Taken in the fast pace of traffic Dakar, the desire to go into exile is sometimes tenacious. A 400 meters off the peninsula of Cape Verde, Ngor Island offers the opportunity to enjoy the calm, the view, waves and flavors Senegalese. Far from the urban excitement, this big bowl of air is ideal.
The island is already visible from the coast: a small enclave of tranquility accessible in three minutes of canoe. To get there, you must go to the beach of Ngor. At the pier we board a pirogue, which makes the round trip for 1000 CFA, from 10h to 19h. Of course you have to be armed with patience because boarding can sometimes drag on. But, as an Italian saying goes: who goes piano, go sano and a few minutes of expectations are well worth it.
It is a small piece of land of 500 meters long and 200 meters wide. In winter, it is bathed in sun and there feel the sea spray and the light wind that accompanies it. The island offers calm and voluptuousness, far from the tumult of Dakar. But the ideal is to go there during the week if you want to make the most of this moment of tranquility.
Once disembarked, we are directly greeted by a sea with turquoise reflections that invites us to bask. The only shadow on the board is the tides: the water can quickly be polluted and the beach disappears at high tide.
Beyond the beaches, do not hesitate to get lost in the labyrinth that form the twenty-four trails of the island. One can then discover at random of a street, one of the galleries of art or one of the exhibitions of sculptures decimated to the four corners of the island. We find ourselves at the heart of an island that seems dedicated to artists: musicians, sculptors, painters, photographers like it. One gets lost in colorful alleys where the murals and the flowers line our way. But we can also walk along the path that borders the island to go around and observe the waves that come to shock against the rocks.
It is precisely these waves that also allow the island to offer water sports activities. Two surf spots are also famous for fans: the right and the left of Ngor. The documentary film The Endless Summer, even shot a sequence in 1964 on this same bay, with the famous surfer Robert August.
Beyond, the island also offers huts of restoration where one can come to taste the local specialties and the fresh fishes. It is possible to sleep in a private room or by renting cabanas. Restaurants, inns and sports clubs have their own boat to go back and forth.
The island is not only a tourist place, since there live a hundred inhabitants. Originally Lebou, the villagers of Ngor being traditionally fishermen or farmers used the island only to come to graze their sheep and cultivate millet. Then, in the 1950 years, they started to settle in small huts. As the island has become populated and modernized.
The attractiveness of the island leads to the fact that several personalities come to settle there for the holidays. The French singer France Gall or even the Senegalese-American artist Akon owns second homes.
The particularity of the island is that it does not have electricity, the inhabitants having apparently kept to preserve its originality. This is one of the reasons why solar panels that provide electricity are often seen, as are wind turbines and generators, which must be silent.
Still, Senegalese and tourists from abroad enjoy the island for the quality of its restoration, for its beaches or waves. It must also be said that there still reigns, here and there, a few peaceful places where only the sound of the sea can be heard.