Tourism: A trip to the only ‘pink lake’ in Africa, Lake Retba in Senegal and its tourism allure

Pink Lake

Senegal, which lies on the western side of the African continent, is not much of a tourist destination, but this country has some amazing places that one can visit.

According to telegraphindia.com, unlike other western African countries, Senegal is very safe and has had a stable government for a long time. Wolof is the local language spoken by most people out here, apart from this French is spoken widely and is the official language of the country.

Dakar is the capital of Senegal and was once very popular for the famous Dakar Rally that used to take place every year. The annual event had motor enthusiasts travel from Paris to Dakar in an intercontinental challenge of endurance and speed. The competition now takes place somewhere else but the legends of the city remain.

Senegal, which lies on the western side of the African continent, is not much of a tourist destination, but this country has some amazing places that one can visit. Unlike other western African countries, Senegal is very safe and has had a stable government for a long time. Wolof is the local language spoken by most people out here, apart from this French is spoken widely and is the official language of the country.

Dakar is the capital of Senegal and was once very popular for the famous Dakar Rally that used to take place every year. The annual event had motor enthusiasts travel from Paris to Dakar in an intercontinental challenge of endurance and speed. The competition now takes place somewhere else but the legends of the city remain.

READ: Aviation: Increased frequency on Air Senegal’s Libreville Line Boosts West African Connectivity

During the dry season, the salinity increases in the water, and the algae starts to release more and more pink pigments. This lake is extremely salty and the water from this lake cannot be consumed. The water is so salty that there are no fish in this lake, the high salt concentration makes it difficult for fish to survive so there are no fishing industries associated with this lake. This lake can be compared to the Dead Sea. Similar to the Dead Sea, no one sinks in this.

lake due to the high salinity, so even if you do not know swimming you can easily float around. You don’t even have to swim in this lake as you would simply float.
Lake Retba is more saline than the Dead Sea and is counted as the second highest in terms of salt concentration. But be careful, the extremely salty water along with the scorching sun can make your skin extremely dry.

Apart from tourism, the locals scoop out salt from the bottom of the lake and load them on wooden boats and then let them dry on the banks of the lake. After drying, the salt is then sold in the market. Due to the huge fishing industry around the Atlantic coast, there is a constant demand for salt, which is used for drying up the fish for storage.

You can enjoy boating around the lake on the traditional boats or can even take the speedier option with the motor boats. To make it more adventurous, you can hire a quad bike and drive around the lake crossing the dunes.

This place has now been developed into a tourist destination and lots of tourist resorts have developed around the lake for tourists to spend overnight instead of a day trip from the capital Dakar. Newly built four-lane highways will let you reach this tourist place in no time.

Travel Information
A round trip from Dakar to Lake Retba will cost you around 25,000 CFA (CFA franc) which is roughly around 3,200 Indian Rupees.

There are resorts around the lake and if you wish to enjoy the lake overnight, then you can safely stay here.

There are restaurants around the lake, so you can enjoy some fresh seafood caught from the Atlantic Ocean.

If you plan to take a dip in the lake to experience the effect of floating then it’s advisable to check into some hotels nearby or make necessary arrangements for a freshwater shower after the bath to wash away the salt.

French is widely spoken around the country so it’s advisable to note down a few words which will help in negotiating. In tourist places, the locals do understand a few words of English. Use language translator apps on your mobile for easy communication.

BY SUBHADIP MUKHERJEE

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