My husband and I are planning a trip to West Africa. We are going to volunteer in Senegal for 6 months and then take a few months to travel around the region. Any suggestions for things to do while there, countries/cities not to miss, or any other general tips for the region?
Thanks a bunch!
Unfortunately I can't give you any advice for your trip, but I'm planning a trip to the same area next year as part of an RTW. I'm spending 2months volunteering in Sierra Leone.
I'm finding that it's very difficult to find information about visas, whether I can get them at the border, or if I have to have them before I get there.
Please let me know if you find any information on this, and I hope you have an awesome trip
Well West Africa is a fascinating region, how much you can explore depends on how much time you have and money of course. But if you are/ will be in Senegal, so don't miss Mali. You have direct buses from Dakar (Gana Transports - reliable) to Bamako. Mali is a world apart, a country with amazing history and fascinating culture. I can advice you to go to such places as Mopti, Djenne (on Monday there is a great local market, it's a small town known for it's mud Mosque - a UNESCO sight), the Dogon country (amazing place to explore local tribal culture settled in a giant cliff at the edge of the Sahara - a must see) then Timbuctu - the legendary
If you have more time try to go down to Benin and Togo via wonderful Burkina Faso (you get one visa for all this countries, called Visa D'Entente - 30 USD only). Togo and Benin is reputated to be the birthplace of the voodoo cult. You can see ceremonies being performed in the middle of the cities or visit one of many fetish market. Benin has it's own great history related to the kingdom of Dahomey, the most interesting sights can still be visited in Abomey - the former capital of the kingdom of Dahomey. The story of this place is really incredible, so I'll really advice you to go there. What makes travelling West Africa very practical is the common money - West African Franck (CFA) used in almost all former French colonies.
Feel free to ask if have more questions
Don't forget ging to the Ivory Coast. Despite the bad publicity in the news, it's a wonderful country and people are helpful and very friendly to tourist!
Thank you for the great advice guys! Those places have all made it onto our must see list.
And Cass, I dont know if you have since learned more about obtaining visa's in the area, but I have found that the Rough Guide to West Africa has been useful in this.