Southern Senegal – Casamance Part 1
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Gambia, though it’s once again time to move on. Crossing back into Senegal is relatively uneventful, and I find my way to the coast in the Cassamance region. I immediately notice this area feels much different than Northern Senegal – there is a very relaxed, laid-back Rasta vibe in the air, and it’s obvious in the right season the place would be packed with tourists. Because I’m here in the rainy season I see only a few.
The region has been in flux for a long time, with talk of them wanting to break away from Senegal and form a separate country – they are so far from Dakar and separated physically by Gambia the locals feel their interests are not always considered. Because of this, many guide books, governments and online sources of information warn that the area is dangerous, to the point it’s usually the first thing that pops up when searching for information.
After talking to many locals, it’s evident that is simply not the case. Many people have lived here their entire lives and never heard a gunshot or seen any violence of any kind.
For reasons I’m only beginning to comprehend, there are a lot of different reasons parts of Africa are labeled “dangerous” when they are far from it. I have a lot to learn.
I really like it here. I think I’ll stick around a while.