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Getaway Lac Rose

Getaway Lac Rose


Chez Salim Lac Rose is accessed by road. Once there, you have to take an all-terrain vehicle to do the full tour.

Lac Rose (Senegal)

I leave Dakar, after breakfast, towards Lac Rose. Slowly, I go with the van on the A1 until a detour that leads, first to Niaga and then to one of the most important tourist attractions in the country: Lac Rose. It takes me 1:15h to travel more than 40 km and finally I arrive at Chez Salim Lac Rose. It is a hotel that is next to the lake and is a departure point for the jeeps that make the excursions. I do not know if it is the only one or if there are many more; but I met more people who stayed in other hotels (like us) and who came here to start the route. In fact, I shared 4x4 with other strangers. The SUV has a roof cloth to protect it from the sun, but the sides are open.

The Lac Rose is mythical in Senegal; above all, because it was the arrival point of the old Paris-Dakar Rally. This was the reason for which it became famous; but what catches this place is the environment. The tour lasts 1 hour and a half and is very complete:

  • Lac Rose (called Retba in Wolof). It is a very large and shallow lake. I didn't go inside, but I did touch the water. It has a warm temperature and is very salty. As you might imagine, the name comes from the pink color of the lake. I'm not going to lie you, I didn't see it pink at any time. It depends on the light and the time, I saw it more or less maroon-red, but not pink. Do not trust the photos you see posted on the networks. They say the best time to visit is at dawn or dusk, which is when the interaction of sunlight with salt produces the most pink effect. Maybe that's why I saw it garnet... because I went at noon. The salt extraction activity takes place in the lake and this constitutes the source of income for many families. It is very curious to see how the workers, to protect the skin from the salt, cover themselves with shea butter. The process of loading salt to the cayucos and unloading it on the shores of the lake to dry it is very interesting. The white salt mountains with the colored boats and the garnet lake form a beautiful setting. I was lucky enough to see some workers standing inside the lake with the long sticks that they use to extract the salt. Along the way, a couple or three stops are made, which allowed me to observe the entire stage and I was able to see how each actor carried out their tasks. The route continues along the right bank of the lake heading north until it reaches a town.
  • Keur Balla Village. Aris (a Senegalese who organized the trip really good and a great person at the same time) explained to me that in Senegal there are 5 or 6 towns called "Keur Balla". The most important and best known is near Saint-Louis; but the one I visited is a very small town that has a special charm. It's just minutes far from Lac Rose and it's really authentic. When arriving at the town there are men moving in carts (designed by themselves) made with platforms pulled by horses and children that act as shepherds of herds of cows. I don't see any woman. The masonry buildings are abandoned and the houses in the village are made of a material similar to straw. It is a town that, instead of having dogs in the street, has camels. I was amazed to see how they grow vegetables in gardens planted on beach sand.
  • Leaving the town the driver decides, unilaterally, to play with the dunes. At full speed we went up and down the mountains of sand. I had a great time, but I also suffered a lot. I was not overly confident in the good condition of the car. It was beautiful when, behind a dune, an esplanade with palm trees appears. It seemed like a beautiful setting. They stopped the car and they, who are Muslims and it was Ramadan, began to pray facing Mecca. Magical moment. Absolute silence.
  • Very close and without waiting for it, we arrived at a spectacular beach! It is long and with very white sand. What I loved the most is its virginity. The fact that it doesn't have any construction in sight is really lovely. The only downside is that the water is very shaky. It is Atlantic and it shows.

It was a great morning.

If you need and/or want help in organizing the getaway, do not hesitate to send me a mail!

If you want to go to Senegal with the SIM card already bought, you can ask it at Holafly and you will get a 5% discount coming from Raconets!


The tour lasts an hour and a half.


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