Monthly Archives: May 2014

Day 28, West Africa Cruise – Dakhla, Western Sahara

Posted by on May 15, 2014

Latitude: 23° 50.5338′ N
Longitude: 15° 51.4997′ W

No one knew what to expect in Western Sahara. Last year, the West Africa trip ended in Senegal, so even the staff didn’t know what to expect. It isn’t a place that most people even know about, and the name doesn’t really lend itself to much more than sand.

Before I get into the details of what we did, however, I think a bit of backstory about Western Sahara is in order.

Day 26-27, West Africa Cruise – At Sea, Off the coast of Mauritania

Posted by on May 13, 2014

Latitude: 21° 05.20′ N
Longitude: 17° 51.30′ W

As the cruise is winding down, I thought it was worth it to take a moment to talk about the passengers on the ship.

Prior to boarding the ship in Cape Town, I suspected that the other passengers would be well traveled people. West Africa isn’t the sort of trip a first time traveler takes.

My suspicions were right.

Day 25, West Africa Cruise – Dakar, Senegal

Posted by on May 12, 2014

Latitude: 14° 41.7956’ N
Longitude: 17° 27.9840’ W

In Senegal, we were given two different options. The first was to visit the Bandia Reserve and have lunch at the Pink Lake. The second option was a tour of the city and a trip to Goree Island.

As Goree Island is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the first dozen in the world at that, there was no way I could pass that up.

The day started in central Dakar where the government buildings are located. This part of Dakar is one of the nicest areas we’ve seen on the entire trip and was on a par, or surpassed, Accra, Ghana. It had the feel of a French Colonial city and was quite clean. Unlike what we found in Sao Tome and other countries, you could take actually photos of the guards in front of the presidential palace!

Day 24, West Africa Cruise – Banjul, The Gambia

Posted by on May 11, 2014

Mangrove forest in The GambiaLatitude: 13° 18.1922’ N
Longitude: 16° 36.9651’ W

The Gambia is the smallest non-island country in Africa. It is also one the rare countries which borders only one other country: Senegal. In fact, on a map, The Gambia looks like a finger being stuck down the throat of Senegal (if you don’t believe me, go look at a map!)

Carved from the area immediately surrounding both banks of the Gambia river by the British, the Gambia marks a significant turn for the trip. From our previous stop in Sierra Leone, we’ve moved closer to the Sahara. The population is significantly (but not yet exclusively) Muslim, the landscape is drier and, unlike Sierra Leone, The Gambia actually has tourists.