By Motlagae Konyana
The Kaya 959 team is exploring Dakar is week as part of the launch of the new SAA route to Dakar. Not that you need a reason to book your own Dakar adventure but here are some fun facts about Senegal, including its dark history.
Dakar is the largest city in Senegal and is the country’s administrative, communications, and economic hub. Dakar has some great manufactures include refined sugar, peanut oil, fertilizers, cement, and textiles.
Senegal is one of Africa’s Franchophone countries. French was inherited from the colonial eraand is the official language of Senegal. There are native languages like Wolof, Soninke, and Mandinka. Moreover, the flag of Senegal has adopted the French Tricolore style. The flags of look the same, but differ in color.
The Senegalese coast was the location of choice of the French movie industry. From 1960 to 1970, the Senegalese film industry saw a mini-renaissance.
Senegal has the fourth largest economy in the West African sub-region after Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. The country is the second largest economy in Francophone West Africa behind Côte d’Ivoire, with an average growth rate of 5.4% in the five past years.
Senegal has two prominent nicknames: The land of Teranga and the gateway to West Africa. The equator passes through Senegal, hence it is one of the most humid places on earth.
Dakar is home to the tallest statue in Africa. The African Renaissance Monument built in 2010, stands at an impressive 49 m
The famous Lonely hitmaker Akon was born and brought up in Senegal.
Senegal is a majority-Muslim country, but you don’t need to worry about covering your knees, head or shoulders in most areas. In larger villages and cities, most local women don’t wear a hijab, and you won’t be showing disrespect by not covering up like you might in parts of India, Malaysia or the Middle East.
The pinkish hue of Lac Rose is, mercifully, not the result of an unfortunate chemical spill, but a natural phenomenon that occurs due to the lake’s unusually high salt content. The saline in the water attracts non-harmful bacteria, which produces a red pigment to absorb the sun.
Unfortunately, Senegal was one of the main locations for the West African slave trade. To see the remnants of the past, take a visit to beautiful Goree Island. It’s a popular pilgrimage spot for people of the African diaspora.