Senegal: The new African paradise for surfers - The360 Travel

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  • Thursday, December 12, 2019

    Senegal: The new African paradise for surfers

    Senegal: The new African paradise for surfers

    Despite its waves of international caliber, Senegal remains a little-known surf destination. However, in recent years, the small country of West Africa attracts surfers from around the world, charmed by the authenticity of the region and the quality of its waves. Is Dakar about to become the next surf capital? 

    "That's good, you shot! You were able to avoid the sheep! Mamadou, my surf instructor, laughs as I paddle towards him, lying on my board. A few meters from us, the two teenagers who are busy bathing a sheep in the ocean, a common practice in Senegal, give us an amused look.

    Senegal is a surf destination for the least unexpected. Authentic, affordable, safe and located just five hours from Europe, the small country has everything you need to become one of the best surf destinations in the world.

    Four main sites

    The particularity of the Senegalese capital is its geographical location. Located at the most westerly point of Africa, on the Cape Verde peninsula, Dakar benefits from a constant swell coming from both north and south. The city has four main surfing sites: Yoff, Ngor, Almadies and Ouakam.

    "It does not matter if you are a beginner or a professional, in Dakar, you can always find a wave on your level," she adds.

    On Yoff Beach, in the north of the city, dozens of Senegalese children play in the water or soccer, while adults walk the coast while jogging. A few meters from the ocean, fish vendors warm their grils in the shade of colored parasols.

    It is not yet noon, but there are already, in the distance, some silhouettes of surfers who are flogged by the waves. That day, the swell is calm and the waves are small, perfect for beginners.

    " It's exhausting ! "Says Natasha Gosselin, a 21-year-old Quebecer in summer school in Senegal who is trying surfing for the first time.

    "The monitor is super good, and he speaks French," adds his colleague Alexandra Aubry.

    Attracting tourists and surfers from all over the world, this is exactly what Oumar Seye, vice-president of the Senegalese surfing Federation, coach of the country's national team and living legend of Senegalese surfing hopes. The 42-year-old is the first Senegalese to sign a professional surf contract. Back in Dakar since 2013, after surfing around the world for twenty years, he has sworn to make Senegal a must for his sport.

    "We have good waves. It is a country that is stable. It's hot 10 months a year. You want to eat fruits, seafood, you are organic, you are a vegetarian? You can live in Senegal. We have international clinics ... There is everything in Senegal and there are good waves, "says Oumar Seye.

    In addition to tourists, Senegal, with its national team, is carving out a place on the international circuit. Last March, the country hosted a World Championship tournament, a first in West Africa since the creation of the World Surf League in 1976.

    "My dream is to put Senegal as high as possible in surfing. There is nothing left to do in Europe and other countries. Africa is the future, "says Oumar.

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