By ‘Niyi David

It’s February and love is in the air. You’ve checked out a couple of exotic places you’ll like to spend a special moment with that special someone. An exquisite weekend in one of West Africa’s top tourist destinations. Everything is in place. Return tickets to Dakar, Senegal from where you’ll drive down to Saly Portudal. All your papers are complete. You’ve even picked up a couple of French words…

You’ve read about the exotic resort town on the Afro Tourism website, the beautiful beach, and all the facilities available to make you have a wonderful experience to rejuvenate your love life. Now you’re all fired up and excited to meet Saly…

That was the state of things until I hit a little snag as I reconsidered my budget. All of a sudden, I was considering canceling. Why? I was having a hard time finding the appropriate accommodation to match my wallet. What am I going to do? I could find a nice cozy restaurant in my city. But I had already told her I was taking her to Senegal. I’ve bought the tickets and she has seen them.

It doesn’t look so good. This was supposed to reignite our relationship and propel it towards the altar where we’ll exchange vows. What am I going to do? I called my Valentine to break the news to her, but the minute I heard that sweet voice that tickles my heart, I knew it would be heartbreak if I told her the trip was off. Maybe, she’ll understand…

Well, I decided that we’ll just get to Dakar and I’ll find an excuse why we can’t go on to Saly. It’s not as if Dakar was any cheaper anyway, which meant we are not staying as long as we ought to in Senegal. I did not tell her, but she saw I was not as excited even though I tried to mask it.

But luckily for me, when we arrived Dakar, I got talking with my contact who assured me I would get an appropriate accommodation in Saly. I was a little excited and skeptical at once. I however agreed since it means we’ll get to be in Saly. If the accommodation was below par, I’ll use my contact as the excuse…

Well, my contact got us a B&B, a cozy place about a minute walk to the beach – and well within my budget. Our hostess was a beautiful Belgian married to a Senegalese. The ambience was splendid with a cute little pool to dip in, and our room had red beddings!

Baobab-Belge_Saly-(35) Baobab-Belge_Saly-(41) Beachfront_Saly-(5) Cocobay_Saly-(5)


We had a super time in Saly – and in that cozy room. It was a great Valentine experience. We explored Saly, strolled down the beach, and ate at the beachfront stalls. We met other tourists and made friends, splashed in the water and soaked in some sun at the properties where our new friends were staying. In the evening, we went to Place de Bougainvillea and partied until dawn at one of the clubs…

Nightlife_Saly-(25) Le-Rolls-(4)

We even went on a safari at Réserve de Bandia, about 20km away. We got back late in the afternoon and had some food at Place de Bougainvillea, before heading back to our room tired. Our friends invited us to dinner at their hotel, one of the biggest on the beachfront, but we passed up the opportunity and instead, spent the evening in the little pool before retiring to our room…

Bandia_eland-(13) Bandia_Gazelle-(8) Bandia_Rhino-(21) Bandia_Zebra-(4)-(1)

Baobab-Belge_Saly-(46) Beachfront_Saly-(4) Cocobay_Saly-(142)

It was the best Valentine for us and as February 14 approaches again, we are thinking of returning to Sweet Saly again to pick up from where we left off last year. Yes, we have unfinished business in Saly – this time, I’m going to pop the question!

About the Author:

‘Niyi David explores the beautiful and enthralling continent of Africa with Afro Tourism, capturing colourful memories of places, cultures and events in words and images.


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