I recently traveled to Dakar Senegal for a brief visit. This was my first trip to Western Africa and I was very excited about the possibility of visiting the area where my ancestors probably originated. In particular I was anxious to visit Goree Island; the location of the infamous door of no return and the indoctrination camp for the captured Africans who would soon be slaves in the New World.
The Dakar is located on the most western point of the African continent on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. I visited there during the dry season and it was less than tropical. Senegal is also located to the south of the great Sahara desert and as a consequence it is probably drier than the country’s south of its location. I had an opportunity to travel by car to a neighboring city in Senegal and I noticed along the drive how dry and arid the landscape was.
The city of Dakar is very unique and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. The population is pretty much evenly divided between Christians and Muslims and interestingly enough everyone seems to get along very well. As a matter-of-fact Senegal is probably one of the most stable countries in Africa. The Republic of Senegal gained its independence from France in 1960 and since that time with very few exceptions the political environment has remained stable. Senegal is not an economic powerhouse by any means. It does however seem to have a fairly large base of Western and Chinese business interests along with local businesses that conduct trade and commerce throughout Africa.
I managed to take the ferry boat a short 20 minute ride to Goree Island. As soon as I landed, a local who called himself “Colonel” offered to be my tour guide for small fee. I agreed and we immediately went off to explore the island. We eventually reached a large pink building and he told me this was the last remaining slave house on the island. This was a building that was used to house and indoctrinate captured Africans for up to 90 days before they sailed on ships to the New World. It is also the location of the infamous door of no return. This was the doorway the captured Africans walked through to embark upon the slave ships for the New World. You can see pictures of the slave
The next day while I was sitting on the beach in Dakar, I noticed some women fishing along the tidal pools. As I sat there watching them I managed to take several pictures of them fishing. When they finished I walked over to them and asked if I could take a picture of them with their catch. Turns out they were fishing for sea urchins. You can see pictures of them and the sea urchins in this post.
I also managed to take a few pictures of some street scenes, along with a small market in one of Dakar’s neighborhoods. I managed to take quite a few other photos but I decided to limit the number of pictures in this blog post. Generally speaking I was pleased with the photographs that I did take and when I got back home they required minimal post-processing with Adobe Lightroom. My pictures still need a lot of work and now that Spring is here I hope to be out taking more pictures. My immediate goal is to work on improving my compositions. I recently purchased a book on photographic compositions and hopefully I will make some improvements that you can see in the next post.