Words by Gus Isherwood
Discover the musical and cultural wealth of Senegal’s Dakar
This year, Songlines is running a ten day trip (November 22 – December 1) to the culturally rich and musically buzzing Dakar, the capital of Senegal. With its thrumming streets and musical diversity, the city can be hard to negotiate, which is why a clued up guide will be there to help structure your holiday plans.
You’ll be able visit the busy downtown cloth markets and the picturesque old medina by day, before being taken to the best clubs to see live musicians playing high energy mbalax music, the rhythmic dance style pioneered by Senegal’s own Youssou N’Dour. You might even catch one of Senegal’s most famous acts who regularly play the Dakar circuit, such as Orchestra Baobab, Cheikh Lo and Carlou D. And don’t forget, Dakar is also the centre of Africa’s most vibrant hip-hop scene.
Other excursions include visits to the historically significant Gorée Island, from which West African slaves were dispatched to the New World; and the laid back old French capital of St Louis, where you can wind down on the beach or visit the Djoudj bird park.
Prior to the trip, Songlines music travellers receive an information pack about the local Dakar music scene and recommended recordings and DVDs to listen to.
For information and reservations, call Songlines Music Travel on 020 8505 2582