Less than 2 miles from Dakar lies the island of Goree deeply rooted in the history of the slave trade.

From the beginning of the 16th century to the 19th, men, women and children in huge numbers were gathered on this small piece of land, locked up in cells and shipped away to the New World. Goree became the first, and for a time, the most important slave depot in West Africa. From its "door of no return", Fulanis, Wolofs, Mandingoes and Bambaras (the latter from Mali) were taken from their homeland to toil in the Americas.

Listed as an historical monument and declared part of World Patrimony by UNESCO, Goree today retains and preserves all the traces of its terrible past: the main Slaves' House built in 1777 with its cells and shackles; the many other slave depots turned into museums - the Historical Museum which traces the history of the great West African Empires and the Marine Museum - or residential homes; and, the two forts built by the Dutch to protect the infamous commerce.

Though conscious of its past, Goree is also a lively little town with numerous cafes, art galleries, and a beautiful beach. It is a weekend refuge for many Dakarese.

CasamanceCayar & RetbaDakarEastern Senegal
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