Located 200 km from Dakar in the Siné Saloum region, Kaolack is a lively city in the interior of the country, the second main transport hub of Senegal and a convenient starting point for excursions anywhere from national parks and southern regions to neighboring countries – Guinea – Bissau, Mali and Gambia. Among other things, Kaolak is the capital of peanuts, there are whole plantations of this nut and the production of peanut butter is flourishing. Finally, Kaolak is the main city of the Tijaniya Sufi sect; one of the most beautiful mosques in West Africa was built in the city. According to populationmonster, Kaolak is one of the largest cities in Senegal.
According to press reports, Kaolak is regularly shaken by epidemics of varying degrees of decimation of the population: from malaria and yellow fever to leprosy (!). Only the western districts of the city are considered relatively prosperous. Seriously consider your proposed visit to Khaolak, and if you really want to visit the city, strictly observe the rules of hygiene!
How to get to Kaolak
Kaolack has a small airport serving only domestic flights. To get here from Russian cities, you must first land at Dakar International Airport, for example, using the services of such airlines as Air France with a transfer in Paris, Lufthansa (Frankfurt), Turkish Airlines (Istanbul), Alitalia (Milan), Iberia (Madrid), Tunisair (Tunisia), Air Algerie (Algiers) and Royal Air Maroc (Casablanca).
Further from Dakar to Kaolak you will need to get by minibus (about 3000 XOF, travel time – 2 hours) or intercity bus (many of which run between Dakar and Bamako with stops along the route).
It is also always possible to rent a car – it is best to do this at the Dakar airport. In addition, Kaolak and Dakar are connected by rail. The train from the city to the capital leaves at 6 am and arrives back around 9 pm.
Transport in the city
It is most convenient and cheapest to travel around Kaolak by taxi. Cars are waiting everywhere, and the cost of a trip within the city is not high – just over 1 EUR (700-800 XOF).
If you decide to take trips from Kaolak to other cities in the country, please note that there are 2 intercity bus stations in the city: from Garage Dakar, buses and minibuses leave to the north and west (for example, to Saint-Louis, Dakar or Thies). Garage Nioro serves southern and eastern destinations – the Casamance region and the outback.
Weather in Kaolack
Cuisine and restaurants
In Kaolack, there is quite a lot of unsanitary conditions almost everywhere, and catering establishments must be chosen scrupulously and carefully. Traveler-recommended restaurants include Le Brasero, located on the road from Kaolak to Tambakundu. Here you can have a bite to eat without fear for life, most dishes cost about 5-7 EUR. Dine or just have a drink or two at Alliance Franco-Senegalaise, an international entertainment and educational center. Le Lionceau is also worth a visit for delicious croissants and fresh bread (open 24/7).
Do not miss the opportunity to try the famous Kaolak peanuts – fresh and roasted, salted, sweet and even canned, not to mention the extensive list of dishes with its inclusion.
Shopping and shops Kaolak
Kaolak boasts the largest indoor market in West Africa. In addition to food, household utensils and other household items, here you can buy real African fabrics of crazy colors and folk crafts: ritual masks, baskets, decor items. Senegalese souvenirs are also sold in the “village of crafts” – Village Artisanale.
Entertainment and attractions in Kaolaka
Kaolak is one of the few cities in Senegal with monuments of Islamic architecture; the reason for this is the existence of an influential Muslim sect, the tijaniya, in the city. The Great Mosque of Kaolak, built in 1964 in the Moroccan style, is considered the most beautiful in the country. Entering for non-Muslims is closed, it remains only to admire the external decoration. In the evenings, the building is beautifully illuminated. Another religious building is the Catholic Cathedral of Saint-Theophilus, an unremarkable utilitarian building in the spirit of strict minimalism.
In the vicinity of Kaolak, in the delta of the Salum River, you can look at the mangroves, and a little inland, baobab forests begin.
Excursions are organized from Kaolak to the Sine-Salum delta (on the spot you can travel on motor pirogues along the numerous branches of the river) and the Bandia Reserve.
Beach lovers can be advised to spend a couple of days in the Petit Côte resort.