Dakar part 3 – No Gorée island, but IFAN museum and shopping!
Originally posted 2023-06-04
(Link to Dakar part 2 in case you missed it
After breakfast we decided that we wanted to start the day with a trip to Gorée island. Gorée island is a former slave-trading island that is located about 20 minutes from the mainland. It was the largest slave-trading center on the African coast in the 15th-19th century.
We tried to find information on the internet about what times the ferry leaves Dakar and what it costs to visit the islandt. We found some information about departure times in french and walked down to Port Autonome where you can catch the ferries to Gorée island. But it turned out that we needed passports! And I had left mine at the hotel.. So in the end we were´nt alowed to enter the ferry.
IFAN museum of African Arts (Institut Fondamental d´Afrique Noire)
Feeling a little snubbed we quickly decided to head to the next place on our “hope-to-visit”-list – IFAN museum. It was a bit of a walk from the port but it was nice because it gave us the opportunity to see a bit more of the city. Dakar is neither the best nor worst when it comes to walkability. There is traffic everywhere and most of the sidewalks are full of parked cars. You quickly get used to walking in the road, zickzacking through traffic jams and stopping traffic when you need to cross over. This makes it a little difficult to walk fast (which I love) but on the other hand you are more present in the now.
IFAN museum is one of the oldest museums in West Africa and is located in this nice building
IFAN museum was located in a nice old building and the entrence fee was 5000CFA for non-Ecowas (approx 7.5 Euro) and 2000CFA for tourists from Ecowas-countries (approx 3 euro).
The museum was small but contained interesting objects from different countries. African art is in many ways more tied to traditions and history and many of the objects on display were considered magical items. I enjoyed that the design-language (In swedish formspråk (which means like the language of the form)) differs from the usual (european) stuff I´m always surrounded with.
The only thing I would have wished was different was that all the plaques of the works should also be translated to english. Now they were all in french and I think I lost a bit of the experience since I don´t speak french.
After the museum we wanted to check out Marchee Sandaga – or the Sandaga Market. We had already passed by it several times since our hotel was located near the market in Dakar-Plateu. So it was on our way home.
Colorful dresses at display at Sandaga market
The market is of ok size, always bustling with people and you can find all kind of items there. From imported goods like suitcases, kitchen equipment, socks and watches to hand tailored clothes from various fabrics, wax batiques, jewelry, bags and shoes and everything else you can think of. We quickly got a couple of “guides” who wanted to take us around hoping to earn some money by giving us the tour. We thought – why not? And followed the guides through the market to “the Senegalese” side of the market and to a building filled with shops with colorful wax-batique clothing and items.
We wanted to match our outfits for the soon upcoming so I bought a dress and Buba bought a white warambo (traditional long shirt worn by muslim men in West Africa) and pants to go with it. I also bought a local fan which have been in constant use since we returned to the Gambia.
What do you think? Will we look splendid on Tabaski or what?
Part 4 coming soon…
xoxo/ Salla V
Originally posted 2023-06-04