceed to Casamance by air, road or ferry. Flying from  Blaise Diagne Airport, Diass (43km from Dakar) to Ziguinchor Airport, the closest to Casamance is only 45 minutes. Meanwhile going by ferry takes 12 hours and going by road is slightly faster. For comfort though, ferry travel is the next-best option after air, except the traveller hopes to see Gambia as part of the trip.

Also Read: Do all roads lead to Rome?…Consider Italy for your next vacation

Hotels

  • Cisko Centre

If you are looking for a five-star hotel with a lot of extras to offer in Casamance, then Cisko Centre, located in Cap Skirring, Ziguinchor Region is one of your best options. The hotel, which has rooms for two starting at N42,000, has been described as not just a hotel but also a cultural center which sometimes hosts concerts.

  • Akine Lodge

If you are looking for good food and a refreshing connection with nature in a rustic setting, stay in Akine Dyioni Lodge, Diembereng Casamance. Starting from a little below N20,000, the hotel offers world-class service in addition to a great view of the atlantic ocean.

Of course, there are other hotels and guest houses offering accomodation below N10,000 per night.

What to do

  • Be at one with nature. Visit Djibelor protected forest to watch nature at its best. If you love colours on wings, then you’ll love the butterfly-watching spot, if you want to get real close to crocodiles and see a wide variety of flora and fauna, the 30-acre protected forest is for you.
  • Go on a traditional fishing trip. Visit Kafountine – Kailo Island, a fishing village where you can also catch a first hand experience of traditional rituals and festivals to the numerous deities of the land.
  • See (or buy) unique pots. Visit Edioungou Village located about 40 km from Ziguinchor, the largest city in Casamance.
  • See some birds that you have only seen on TV. Visit the Island of Birds in Ziguinchor  to see with little effort, pelicans, flamingos, kingfishers, storks, sunbirds etc.
  • Try new delicacies. Food is essential on any trip so try out the Senegalese jollof rice and the mangrove oyster dish in restaurants like Chez Saly, Sujuwass Resto among others.

Conclusion

Casamance offers everything a holidaymaker needs for way lesser than a typical trip outside of the continent. It affords you a luxurious experience of escapist adventure, while staying within a budget. What’s there not to love?

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