Travel to Saly

Bandia Reserve

In our original itinerary we were going to pass by but not travel to Saly. However, due to the presidential election, regional travel was banned on the election day. Therefore, we had to leave Dakar a day earlier than planned and instead of going north to Lompoul desert we headed south to Saly. Saly is a coastal town and a good base to visit some nearby tourist attractions including Bandia Wildlife Reserve, Seashell Island and the Sacred Baobab.

We also really loved our hotel, a resort called Hotel Club Royal Saly. It was located right on the beach, there were activities such as petanque, and our room was very cute in a hut style with a thatched roof. Also, the breakfast was good with made to order omelettes. Another great experience we had was to have dinner at our driver’s house, because he and his family live nearby. His wife made a delicious thieboudienne and the extended family was so warm and welcoming.

Beach at Hotel Club Royal Saly
Bridge to Seashell Island
Bandia Reserve giraffe


  • Bandia Wildlife Reserve
  • Iles de coquilages (Seashell Island), cemetery and mangroves
  • Sacred Baobab, which you can climb inside of

Before you go

  • You will need a car to get around
  • The beach is lovely but beware that if you are a single woman, you will be followed around by men, many of whom are prostitutes
Bandia Reserve rhino and zebras
Seashell island cemetery
Hotel Club Royal Saly


  • We opted to have a private guide and driver from Trip Tour Senegal to take us around, and this was a great experience. We didn’t have to worry about trying to catch buses or taxis, and our guide could suggest what to see in the area


  • We spent two nights at the Hotel Club Royal Saly and really loved our thatched roof lodging
  • There were a number of activities going on during the day, and also a gym, pool and the beach nearby
  • As usual I recommend checking reviews on or using AirBnB
Bandia Reserve Tombeau de Griots
Kids on seashell island knocking down fruits
Sacred Baobab

Homemade thieboudienne by our driver’s wife
Tchiof (grouper) fish at La Taverne du Pêcheur


We were lucky to have a home-cooked thieboudienne made by our driver’s wife, because they live near Saly. It was flavourful and delicious! Also, we ate family style, sharing one big platter while sitting on a blanket on the floor. Definitely the best meal of our trip!

Near Seashell island we had lunch outdoors at La Taverne du Pêcheur. They had a nice choice of grilled fish, and I had the grouper with fries and vegetables. We also had a lovely view of the bridge and Seashell island. It seemed a very popular location.


Q: Do I need a tour guide?

A: Yes, it is probably a good idea as you will need to drive between the different tourist areas of interest

Q: Do people speak English?

A: No, most people do not speak English except for guides

Q: Is it a walkable city?

A: No, it is spread out and best to have a car

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