Hello SBA, I'm back with more of my #DakarDiaries. I hope they are inspiring you to come and visit this beautiful part of West Africa!
I needed to get out of Dakar to rest and clear my mind, so one early Saturday morning I headed for the “Gare Pompier” looking for a taxi to head out to Kedougou, in the South East of Senegal. Since my arrival in Senegal my haggling skills have been improving, now they even say that I am worse than a Senegalese woman. It took 10 mins to haggle down the price of my sept-place then we headed out of the city on a beautiful drive into lush greenery. It was winter in Dakar, but out of the city the sun burned forcing everything to slow down into a time machine. In between Dakar and Kedougou, we stopped for a break in Tambacounda. Waiting under a shelter, I met with a stunning Pula woman who surprisingly let me shoot her with no shyness in her eyes.
It took us all day to reach Kedougou late in the night, so we stayed over in a remote but friendly hostel where I have never been so happy to see deliciously frozen water and AC. The next morning we set off in search of a motor bike to reach the place I was looking for and what this part of Senegal is famous for, Dindefelo Falls near the Niokolo-Koba National Park. Being a light skinned girl with big hair looking like a Pula woman asking around for a motor-bike is not something they see everyday, so I got plenty of stares. But the people I met were lovely, some of whom went out of their way to protect me and others wanting to marry me (at least I have some proposals, ha!). After another hour of haggling I was on the back of the bike, riding on and realising how much I had missed this reddish colour of the earth and the sincere greetings from walkers.
At Dindefelo, it's another easy 20 minute hike before reaching the falls but the destination is totally worth the temporary fatigue. The falls are majestic and the atmosphere peaceful with only the sound of the water falling down and the laughs of children jumping in the water. After joining in to let the water cool down the afternoon heat, we lay down on the rocks to soak up some Vitamin D before heading back to Kedougou.
When it was time to return to Dakar I decided I wasn't done with my adventure. I jumped on the top of a truck headed to Fouta Djallon in Equatorial Guinea, where the women are said to be among the most beautiful in Africa. But that is for another blogpost...
Love from a sunny place, Claudia, x
Author: Claudia is a marvellous mash up of Burkina Faso and Italy, but also calls herself 'a Nigerien at heart, and a Londoner in spirit.' When she's not arguing over political issues, she's globe trotting, studying conflict, photo taking, food adoring, shopping or laughing with someone somewhere. She recently spent a year in Dakar working at Action Aid International. Follow her on Linked In.