What’s your ideal holiday like? Is it a relaxed time in a big ocean-front hotel, nice beaches for playground whenever you want, private leisure time to soak up the sun and sip cocktails, loads of interesting local excursions and activities, and warm interactions with local people?

If your answer is yes, then let me introduce you to Saly, a seaside resort town in Senegal with beautiful, palm-lined, wide sandy beaches with loads of activities, amazing hotels, loads of excursion opportunities and exposure to real African community and culture. I say these because I was there recently, and I had a wonderful experience during my stay – thanks to my guide, Monsieur Lamine. In this piece, I’ll tell you how I enjoyed my stay, you should try this out.

Public Beach: Reserve de La Somone

Public Beach: Reserve de La Somone

Saly is a resort town just about 16 miles from Blaise Diagne International Airport in Dakar. Unlike mainstream resort areas, Saly maintains the realness of its ambience, while at the same time offering large trappings of high-quality resort neighbourhood. In addition to its variety of quality hotels, bars, restaurants, shops, nightclubs and beautiful palm-lined beaches, the resort town has an interesting array of local excursions and activities, and its people are warm and welcoming.

Ready for a Boat Cruise

 

I stayed at Palm Beach Framissima, a 4-star hotel with amazingly beautiful views, stunning palm-lined beachfront with lots of water activities, nice bar, a great restaurant offering buffet breakfast and dinner, excellent staff, nice swimming pool among others. The hotel even offers extra services like organized tours and airport pick up and drop off. I stayed in a modest room and I could sense the hotel’s effort at integrating Senegalese carving cultural into a modern accommodation facility.

Reserve de Bandia

Welcome Reserve de Bandia

Ready for Safari

Meet the Rhino in Reserve de Bandia

The air of Saly is fresh, just as freshness could be. After a sumptuous breakfast, I step out to enjoy a safari. My destination was Reserve de Bandia where I had a game drive. The Reserve is a sanctuary to wildlife. As we drove around the reserve, I spotted Rhinos, Buffalos, Impalas, Ostriches, Zebras, Giraffes, crocodile, among others. The reserve was dry, and the grasses can’t wait to taste the touch of the next rainfall. While this makes it easy to spot the wildlife, it’s obvious the animals were managing to get by until the next rainfall. I was told the rainy season was around, and that the reserve will soon be green again.

The amazing Buffaloes are having a nice time

The amazing Buffaloes are having a nice time

Check out this Crocodile

Guess What this is?

Cute Zebras

After the game drive, we made a stop at a restaurant located within the reserve and had a sumptuous meal.

Lunch Time

The Restaurant in Reserve de Bandia

Back at the hotel, I hit the swimming pool to relax and take in the awesomeness of the whole environment – the cool breeze from the ocean, tampered by series of lanes of palm trees with their frond waving gently at the sky. The flowers around made the immediate vicinity of the swimming pool look like a garden – the more I looked, the more beautiful colours popped into sight.

Isn’t this beautiful?

By evening, I had dinner at an outdoor restaurant. The restaurant has live music and inside is a night club. I understand that it was party all night, but I was already too tired for the day and had to retreat to the hotel to rest around midnight.

Dinner time

One of the amazing facilities in Palm Beach is its spa. I woke up the next day and went for a steam bath – my friend, Afi from Cote D’Ivoire, opted for the Jacuzzi. Both facilities are located within the Spa section of the hotel. Afterwards, we went for a massage to ease our nerves. It was going to be a long day and we needed a good start.

My friend, Afi from Cote d’Ivoire enjoying herself in the Jacuzzi

I had a steam bath here

Before we finally left Saly, we visited Reserve De La Somone, a public beach where many locals and tourists freely play around and enjoy various water activities including boat cruises.

Here we are ready to ride across the ocean

On the boat to Chez Rasta

Welcome to Chez Rasta

Locals playing on the public beach

Store at a local market in SalyWe took a boat (pirogue as Senegalese calls it) to cross the ocean – it was a short trip, and arrived at a seaside, Jamaican restaurant where we had a wonderful lunch with reggae artists crooning in the background, and we took loads of pictures. We ended the trip with shopping at a local market.

Check out my time in the Kaolack tomorrow  

 

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Michael Alvin

Michael Alvin

Creative Writer
Michael Alvin is a lawyer and a UNESCO certified journalist. At Afro Tourism, he blends creativity with his training in telling moving stories about his personal experience on his various trips across Africa.
Michael Alvin
Michael Alvin
Michael Alvin

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