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