Coolest Attractions in Western Africa

Comprising parts of the dessert, the Sahel, deep jungles and a strip of beautiful coastline, Western Africa is a region of staggering diversity. Despite all the dramatic events this region of Africa has witnessed throughout its history (colonialism, slave trade, civil wars, diamond rush), its natural and architectonic treasures are signs of a yet-to-be-discovered touristic potential. If you are wondering which might be the coolest attractions in Western Africa, I can tell you they consist of unique architectural styles, amazing ecosystems and plenty of natural wonders:

Goree Island, Senegal

by Jeff Attaway

A visit to the Goree Island is a must for anyone traveling to Dakar, Senegal. The island served as a slave trading center for centuries, and now it has been transformed in a pilgrimage place. Part of the UNSECO patrimony, the island hosts the sinister Maison de Escavles (House of Slaves), a sort of administrative office in the slave trade.

Sine Saloum Delta, Senegal

by shanthi manian

Also in Senegal you can find the Sine-Saloum Delta formed by the converging rivers of Sine and Saloum. Despite the difficult accessibility, the delta is a wonderful place to visit. Isles and islets are in perpetual formation and waters become increasingly saline as you approach the sea. Hundreds of species of birds and animals are sheltered by the delta’s grasses, lagoons and mangroves.

The Eye of Africa, Mauritania

Scientific research or simple curiosity has driven many people into visiting the Eye of Africa, a unique geographical feature in the center of Mauritania’s dessert. Seen from above, this circular depression in the dessert resembles a gigantic eye, hence its nickname. Scientific community is still debating on its origins.

Ganvie, Benin

This one of a kind village in Benin is entirely situated above the waters of Lake Nokoue. The reasons why people decided to build a village in the middle of the lake’s waters are unclear, but it constitutes a unique experience just to watch such a place. Ganvie houses are suspended on bamboo stills and there has never been a street or car in here.

Djenne Mosque, Mali

by 300td.org

The city of Djenne in Mali is home to one of the most remarkable places of worship in the world. What makes the Great Mosque of Djenne such a rare and treasured piece of architecture are the unconventional (well, at least for European standards) materials used in its construction. The walls are made of mud bricks and the decoration consists of palm logs that stick out of the façade – this style is known as Sudano Sahelian.

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