Senegal: Lac Rose, The Return

lac rose senegal pink lake rufisque

Back in February, I visited Senegal's famous Pink Lake to celebrate the 30th birthday of a friend, only to discover that at that time of the year the sea while beautiful doesn't quite live up to it's 'Lac Rose' fame. Later in the year is the best time to see its vibrant pink colour, so in April some friends I went back to Pink Lake (Retka Lake) to finally admire this marvel of nature. 

After almost 4 months of a 25 degree “winter” in Dakar, we headed 40km out of the city to Rufisque for some fun in the sun. We started off with a few drinks on the terrace bar of a very nice resort called Keur Salim, which has a swimming pool surrounded by little huts and hammocks which are perfect for post-cocktail naps. 


keur salim rufisque senegal dakar lac rose
keur salim rufisque senegal dakar lac rose pink lake retka

The resort also offers other activities including a 1 hour quad bike tour of the area which we decided to take. Our guide took us along the lake side, stopping to explain how the lake is a natural resource of white gold which creates employment opportunities for the surrounding communities.  The pinkish colour of the lake is due to a unique bacteria present in the water and the strong concentration of salt. Depending on the sun’s rays the pink colour varies in intensity which is why its best at certain times of the year. 

keur salim senegal rufisque dakar pink lake lac rose
dakar senegal lac rose pink lake rufisque claudia giglio

We continued our tour, not without a few incidents – there is something about a quad bike that makes my driving a little crazy and my passengers very scared! The scenery is amazing, moving between high dunes and fields of palm trees. At one point of the tour the desert landscape met with the North side of the Atlantic sea creating a stunning view. Then it was back to the resort for delicious food, refreshing drinks and more of that nap, of course!

Love and Laughter- Claudia x 

Author: Claudia Giglio is a marvellous mash up of Burkina Faso and Italy, but also describes herself as '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 

dakar senegal pink lake lac rose