14 Fun Facts About Senegal’s Nature And History

senegal fun facts

Did the 2022 Youth Olympic Games make you ponder about the West-African country, Senegal? Senegal, officially known as The Republic of Senegal, has more to offer than the Olympic Games.

Be wonderstruck by the millions of birds that visit the country or get closer to the Atlantic Ocean by surfing the waves.

Check out these fun facts that will fascinate you about Senegal.

1. There Is Peace In Senegal! 

Amidst the political turmoil in other parts of Africa, Senegal shows how to lead. With a stable democracy since its independence from France in 1960, there has never been any military intervention.

This harmonious country has never been at war with its neighbors. So if you are considering how safe the country is for travel, you can consider booking flights immediately!

2. The “House Of No Return” In Senegal

A deep and struggling past is associated with this Goree Island memorial. Today A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was a mansion back in the day, symbolizing cruelty when the Africans were sold as enslaved people.

Men, women, and children were brought to this island, a slave trade center until they were shipped across the Atlantic Ocean to various countries. Anyone going through here would have never returned to their homeland.

This heart-wrenching site has many stories of suppression and brutality that will freeze you.

House of Slaves, on the Island of Gorée, off of the city of Dakar. This picture shows the narrow door —aka the Point-of-no-return— out of which slaves were loaded onto Americas-bound ships.
House of Slaves, on the Island of Gorée, off of the city of Dakar. This picture shows the narrow door —aka the Point-of-no-return— out of which slaves were loaded onto Americas-bound ships; author: Robin Elaine

3. Senegal Is Home To Seven World Heritage Sites

This small country in West Africa has seven World Heritage Sites giving great insights into its cultural and natural legacy.

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The Niokolo-Koba National Park has an immense number of fauna species that are protected here. The Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary hosts millions of migratory birds crossing the Sahara desert.

The Stone Circles of Senegambia, the island of Gorée, the island of Saint-Louis, the Bassari Country, and the Saloum Delta are among the other World Heritage sites.

Island of Saint-Louis
Island of Saint-Louis; author: Remi Jouan

4. Senegalese Love Wrestling

If you relate the Senegalese with soccer, you probably need to change your view. 

Wrestling is the national sport of Senegal; when played, the audience goes crazy in stadiums. Young athletes play the sport with techniques similar to boxing.

Senegalese are good soccer and basketball players, but they have their cultural expertise in wrestling.

5. There Is An Entire Village Made Of Sea Shells

There is an island in Mbour where every step you take will make the crunching sound of shells.

The Joal-Fadiouth island is made of sea shells, and the village has been layered with them for years. Motor vehicles are prohibited in this region.

Have you seen anything of this sort before?

Joal-Fadiouth Island
Joal-Fadiouth Island; source: Ritebook.in

6. A Pink Lake In Dakar

You will cherish the beauty of a pink lake near Dakar, the capital of Senegal. The pinkish hue of lake Retba is not due to any chemicals but because of high salt deposits and algae pigmenting the water.

However, the rosy shade of the lake is not seen all year long. The lake is in its full glory only in certain seasons when the algae are active, and the sun is shining.

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According to the locals, this sight can likely be witnessed in January. Plan accordingly!

Pink lake
Pink lake; Senegal

7. Taxis Have Tails In Senegal

It is a widespread belief in the country wherein the tails of goats are considered sacred. The tail is tied to the taxis, bringing the owner good luck and fortune.

However, true or a myth, it would be a weird sight for non-locals!

Taxi tails in Senegal
Taxi tails in Senegal (source: http://ayearindakar.blogspot.com)

8. The Sun Rises and Sets Last In Senegal

Dakar is situated on the westernmost point of Africa.

With a tropical climate, it is the last place in the African continent to see the Sun rise and set.

9. The First-Ever African Movie Was Based In Senegal

Borom Sarret was the first African movie that came out in 1963. It shows the adversities of a poverty-stricken man working in Dakar and what he does next.

It will shake the humanity of anyone who watches it.

10. The African Renaissance Monument

There is a large 52-m-tall statue made of bronze situated on a hilltop in Senegal. It depicts the achievements of the Africans where a man, a woman, and a child are carved with perfection.

It was inaugurated in 2010 and has huge numbers of visitors annually.

African Renaissance Monument
African Renaissance Monument (source: Jeff Attaway)

11. Peanuts And Fish Are The Country’s Best Exports

Due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, fishing of various species is a flourishing business in Senegal. Many farmers are involved in producing peanuts, which contributes heftily to the country’s total exports.

12. Akon, The American Singer, Is Senegalese

One of my favorite singers and wrappers, Akon, has roots in Senegal. Senegal has many more people making their name worldwide, from soccer players to singers and authors. Do you know Khaby Lame, the Tik-Tok sensation? He is Senegalese too!

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13. The Goats Enjoy Beaches On Sunday!

Hilarious right? But it’s true!

Just as people love the beaches, so do the sheep and goats. It is prevalent here in Senegal for shepherds to take their flock to the beachside and let them enjoy themselves.

It is a practice to clean the flocks and prepare them for a weekly routine. Senegal is a Muslim-dominated country and considers goats to be sacred sacrificial animals.

Yoff Beach
Yoff Beach, Senegal (author: Geraint Rowland)

14. An Annual Pilgrimage With A Million People In Touba

Millions of people visit Touba in Senegal for pilgrim tours held annually. The people from other African nations flock to Touba to pay respects to their leader, Serigne Touba.


Since discovering how much fun and learning are to be had traveling, Alex has made it a point to tour his home country and continent while still in his heydays. His ultimate desire is to travel farther afield to see the wonders of Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Asia. When he isn’t traveling, he takes his time to write about various places to share his experiences with other global citizens.

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