Piers Golden, a fabulous photographer who has visited several of our destinations, most recently journeyed to Casamance in Senegal to visit Esperanto Lodge.
We were, of course, eager to find out how Piers got on and how he found Senegal, compared to The Gambia.
What are the main differences or similarities between this area and The Gambia?
"I found the same wonderfully friendly people, although it was quieter than The Gambia, and more rural where I travelled. The local economy is very reliant on fishing and oranges in the main. It didn’t feel very touristy which I liked. It gave one a genuine feeling of discovery."
How did you find the journey and describe the countryside you passed through?
"It was a simple journey, with a brief stop for a border check. There were plenty of scenic diversions heading south, past many orange groves and tall palms."
What were your first impressions of Esperanto Lodge?
"I was quite simply blown away by the beautiful lagoon setting of Esperanto Lodge. The quiet and the tranquillity really appealed to me, plus the proximity of a beautiful beach right on the doorstep."
Did you have much interaction with the local people?
"Yes, in the fishing village, and around town."
Do you believe it is essential to have a knowledge of French?
"No, but it might be useful. I found many people spoke some level of English.
How did you like the cuisine? Did you try any local dishes?
"Yes, and I highly recommend trying fish yassa. This barbecue was also very good."
Did you encounter any wildlife during your visit?
"Many beautiful bird species including herons and frigates."
How long would you recommend staying here for?
"Four nights minimum would be a good length of stay but if you want to totally relax I recommend a week."
What are your top tips for a first time visit to this area?
"Be sure to visit the fishing village, both by day and in the evening and, of course, the colourful local markets."
What are your three favourite memories from your visit to Senegal?
"The beach at Esperanto Lodge, fish yassa, and the boat builders at the edge of the fishing village."
If you like the idea of experiencing your own trip to the Casamance region of Senegal, why not add on a stay at Esperanto Lodge to your next holiday in The Gambia?
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